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Brand

4 Ecommerce Branding Strategies Every Entrepreneur Must Know

While ecommerce becomes more and more competitive, entrepreneurs are in need of understanding the best brand strategies that are used by the top brands in the world to compete in this ever changing and ever competitive world of ecommerce.

In this article we will explore what the most common brand strategies are and why they are used by the big brands. 

First, most entrepreneurs don’t understand what branding is. They think it is a logo or some color palette applied to your website, business cards, etc. But in order to understand these brand strategies you must first understand fully what a brand or branding actually is, which is much more than just a logo.

Marty Neumeier Quote

Understanding thisis far more important than understanding how to market your products. Because marketing cannot exist without the first having branding. Both coexist in a delicate yet expandable circle of life, but branding is the first step. 

As an example when flying, the airplane will be marketing, but knowing you will land safely is branding. If you had distrust on whether or not you will make it safely, then you wouldn’t get in the airplane. And thus no one will buy tickets and so the company cannot exist. 

Another example of branding is how people choose to consume a drink that has 44 g of sugar per can and tons of chemicals to create an artificial flavor and zero health benefits yet it is consumed everywhere all year long with a brand valued at $83 Billion. I am talking about Coca-Cola. Well, this is because Coca Cola is happiness and creates a satisfaction to being thirsty. 

Coca Cola is nothing other than what people say it is. 

This is how things as simple as a drink can become a Fortune 500 company. 

So now, you got a brand and are now trying to figure out ways to expand your reach, to understand powerful brand strategies that can help you in your journey to becoming more successful. Well look no further, here are 4 main strategies that will make your brand’s reach go much further. 

Multi-Product  / Line Extension  

As the name states, this is when a company has multiple products that are covered under the umbrella of this same brand. 

Brand line extension or product line extension is beneficial especially when products are related to one another. 

Let’s look at a good example of a well-known mainstream cleaning brand such as Clorox. 

Colors Bottle

They have a huge variety of products within this brand. But all products have one purpose in common: cleaning and disinfecting. 

Clorox Products

When brands have a common product line theme they are likely to gain recognition. They niche down to one specific purpose, their brand strategy is clear, their message is simple and they are easy to gain recognition.

The benefits of brand product line extension is on brand equity return, lower promotion costs and growing brand awareness. 

Brand Extension 

The brand extension strategy also known as brand stretching is a marketing strategy in which a known brand enters a whole new market using the same brand. Brands use this strategy to increase and leverage brand equity (defined as the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.)

Product line extension adds equity in a product line’s depth whereas brand extension adds equity in a brand’s reach. 

Brand Strategy

An example of a Brand Extension will be Canon. A well known company that makes cameras. But they created a Brand Extension to printers. 

canon printer and camera

When this is done incorrectly it can stretch a brand very thin. An example of this is Sony.  

Movies

It used to be that Sony was known for one thing: a good brand for TVs and certain electronics. But now Sony uses its brand on most of its products: from electronics, to music, video games consoles, financial services, professional solutions, movies, music, etc. So if I were to ask you today, think of Sony and tell me what comes to mind. If you are a millennial, perhaps TVs and some electronics, but if you are a Gen Z or Gen Alpha perhaps you can’t really pin point one thing or perhaps each will have a different idea. 

Sorry Sony, you need to rethink your brand strategy.

Multi-brand

Multi-branding is a marketing strategy which is used for different purposes. One is to launch multiple brands which target the same market competing with each other. 

Example of this is Crest and Oral-B belong to the same parent company: P&G. By having 2 different brands owned by the same company competing in the same market they limit the possibility of any further competitors. 

VW brands

Another reason for multi-branding will be in the car industry where each car carries their own brand names. For example Volkswagen owns not only their line of cars but also Audi, Ferrari, Bugatti, etc. All cars do the same (they will drive you from point A to point B). Some will do it faster and in a more luxury ecosystem.  Each Volkswagen sub-brand targets a different type of public: those who like sports, those who like luxury, those who like sedans or SUVs, etc. In this way, Volkswagen is literally targeting every possible subdivision within the car market. 

 

New Brand 

What happens when a brand that has created a wide variety of products and even brand extensions but wants to extend their reach to other markets? They create a new brand which is then controlled by a Parent Company. This is by far the most costly brand strategy since this means high costs on advertising and marketing to get the brand off the ground.  

For example, everyone or mostly everyone loves ranch dressing. And the favorite ranch dressing is from Hidden Valley who created this recipe in the 1950s. 

