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A Guest Post by Cathy Baylis
How’s your e-commerce business going?
Is it unique enough for people to notice and remember?
It doesn’t matter what industry you belong to; chances are, you have a huge competition to beat. One online store after another, your target audience has plenty of choices.
The problem is that many e-commerce stores are too similar to one another, so people often forget where they saw a product they liked. They might see it in your store and plan to buy it, but end up getting it elsewhere because it’s the same product from an extremely similar website.
Why does this happen?
There’s a simple answer: your e-commerce store lacks a branding strategy.
When people start recognizing your brand through subtle and obvious details, you’ll see real progress in this business.
Good news: such a goal is not that difficult to achieve. Are you ready to start working on your big branding strategy? ’Cause we’ve got the tips you need.
#1 It All Starts with the Products You Sell
Why did you start this online store? Was it just because you were looking for a business opportunity and this seemed like a nice idea? You’ll get products on wholesale and you’ll just sell them by piece. It’s really easy to start a store through Shopify or a similar service, and you can get it running with minimal investment.
But do you love these products? Would you buy them for yourself?
The branding process starts just here: you have to believe in the products you sell.
First of all, you need to know enough about the industry. Explore it. What do people like to buy? What online stores do they prefer and why? What would they like for the stores to improve? As a customer of such products, is there a specific kind of store that would meet all your needs?
Your products, as a collection, should evoke a unique vibe, which would be appealing to a specific target audience. That’s what separates you from the entire competition.
#2 Develop The Brand’s Personality
When you’re thinking about building a brand, you’re basically doing what a writer does when developing characters.
As Investopedia defines it, “brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name.”
So what’s your brand’s personality like? If you imagine your brand as a person, would he/she be spontaneous, creative, courageous, bold, sophisticated, or elegant? Would they be colorful or monochromatic? Would they be safe or adventurous?
People want to buy from brands whose personality is similar to theirs. If we take cosmetic companies as an example, M.A.C. appeals to those who are bold and very expressive with their personal style, whereas Estee Lauder appeals to those who are more elegant and safe. These brands have personality, and that’s what makes them so special.
All other aspects of the personal branding process will depend on this step.
#3 Choose a Proper Color Palette
The visual appeal of your online store should make a huge impact. It should be relevant to the brand’s personality, but it should also be unique enough to distinguish it from other brands in the industry.
Your logo, your ads, your website, the marketing campaigns… everything should have a consistent color palette that conveys the vibe of your brand.
The Adobe Color Wheel is a pretty effective tool that helps you choose colors that work well together.
If you have no knowledge of graphic design and zero artistic skills, it would be best to outsource this process to a professional graphic designer. You’ll explain what you want to achieve with the brand, and they will give you a few suggestions of color palettes to choose from.
#4 What’s the Brand’s Mission Statement?
“To sell products that people buy.”
That’s the first thing that came to your mind, right? When starting an e-commerce store, all you want to do is sell your products and make people buy them. Well, that doesn’t work as a mission statement. You need a real one, and it has to be good.
Let’s check the mission statement of one of the most successful online stores on a global level, ASOS: “We are authentic, brave and creative to our core. We focus on fashion as a force for good, inspiring young people to express their best selves and achieve amazing things. We believe fashion thrives on individuality and should be fun for everyone. Our mission is to become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.”
Now that sounds more like the mission you’d want to have for a store. It’s focused and goal-driven. The mission practically defines the brand’s personality.
Develop the brand’s mission. What exactly do you want to achieve with this online store? It’s not just about selling. What do you want to change in the industry you target?
#5 Branding Is Everything!
Once you define what your brand is about and how it will look like, everything you do will be about its promotion. The website you build will be based on the brand’s personality. Each step of the marketing campaign will be about promoting that brand.
Your brand will have a unique appearance and voice on social media. Your target audience will get to know this vibe, and they will get used to recognizing it. That’s the point you want to reach.
Build a Brand You Want to Maintain
Most of all, you have to be passionate about it. It’s not just another e-commerce store; it’s your online business. Hopefully, you’ll be dealing with it for a very long time. So build something you love and you don’t get bored of!
Cathy Baylis is a freelance content writer who works for an assignment help service. She specializes in personal growth, career development, leadership, and education. She loves sharing her interests with readers, and she has something to say, for sure. Writing is not only her hobby but profession at the same time.
Originally published at The Daily MBA.