You want them to buy from you.
You want them to notice you.
You want them to talk about you.
But have you done enough to make sure they know who you are?
Probably not. Most businesses don’t take branding seriously.
Is it time to give up already? No way!
Building a brand is one business investment that will rarely let you down. It’s also never too late to start doing it. The problem is – most of us don’t really know where to start. Hiring branding experts and marketing gurus helps – but not everyone can afford it (and, honestly, it’s a little difficult to spare that kinda cash when you’re starting out).
But that’s another story. In this post, we’ll be discussing what branding is, why your business needs it and what the basics of business branding are – without any unnecessary business jargon.
What Is Branding?
This is where much of the confusion begins.
Three points to note here:
See how the branding works on all levels – quality, reliability and trust . It’s really that straightforward. All great brands do it – and so should you.
But Why? Do I Really Need Branding At This Stage?
Yes, you probably do.
So, let’s get the common ‘I can’t afford branding at this stage’ misconception out of the way.
Here’s Why Your Business Needs Branding:
- Branding helps you stand out. Nobody wants to buy from a ‘nobody’. I know it sounds like a truism – I also know that most young/small businesses DON’T do anything about branding despite being aware of its importance!
- People love brands. Even if your brand is a million miles away from being ‘recognisable’, just creating a perception of branding helps. Here’s a gem of a stat: 60% of retail customers prefer to make repeat purchases (= brand loyalty). 90% of such customers admit to being influenced by branding. (Source).
- Here’s something I’ve found the hard way working with hundreds of Amazon sellers of all sizes, operating in pretty much every competitive niche you can think of. Good branding (and good ‘perception’) tears down, destroys, literally annihilates many conversion barriers. If they know and trust your brand, here’s what happens: They don’t need to be convinced (takes out the copywriting barriers), they don’t need to be assured (takes out the trust barrier) and they don’t need to be provoked (takes down the call to action barrier). Instead of “Maybe I should look around if there’s something better”, you push your customers towards “Take my money, already”. To me, that is the Best. Thing. Ever.
- Branding = online gold. Google loves brands – because people love brands. Brands get higher organic rankings, better click-through rates, more social media engagement and best ROIs on ads. Brands need fewer backlinks to rank (and they get way more than you do without even trying). Their domain authority is through the roof – they’ve got it all figured out. It’s unreasonable, even unfair. But that’s how it is. If you want to clock better organic rankings, you need to work on your brand. This applies for all sales channels including e-commerce, especially Amazon. If you’ve got a brand that sells, you get better engagement, higher CTR and more positive reviews. You tick most boxes required to rank higher in Amazon. This is something that we use incredibly effectively in our Amazon product ranking offerings. To know more about how we’ve ranked hundreds of products using home-grown, result-oriented processes, view our case studies here.
- Branding → Marketing → Branding. It’s a cycle. You market a brand and eventually the brand markets for you. Branding helps you get better ROIs on marketing campaigns – a dream come true for every marketer.
To sum it up, branding helps new customers find you (inbound flow > outbound marketing), makes people return to you again and again, pushes your online presence up a few notches and, in general, boosts your bottom line in every way imaginable.
How to Create a Brand from the Scratch?
Before we get the basics of creating a brand, let me clarify another misconception:
To build a brand from the ground-up means creating an eco-system of ideas, values, vision and identity. Let’s now see how these building blocks of branding work.
1. The Idea
Alright, so what’s the point of your business?
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Ideally, you are already aware of what the driving force is for your business. And, please, don’t be too hard on yourself – not every business needs to disrupt the marketplace. You don’t always have to invent stuff – just doing the same thing better can be a great idea in itself.
- What makes your business unique? How do you separate yourself from others (assuming dozens of other businesses are doing the same thing)?
- What do your products bring to the table? New features? Better performance? Value for money? What’s the story here?
- Have you identified opportunities in the market? Price gaps? Availability gaps? Performance gaps? How does your business make the most of these?
2. The Vision
Another field many small businesses have no clue about.
I can personally relate to this. I’ve been an entrepreneur for some years now, founding companies that now form a perfect digital marketing umbrella. But when I started out – I probably didn’t have this in mind. All I wanted to do was keep doing what I love. Now I know where I want my businesses to be in the 2, 5 and even 10 years.
Having a vision feeds your branding. It may not be that important to your customers – but it’s extremely important to you.
Ask yourself these questions real quick, you’ll get an idea:
- How do I want to achieve the goals set by the business idea?
- How do I communicate to others my plans for the future? What does it mean for the business idea?
- If the idea changes, how does it affect my customers?
- What’s the futuristic take? Is my business flexible enough to adapt?
3. The Identity
Branding is essentially an intangible thing.
The identity makes it real.
It’s all about giving your brand a personality – something people can instantly recognise.
Here are some basic requirements that the brand identity needs to fulfil:
Stay consistent across every medium/channel you can think of.
This applies especially to the visual aspects of your branding. From the logo to social media headers, the way your brand ‘appears’ should be unique, recognisable and consistent.
If you’re selling on Amazon, the images and copywriting style you use should be similar to the ones you’re using on other channels. Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice rankings in the process – so be careful not to go overboard with branding where it doesn’t matter much.
Speaking of rankings, here’s how we – at AmazonSEOConsultant – achieve consistently high Amazon rankings for products across categories and regions. Our processes are customised to fit your branding mission with an aim to explode sales. If you feel like this is something your products could benefit from, you will find more information on how we are able to boost the rank and profits of any Amazon product, as well as some example pricing packages here.
As a business, you can’t afford to be rigid. The image above show how the Coke bottle has evolved over decades.
Just like business models, branding ideas need to be flexible. This is something that you need to think about before you actually get on with brand positioning.
Connection with Products/Services
Branding should always be a reminder of what your business is good at.
It makes no sense to create great looking branding materials that don’t really establish a connection with your products/services. The image above shows a branding campaign for a seafood restaurant. Notice how each detail is subtly connected to seafood and other menu items.
Unfortunately, ‘values’ and ‘ethics’ are something new businesses don’t think much about.
I can’t tell you how many businesses we’ve come across that had absolutely no idea what they stand for. A common way to deal with these roadblocks is to create a generic statement of values and ethics – a big mistake.
Brand Marketing: When You Need It and When You Don’t
I’ll say this first up – it depends entirely on what your budget is.
If you hire third-party branding agencies, you’re going to have to shell out a good deal of money. If you can’t afford that, stick to the basics that we have discussed so far.
Creating a Brand Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought – Even for Small Businesses
Whether you’re a just-starting-out Amazon seller or a business trying to reach an international audience, branding your business is just as important from every point of view.
Being a leading Amazon marketing and sales consultant, we – at AmazonSEOConsultant – know how to make Amazon work for sellers. Through our original, proven processes, we help our clients rank hundreds of products, bringing in millions of dollars in additional revenue for them. To learn more about how we can rank your products and view packages, check out our unique ranking process.
If you would rather handle things yourself but would still benefit from some of our knowledge, we do also provide consultancy services from time to time.