Here’s the thing: your brand identity and how you create it matters – in a big way. It matters to your long-term eCommerce success, to conversion success, for increasing your repeat customer rates, and if you want to stand out from your biggest competitors. But where to start?
If you are looking for leading strategies on how to create a brand identity and take your eCommerce brand to expert status, you’ve come to the right place. But before we dive into our top 9 eCommerce branding strategies, let’s look at what brand identity is and why it is so important.
Branding is more than just your store logo or name. It’s a mix of feel, tone, and vibe – the voice of your brand. The voice you use to communicate to your specific customers through your products, marketing, policies, copywriting, content marketing, communication, checkout pages and flow, email marketing, the store’s look and feel, lifestyle and product pages, and your overall web presence.
It’s the ‘human’ voice and vibe of your brand, how your eCommerce store is perceived by your target audience, your store’s personality, your competitive advantage – and it’s the secret to growing a million-dollar eCommerce brand. This is something that Man Crates really gets. Here’s just a taste of their copy, product names, micro-copy, and product options.
Branding and identity are powerful tools, yet so many online stores put branding strategy at the bottom of their to-do lists in terms of time and budget. The thing is, without investing the effort and money into creating a robust and compelling brand identity, it is almost impossible to grow your business long-term.
In short, it’s the first impression a potential shopper is going to get – the way you connect with them throughout the buying process: speaking their language, and what drives them to not only convert once but become a loyal customer. AKA sustainable growth.
As powerful as it is, this growth doesn’t come easily. It is something that even experienced eCommerce entrepreneurs struggle with, as it’s not one tangible thing you can optimize and measure; it involves every aspect of your store. To help assess and upgrade your brand identity, here are 9 eCommerce branding strategies to implement.
eCommerce Branding Strategy #1: Get to Know Your Target Audience Inside and Out
It is easy to want to cast a wide net to drive eCommerce conversion rates. However, when creating a sound brand identity, you need to define your key target market and focus exclusively on them. It’s the building block to defining everything else. Additionally, it gives you a way to naturally resonate with potential shoppers; fully understand their needs, wants, and desires; and speak their language – everything needed for strengthening your eCommerce branding. In short, you can’t build your brand persona if you don’t fully understand who you’re building it for. Even if you did in-depth target market research before you started your online store, you need to continuously re-assess who your shoppers are and tweak your branding and customer journey messaging.
The Importance Of Website Design And How It Helps In Making Business Profitable
When it comes to highlighting your online presence, there are several things that you need to put into great consideration. What does this actually imply to online marketers? Basically, the act of establishing your online presence does not simply end by just creating a basic website for your business and/or company.
Most, if not all, websites have gained success through their online marketing efforts by incorporating the right SEO tactics and constantly feeding it with the right elements. It may not provide you with instantaneous positive outcomes, but in due time, it will surely make progress.
The Importance of Website Design
There are numerous factors that lead to a successful online presence. There are various ways to look at the whole standing of your website as well. But before going on any further, let’s focus first on one of the most basic elements that make up your online identity — your website design. How exactly important is it?
The design of your website can either make or break the business you are trying to deliver. It actually makes a difference on how your target audience views your business or company and potentially turn them into your customers. As such, developing a website design that has an impressive user interface will result in a much better conversion rate, which leads to better business and revenue.
How Website Design Becomes an Asset to Business
Although it can cost you a substantial amount of money, investing in a website design can generate an outstanding profit for your business. To ensure that your investment works according to your advantage, you must hire an efficient website designer who is capable of dealing with the following key points in designing a website:
This is essential especially when your website has so many pages. It basically includes a well-labeled navigation bar or a menu that shows a list of the different web pages. When the website navigation is developed well, users can easily explore and understand your website. It doesn’t need to have state of the art typefaces. Settle for a simple yet intuitive navigation that can make visitors come back for more.
Content and Visual Elements
These also include the choice of font and other typographic details. Such aspects of web design should go along together to deliver an accurate message to the audience. In most cases, readers tend to remember the message when it is concise and something that the readers can identify with.
However, overdoing these elements won’t bring any good to your website, Web pages with too much content will look messy and can affect conversion rates. How? Visually clutter pages may be difficult to read, resulting in disinterest in visitors and making them not wanting to come back.
To avoid that from happening, it is best to streamline the content wherein website designers can easily incorporate the text in their design. Moreover, designers are able to add negative or empty spaces that let the readers’ eyes rest in the middle of their reading.
Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors, and it is usually identified through a logo. If your business/company has a unique logo that is placed on all print materials, then all the logo’s elements must be integrated into the website design for the sake of consistency, get the best and most professional deals after checking out MIwebdesigns website prices.
It is very important for your target market to recognize your business brand in all types of medium. If for instance, there are slight changes in your brand and visual communication, then it can result in confusion among your customers and make them feel that there is something wrong with your business.
