Consumers these days are overwhelmed with options—whether it’s for a new series to binge-watch, a different hair product to try, or a fresh kind of coffee, they have endless potential choices. But it’s clear that it takes more than just an effective product for an ecommerce brand to succeed.
A number of things can help set a brand apart from its competitors—quality products, a top-notch customer experience, and consistent value, to name a few. Though these components are essential, you have to hone in on your “why” to evolve your brand and take your impact to the next level.
Why does a why matter?
Your “why” is the glue that holds all the moving pieces together. It helps refine your messaging and voice so that you can share your story and products with the world. Knowing your “why” enables you to connect with your customers on a deeper level and form lasting relationships.
Creates your brand
As we’ve mentioned, your “why” is the glue, the common thread that ties everything in your brand together. It’s also the foundation for building your brand. Being clear on your purpose and vision helps you map out and develop cohesive elements.
For example, Keap Candles was created with the intention to help people reconnect with themselves and restore balance with nature. They make zero-waste candles using biodegradable materials for everything from labels to packaging, and reusable candle holders. Consumers easily connect with Keap’s “why”—to bring more stillness, mindfulness, and peace to daily life, and to build a regenerative business that benefits the planet for years to come.
Keap has built an engaging, human brand centered around their “why.” With their candle subscription, customers are taken on a scent journey throughout the year. Every month, customers receive candles inspired by seasonal elements, along with original poems and stories related to the month’s scent. Keap also creates limited edition seasonal art for their subscribers. Their “why” has helped them create a wealth of value and inspiration for customers.
Establishes consumer trust
Customers can connect with a purpose-driven “why,” whether it’s to save them time with a convenient solution or offer them a higher-quality product—having a clear “why” invites your customers in your door and builds trust through the support of shared values.
Bumpin Blends makes superfood smoothie cubes to support everyday symptoms, like fatigue or indigestion. While pregnant, Lisa Mastela realized that there needed to be a simpler way to get the benefits of smoothies. She decided to help other women meet their nutritional needs and nurture their day-to-day symptoms in an easy, fast, and delicious way. Their brand is focused on accessibility—bringing dietitian-designed smoothies to people’s doors and promoting health and wellness through simple, widely available ingredients. For something as personal as what they put in their body, customers need a brand they can trust.
Helps organize internally
In addition to helping you communicate your brand externally, it can also help your processes internally. Your “why” can function as a North Star for employees, helping everyone get on track towards the same goals and stay aligned with the same vision. It can also help create a strong work culture, by attracting people with shared values and promoting them in the workplace.
Incentivizes customers to support
Finally, having a clear “why” can make supporting your brand more attractive to customers. In fact, a recent survey showed that 72% of U.S. customers believe it is “more important than ever” to buy from companies that reflect their values. The face of commerce is changing, with more people preferring to have meaningful relationships with the brands they support, and expecting brands to demonstrate equity and welfare in their leadership.
Who Gives A Crap makes premium bamboo and 100% recycled toilet paper. The founders created the company after learning that 2.4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet and around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and delivering their first product in 2013, their toilet paper is now in bathrooms across the country. They donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
Ecommerce has changed how brands need to show up and has created a new paradigm for commerce—one that helps build real connections, a regenerative economy, and more sustainable practices. Subscriptions are a major piece of this new landscape. They create a long-term, lasting relationship between the brand and the customer, help cut down on waste, and develop more eco-friendly routines.
As you continue to refine your brand, from your processes to your marketing, remember to come back to your own origin story—your “why” will help guide you on the path to creating meaning, impact, and success.