Today I’m going to be covering how to create an e-commerce brand. There’s a fundamental difference in e-commerce —the difference between creating an e-commerce store and creating an e-commerce brand. A lot of inspiring entrepreneurs I talk with don’t understand why brand is important or even what the concept of brand is. A brand isn’t just your branding, it’s not just a name, a logo, or even a product. A brand only exists in someone’s mind. A brand is a perception created both via experience and association.
Why is It Important to Have a Brand
A brand is something that you can sell even if you no longer have any products or services to sell. If you have no equity in your name, something people believe in, buy into, and see value in, then you have no brand.
Think of an e-commerce store, first of all you need to find your niche concept. If you just want to make some money in the short term, go for it; run a store, make some sales, sell somebody else’s products. I get that, it’s more than fine but it’s just not what excites me. I want to build something longer-term and more sustainable. Then one day if I want to be able to sell it -not just for a sales multiple, I want to be able to create the brand equity and goodwill that will skyrocket the valuation of my company. So if you like me and you want that, you’ll need to consider to create an e-commerce brand.
How to Create an E-commerce Brand
What a good starting point the e-commerce startups is when they’re thinking about brand. Not all businesses need a full brand strategy, what businesses do need is a clear idea of What, Why, and How they’re doing.
Any great business is defined by ideas and action plans and these need to be as succinct and distinct as possible.
- Designed to be short enough to be understood easily
- Sharp enough to clearly differentiate your business from the market
- Fluid enough to include whatever might be pertinent for your business.
The Four V’s to Create an E-commerce Brand
Personally when I think about creating a brand, I always start with the four V’s —your brand Vision, Values, Voice and Visuals. And the way there’s need to be communicated needs to be consistent and create a connection with your target audience. The end goal is to build a memorable and long lasting relationship with your customer.So in terms of it for these let’s quickly cover how we can go about determining means for your brand.
Your brand vision is what your business aspires to achieve beyond your bottom line. You should be proud enough to share this with everyone —shareholders, employees, and consumers alike.
Remember that your product should be the solution to a problem, so think back to the problem that your product was solving in the first place. For example, your brand might be a be usable coffee cup, and the problem your brand is solving could be the waste caused by everyday disposable items and the damage that causes to our shared environment. So your brand vision could be to encourage the use of reusable items to reduce the waste caused by everyday disposable items and protect our shared environment for future generations.
When it comes to determining your brand values, have a think about what’s truly important to you as a founder your brand and your audience. Your brand values like the core of your culture. Staying on theme with our reusable copy cup example these values could revolve around the environment, transparency, and the customer for example.
I particularly love Warby Parker’s core values which include:
- Treating others the way that you’d like to be treated
- Creating a working environment where employees can think big, have fun, and do good
- Serving the community
So, do your research around other brands you love and see what resonates with you most strongly.
When it comes to create your e-commerce brand’s tone of voice, I’d start with your brand’s personality. Every brand has a personality. If it doesn’t have a personality, it’s not a brand it’s just a logo.
There are 12 brand archetypes from the Jester to the lover, to the creator, to the explorer. Do your research around these archetypes and pick one to truthy a brand should embody. Among other things this will help guide and direct the tone of voice for your brand.
This is where your logo, typography or fonts, colors, packaging, and visual branded content come into play. A couple of great places to start when creating a brand, a 99 designs or Canva. So do some research around these tools, otherwise you can always work one-on-one with a graphic designer or a branding agencies.
Brand Positioning and Creating a UVP
One last thing I’d like to touch on before we finish up is your brand positioning and creating a unique value proposition (UVP). These are a really important way to differentiate your brand from a sea of others on the market. Your brand positioning can be seen as the way in which you design your company’s offering to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of your target audience. One great way to think about this is through creating a unique value proposition.
This is a single clear compelling message that states why you’re different worth buying. So find your point of difference within the market and articulate exactly what that is to your target audience. Again here what you want to think about is the problem that your brand is solving and how you can solve it in a different way. Some areas where you can highlight your point a difference are —your product design, function, price, and time that it’s available.
So when it comes to design, some trends to look at could be personalization or customization trends like adding your customers initials to your design.
When it comes to changing the functionality of the product you want to solve an existing customer pain point with that product. So for example, if you drop your iPhone a lot; a protective phone case. Or if you take a lot of selfies; a case that creates the perfect lighting.
When it comes to price, you want to consider whether you’re going for a lower direct to consumer price point which is more accessible to the masses, or a more exclusive higher price point. Consider how your brand is different, and how to communicate this with your target audience.
So that’s a quick intro in how to create an e-commerce brand. Thanks for reading, and if you find it helpful please don’t forget to share with your entrepreneur friends.