Web pages should have an exceptional layout so that they can appear more appealing to the users and make them want to engage with your page. It needs to feed people’s eyes because the truth is; this is where every engagement will begin. For this, the need of website design and development is an indispensable factor that should be measured carefully by every website owner.
What to Do: Shopper and Customer Analysis
To get a clear understanding of precisely who you are targeting and your existing customers, you will want to do a target audience analysis. Here are some expert tips to get you started:
Speak directly to your market by sending surveys to potential customers on your mailing lists, doing personal interviews with your most loyal customers, and conducting focus groups with potential customers who match your ideal customer specs.
Be as specific as possible when assessing personality/lifestyle. This means drilling down the finer details of your potential shoppers and existing customers, and includes attitudes, pain points, passions, and beliefs.
Create detailed customer profiles and potential customer market segments, including characteristics. Start with demographic data such as location, age, income, and occupation and then split by psychographic data such as interests, attitudes, lifestyle preferences, and hobbies.
Study your competitors’ marketing positioning, pricing, customer comments, communication on social media, and reviews.
eCommerce Branding Strategy #2: Lay a Strong Foundation with the Four Vs of Branding
The most essential elements of creating brand identity are the four Vs: they will set the tone and guidelines for every other aspect of your eCommerce brand and business. Think of them as the foundation or the four pillars your whole eCommerce business will stand on – the things that will influence other branding decisions. They are vision, voice, values, and variation and will help you keep every area of your eCommerce business focused. They are quite literally your roadmap to long-term branding and business success. Let’s look at each of them in detail.
Your brand vision is the major goal you have for your eCommerce business, and it’s how you set yourself up to attract customers. It may be time to review and redefine your business vision. You can do this by going back to the beginning and looking at what inspired you to launch your store in the first place – beyond the goal of making profits. Additionally, take a good look at your products. What pain or passion did you set out to solve with your products? How do your customers feel or what do they think long after they have bought and used your products?
Voice is one of the most important steps of defining and creating your brand. Just as it’s vital to determine who you are talking to, it’s equally important to decide how you will speak to them. It’s the personality of your brand; how your brand distinguishes itself from the competition and talks directly to customers. It should be consistent throughout your entire shopping journey and humanize your brand. Some examples include:
Fun and playful
As imperative as finding your brand voice is, it is so often overlooked. Here are steps you can follow to help you define your own eCommerce voice:
Review your mission statement and vision
Create a simple customer survey to determine how they see your brand and what they feel about your current tone
Search for common themes in your current messaging and tone, and ensure they fit your brand values, vision, and purpose
Ask yourself: If your brand was a person, what would it be like?
Do an in-depth study of your five most loyal customers
brand voice chart for ecommerce
Remember: your brand voice doesn’t need to be dramatic to be effective. Above all else, it should come across as authentic, not forced. Missguided, for example, manages to be a bit cheeky and rebellious (not in an over-the-top way) – which speaks to their younger target audience – across their site, product pages, shopping journey, customer service, and social media posts and replies.
The third V is values. Values are what your eCommerce business’s main priorities are, and should guide everything you do in your business. They take your target market, vision, and voice and clearly set out your brand ethos. See the ‘description’ section in the brand voice chart above; it has some good examples of how to define your eCommerce business’s values.
The last V is variation – what sets you apart from every other business. Is it price or exclusivity? Is it local, such as beach gear, or the first of its kind? Determining your variation will help with messaging across all the shopping stages of your store and marketing campaigns. Simply put, to find your distinguishing factor, ask yourself why a customer should buy your product instead of your closest competitor’s.
eCommerce Branding Strategy #3: Match Store Design to the Four Vs
Once you are sure you have a clear understanding of your values, variation, and vision, as well as a brand voice that embodies all of that, it’s time to ensure your eCommerce store’s visual branding matches them.
Let’s say your target market is female students who like the beach lifestyle. They are fun and playful, not looking for anything serious (corporate or political), and looking for affordable beachwear. Your brand voice is just that – fun and playful – and you’ve decided not to take yourselves (the brand) too seriously. If you are using colors and typography that don’t match that, or if your design is stuffy and suited to older professionals, you’re not only dramatically increasing the chances of your first impression bombing, but confusing potential shoppers. In short, you’ll be working much, much harder to get customers.
The three most important visual elements that help you translate your voice and values into images that are relatable to your audience include your logo, typography, and color. Here’s a short description of the importance of each:
Your logo is the visual face of your brand. It should be simple, memorable, and match your tone.
The colors you choose for your online store will elicit emotional responses. Therefore it is important that these emotional responses match your brand’s voice.
Your chosen typography (fonts) is another style element that plays a big part in the overall impression your online store gives.