Many people apart from advertising and marketing, have an understanding of E-commerce branding as a mere logo and a little more. However, branding, in fact, is so much more than that.
When I started marketing in e-commerce, I too had very little knowledge about E-commerce brand building. It’s not your logo, your name or the marketing strategy. Branding is a place rather perception which you create in people’s mind.
Branding is not something which we can see, but what we feel. What your customers feel and think about your brand, now that is the branding.
Your brand is what differentiates you from others.
Great branding is the most powerful competitive advantage a company can have. People purchase because of the emotional connection they have with you.
“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz
Find your competitive advantage
There are many factors which contribute to an e-commerce sale. Identify the most potent element which you master, and your competitors don’t.
There is three primary source of competitive advantage.
- Customer experience
As an entrepreneur, you must pick one advantage and become exceptionally good at it. Don’t try to be all things; it is risky.
Make sure, what competitive advantage you are going to provide, market value and is willing to pay for that.
Tell your story
The emotions driven by your brand help you to achieve the distinct identity online. People love to listen to the story. It helps to build strong and deeper bond with your audience.
Once target customers feel emotionally connected, they become your loyal audience.
Many retailers make a mistake of focusing only on the selling of their products online.
Products, pricing, promotion, delivery are critical factors to success. However, sellers often miss the importance of emotional connection with their audience.
Include your story in your branding efforts. Look for stories in your customer’s needs and tie your products with a right emotion.
What exactly is a brand?
Before we dig deep into guidelines for building your brand, let’s have a clear understanding of what actually a brand is and what it can do if make successfully.
Most people do not understand what a brand is! For them, the brand is the logo, the colors; however, these elements are just a tiny part of the overall brand.
According to Seth Godin, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Every business has a brand, but how you present your brand, its value, that is what differentiate you from others.
Any brand is basically made up of two major elements. Personality and looks.
Let’s understand each of the brand components in detail.
Brand personality (Brand persona):
The brand becomes a personality of your company when people start getting attached to it.
Basically, brand personality can be further divided into five categories. Alternatively, you can say there are five traits of the brand persona.
A brand personality is a set of human traits that you attach to it while marketing your business and its products.
Remember that people are more likely to make a purchase when your brand persona is similar to their own or something which inspires and motivates them.
Marketing activities, customer interactions, product presentation, photography, website design, social media activities are the touch points where you can reflect your brand persona.
Another aspect which creates your brand persona is the mission statement. Your mission statement is the reason for your company’s existence. The purpose of Your mission statement is to provide a path and guidance for strategic decision-making.
Your visual identity is primarily the reflection of your company. Make sure that your brand visual goes in line with what you speak and write.
Things to consider to create a strong visual identity.
#1. Be consistent with your color scheme.
#2. Choose a font that matches with your brand personality.
Identify the color pallet:
Understand the meaning of color for your brand. Before jumping into a color selection, it is advisable to review the purpose of different colors.
Read more about The meaning of colors and what emotion they represent.
Choosing the right color palette is crucial because it helps people to identify your brand.
A color pallet can be decided by considering the images and elements that visually represents your identity. You can consider taking 7 to 10 elements to create a mood board to find a perfect color pallet.
You can choose from the full range of color pallet from Adobe Color.
0 to 255: A tool where you can find variations of any color.
Design your logo:
A logo is a powerful asset to your brand. Your logo is primarily the face of your brand. Remember, creating the logo is much more than just graphic design.
Guidelines to follow while designing an effective logo
#1. The goal is recognition
#2. Workout your initial thought on a paper
#3. Maintain a balance between colors, graphics and size.
#4. Don’t use colors that are so bright and are hard on the eyes.
#5. Try out different color combinations.
#6. consider a custom font for your design.
#7. Keep it simple. Brainstorm and generate ideas
#8. Use other logos for inspirations ONLY!
Before you create one, first understand what a good logo is?
A good logo is distinctive, simple, memorable and conveys your brand’s message.
Essentially you need to choose two to three fonts for different sections of your website and graphics.
Some do’s and don’ts while selecting typography for your website and branding material.
#1. Be reasonable with your font size. It should be readable and visible
#2. It is advisable not to use too many different fonts on a single page.
#3. Give enough space between two lines
#4. Avoid all caps
#5. Avoid big paragraphs
#6. Keep it justified
To know further, read this excellent article on what font should I use?
Tone of communication
The tone of voice for your brand is as essential as other aspects. It is often the most overlooked aspect of branding.
How can you get it right?
Basically, a tone of communication is not what you say but how you say it.
Your brand voice communicates – The company’s value, brand identity and its say in the market.
Giving your brand a voice that helps to create and improve trustworthiness and honestly.
It is essential for you to define how you want your brand to be perceived.
How to create an appealing brand voice?
– Your brand voice should represent its personality
– Use vocabulary that can be understood
– Know your customers
– It’s not only for you but for your customers too!
Once you figure out your brand’s tone of voice, you can start implementing it in various area of your business and brand touchpoints. It is essential to be consistent and clear about your brand’s objectives to get it reflected in its voice.
Discovering your brand’s voice is not an easy job. It takes a right amount of time, so don’t be in a rush.
A brand’s voice is something which exists in your internal company culture and also affects your brand experience that your customers have.
Good quality images by a professional photographer have the power to capture the attention your business deserves!
They have the ability to demonstrate the heart and soul of your company, its values and vision.
Photography plays a vital role in visual branding for business to survive in today’s economy. It helps your brand to be instantly recognizable.
You can achieve this by establishing guidelines for visual aspects for your brand on each platform, i.e. your company website, marketing and social media activities, advertisements and so on.
By doing this, your audience will recognize you quickly, in every context.
Let’s understand how do you create a style?
By seeking consistency.
Think about your brand and its core attributes. Replicate them in your photography.
Decide the values which you want to convey. Is it Trust? Expertise? Friendliness? Richness?
If you decide to focus on people shots, maintain the consistency in lighting, background, the attitude on the model’s face etc.
This will give the images an exciting and consistent look.
Here, when I say consistency, that doesn’t mean “sameness”. No one wants to see the same images over and over. There should be recognizable similarities between photos.
Position yourself uniquely
Brand positioning is positioning your brand in customers’ mind. What they think about your brand.
Brand positioning takes place whether or not you are proactively making efforts. However, if you take an intelligent approach and forward-looking approach, your brand can positively influence your customers.
Is the tagline for a brand is the positioning statement?
No. It is not. Many entrepreneurs confuse brand’s tagline with its positioning statement.
Brands come to life over and above the functional benefits they offer.
A brand that connects emotionally with people is more likely to have a longer life and harder to copy.
Create an experience-driven image to share a strong emotional bond with your customers. The experience-driven approach helps your customers in decision making.
Communication is the primary vehicle to hold a strong customer consideration.
Build stories and create an experience around it.
Avoid jargons and complex words. Keep it simple yet different.
Incorporate your customers’ point of view.
Every business has an identity. However, what turns your business into a brand.
A brand’s strength is built upon its determination to promote its own distinctive characteristics and values.
We as an entrepreneur, many a time, limit our branding strategies to just logo and color combination, but branding is beyond that.
There is one thing that you can bring on a table is, your unique perspective.
Of course, all of the above are useful strategies, but to apply this, first determine who you are, what you have to offer and what your audience needs.