Branding

The Essentials of eCommerce Branding

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In today’s business world, branding is an absolute necessity for any eCommerce company looking to succeed in the long-term. When a company does not implement efficient branding strategies, they put themselves at risk of being lost in the sea of other businesses delivering a product or service similar to their own.

 

When we think of branding, we typically think of colorful logos and catchy phrases which represent our favorite companies and their products, but branding goes beyond a company’s visual identity. In fact, the visual identity of a company should only play a small role in branding, as this should only be used to represent what the company truly stands for – and a company’s beliefs and goals form the very core of their brand.

 

There are three main parts of branding seen in most well-branded companies:

 

  • VALUE – Customers ultimately choose one company over the other based on what they are being offered from each. This deciding factor may vary from person to person, but ultimately a company must present some factor or story that presents customers with a sense of value, encouraging them to work with your business rather than competitors.
  • VISUAL SYMBOLS – This is what most people think of when they think of branding, as visual symbols deliver the story of a brand in a way that sticks in the minds of the audience. Logos and color palettes make up a major portion of the visual symbols associated with a company, and play an important role in the ultimate success of a business.
  • GROWTH – Every well-branded company has the plan and the means to grow using their company story and visual symbols. A beautiful logo means little when it is not shared with the right audience, making it crucial that companies implement the right growth strategies to share their branding with the world.

 

 

Each of these three factors of branding must be paid careful consideration, and each play a vital role in the success of a company.

 

Branding begins with the company’s story, essentially telling their audience the reasons why they should choose Company A over Company B. Some examples of excellent story branding include companies like TOMS, a shoe manufacturer that donates a portion of each sale to charity. While the shoes are expensive, customers believe part of their sale is helping those in need, further encouraging them to make a purchase from this company. This is a major part of branding, as a company’s story should be the first thing that comes to mind when customers hear their name.

 

A great company story must be paired with beautiful and memorable visual symbols, as these are what will be recognized by customers in the long run. While companies such as Nike promote excellence in athletics as part of their branding strategy, their logo has become an essential part of American pop culture, and helps to promote the brand by simply being memorable.

 

Memorable logos cannot be created scientifically, but are rather the result of creativity and an understanding of your audience. Think of companies that you believe are well-branded, and take note of what sticks out about their visual representation. There is no way to replicate visual representation entirely without stealing content, however drawing inspiration from the success of others is an excellent way to begin branding yourself efficiently and effectively.  

 

Once a company story and logo have been created, it’s time to market this to the right audience in order to establish these features as a brand. While the other two factors are very important, marketing a brand is what really gives a company the success they seek.

 

Having the right branding strategy is essential, and can be done using a number of resources. Social media is one of the best places to get started with your brand strategy, as these platforms offer both free and paid reach to your target audience. In addition, you can see feedback from customers about your branding endeavors using the comments and feedback features of social media, allowing you to determine what works and what doesn’t as you grow as a business.

 

Branding is an umbrella term that covers many different aspects of marketing, but by implementing the three essential factors above, you can ensure that you are on the right path to effectively branding your eCommerce company.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.

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