Think of a brand, any brand. From Nike, to Netflix, Apple, Google… the list goes on. There’s always something very distinctive about each brand that not only gets them instantly recognised but also makes them memorable. Good brands have the ability to influence your decisions, become a topic of conversation in our everyday lives, and even build communities of like-minded individuals. And if you’ve dipped your toe in the ocean of eCommerce, it’s important to know that, yes, branding is just as crucial for an online store as a traditional one.
You might have embarked on your maiden Shopify store voyage thinking that all you needed to establish yourself was an awesome name, a cool logo and a domain set up and you’d be good to go. Correct?
The fact of the matter is, all those things are pretty easy to come by and aren’t going to be the things that keep you on the lips of customers. Whilst your business name and design elements are an important part of branding in that they help define your company’s look and feel, branding is also, and more importantly, a strategy that communicates your story, vision and mission to your customers, making them want to engage with you and ensures consistency across all channels.
The power of a good brand is limitless and here are a couple of reasons why we think it’s essential:
1. Branding gets you recognised
If you look at yourself in the mirror, there are certain features that make you distinguishable from those around you. It’s why your old high school teacher recognises you years later when you walk down the street. Your appearance serves as your “face” – and the same goes for businesses. People easily recognise certain companies because of things like their logo, colour scheme and business name. Giving your company a distinctive character and a level of "recognition" that sets you apart from the crowd is what branding is all about.
2. Branding builds trust
Ever heard the saying, “Don’t meet your heroes”? To a certain extent, in the branding world, this sentiment holds true. Imagine people telling you about a certain product offered by a company, painting a certain picture of them that sparks your interest so much you go looking for them. But your search only leaves you with more questions as that brand doesn't seem to have any sort of "identity" and you begin to doubt its legitimacy. This is where good branding comes to the rescue, showing potential customers that you are as good as everyone says you are, boosting reliability and giving people that last push they need to purchase from you.
3. Branding goes hand-in-hand with advertising and marketing
All-day every day, people are bombarded with information, especially those who spend the majority of their time online. All across the internet and social media platforms, thousands of advertisements pop up in front of people’s faces and so many of them, for the same thing. You might find that your service or product competes with a plethora of others exactly the same as yours. This is where a good branding strategy will work strongly in your favour – making sure that your ad is the one that customers remember. Not only is branding the key that unlocks the memory box in your potential customers’ minds, but it’s also the glue that keeps you there!
4. Branding expands your customer base
Who’s going to talk about you if you have really bad branding? Developing a powerful brand is what you need to get people talking about what you have to offer. It’s also what keeps you front-of-mind and inspires conversations amongst customers regarding your product or service, your mission, story, and the journey you take customers on. These kinds of conversations are what prick the ears of other potential buyers and get you more and more customers!
5. Branding inspires employees
Whether you’re running your Shopify store solely on your own or with the help of a bustling team, you need the motivation to keep going. This is where branding becomes invaluable. See it as a tool to remind yourself of the reasons you began your store and provide yourself, your team, and even your consumers a reason to believe in what you're doing.
What goes into a branding strategy?
A lot goes into developing a clear brand identity for your company. Here are some essential things you should consider when building a brand strategy:
1. Make sure you know who it is you're talking to
To begin with, you need to know your audience when creating a branding strategy. Take note of who they are, what they do, where they’re located, what they're looking for, what influences their purchase decisions, what appeals to them the most, and what brands they’re already engaging with. The more data you can gather, the more accurately you can steer your eCommerce branding approach.
2. Define your brand persona
A brand persona is essentially the perception you want people to have of your business. This is largely influenced by the type of product or service you are offering and the experience you are providing your customers. Your brand persona also includes the language and tone of voice implemented across various channels, what kind of content you’re producing, imagery associated with your brand, and what you’re promising your customers, among other things.
3. Identify your brand value
Unique value propositions that leave strong impressions are essential. You're more likely to capture the customer's attention when you make a clear statement that makes them aware of the value of your product or service. Decide what value or benefit your brand is offering to the marketplace and remember that you can always improve or add to your brand promise. However, when you first start out, be honest with your clients so they understand what they can expect from you.
4. Make sure you have some awesome visual assets
One of the most important things to remember about eCommerce customers is that they rely primarily on imagery when deciding whether or not to purchase a product. This is because, unlike traditional stores, these customers don’t have the opportunity to see and feel what they’re interested in purchasing. So, in order to turn potential buyers into happy customers, your brand needs to have strong visual assets in place.
From the layout of your Shopify store, the typefaces and typography used, the colour scheme, the logo, the visual effects and presets applied to photographs and videos, to the packaging that the customer will finally get. Everything must be defined in order to nail consistency and clinch customers.
5. Tell people what you stand for
This is one of the most important ways of making sure customers interact with your brand by sharing your story, what you stand for and what causes you support. Include your vision and purpose so that people are aware of what guides you as a company, the inspiration for its founding, and how all of this means they will ultimately benefit from it in the future.
Look around you.
If you decided right this instant that you wanted to buy something, you’d not struggle for options from which to purchase– at all. Chances are there’ll be at least 20 different brands all offering the same product, and all easily within reach, thanks to eCommerce merchants just like you who establish their brands online.
This is great for today’s shoppers, as it’s become so simple to locate the things they want and compare pricing on items. But for online businesses, it means they face more competition than ever before, and developing a strong branding strategy is the only way to stand out from the crowd and win over customers.
Are you wanting to develop an eCommerce branding/rebranding strategy and not sure where to start? Let us help you!
In order to set your Shopify store up for success, our team will collaborate with you on your rebranding strategy and help improve and grow your business.