Hidden Valley Ranch

They have a wide variety of products which all have something in common: ranch dressing and some variation of the same flavor.

ranch dressings

But did you know that Clorox and Hidden Valley ranch dressing are cousins? They both are controlled by the same parent company: The Clorox Company. 

The Clorox Company has actually many brands: Burt’s Bees, Natural Vitality, Hidden Valley, Pine Sol, etc.

Again, how can you market ranch dressing, potent disinfectants and a baby/beauty product line in the same company? 

Having new brands is a common approach for large companies or for growing companies who want to enter into different markets.

However, large corporations nowadays, instead of starting something new, just acquire other brands and add them as part of their line. For example Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017. Disney acquiring Pixar in 2006, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012.

Thanks for reading this article. Please share with anyone that is looking to create a real brand that can stand on its own.

Principium Studio is a branding agency with over 5 years of experience in the ecommerce world. We have launched hundreds of brands successfully (including 7+8-figure sellers) and we love to take on new challenges!

Categories
Amazon Listing Brand Conversion

Amazon Listing Optimization Tips 2021 – Visual Elements


What is Amazon Listing Optimization?

If you are an Amazon seller, at some point or another you will find yourself needing to optimize one or more product listings. Having worked with some of the top brands on Amazon we always are gaining better insight of what is working and what isn’t working.

Amazon listing optimization is the process of improving one or more elements of your product’s listing.

A product listing can be broken down into 3 different categories:

  1. Keywords: product title, description, search terms.
  2. Visuals: branding, images, infographics, videos.
  3. Reviews: this includes ratings, questions and answers.

While each category is key to make your Amazon listing attract consumers and convert well, we will focus in this article on the visual elements. Why? Because this is what we specialize on and know this area much better than most people out there.

First let’s take each element of the visuals and explain what Amazon expects your listing to have. This will include our recommendations to optimize your listing and make it high-converting and visually attractive.

Main Image

Amazon Spatulas

The first point is to ensure your Amazon listing images comply with Amazon’s Terms of Service. Failure to do so will result in your product getting suppressed. Here is what Amazon says on their website.

– The image must be the cover art or a professional photograph of the product being sold.

– Drawings or illustrations of the product are not allowed.

– The image must be clear and must not contain gratuitous or confusing additional objects.

– The image should be professionally lit, with a realistic color.

– The product should fill 85% of the image frame.

– The full product must be in frame.

– The background should be pure white.

– The image must not contain any additional text, or graphics. 

– Since this is usually the main reason why listings get suppressed, we recommend following these rules by the book.

TIPS:

The product should always have the exact color, size and scale your product has. This is so crucial that when this is not done properly it will result in angry customers and bad reviews.

Amazon Spatulas All Colors

If your product cannot be differentiated by color, shape or characteristics, a good way to make it stand out is by adding the the product package (provided your package design is appealing).

Amazon Spatula Package

Look at the competition and study what angles or arrangement could make your product stand out better.

Amazon Spatulas with different angle

Try to arrange your product so its at the same level as the title of your listing next to it. It doesn’t just flow better but we have tested this and it always has a better CTR.

If your product is a bundle or has several elements, highlight the most important part of the bundle by making it bigger than the rest.

Inside Images

Amazon requires the following points:

– The image must be of, or pertain to, the product being sold.

– The image must be in focus, professionally lit and photographed or scanned, with realistic color, and smooth edges.

– Other products or objects are allowed to help demonstrate the use or scale of product.

– The product and props should fill 85% or more of the image frame.

– Cropped or close-up images are allowed.

– Backgrounds and environments are allowed.

– Text and demonstrative graphics are allowed.

TIPS:

Don’t clutter your infographics trying to highlight every aspect of your product. Infographics (a clipped compound of “information” and “graphics”) are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.

Infographics should have no more than 2 communications (1 communication is best) about the highlights of the product. Use the top consumer pain points, not every single one.

When creating infographics it is vital that they are designed to be “mobile-friendly” which means they can be clearly seen on mobile. 40% of all online sales are done on mobile.

The additional images should be used to communicate the story of the product, its highlights and the benefits.

   Amazon Oxo Coffee grinder Amazon Oxo Coffee grinder Amazon Oxo Coffee grinder

Are lifestyle images important? Yes! But only if they are done correctly. Here you should use them to show relative size of the product, how it is used, and to communicate the story of your brand. An image is worth a thousand words, but only if it’s a good image.

owl Caddy Organizer owl Caddy Organizer owl Caddy Organizer

Your Branding 

Decisions are made not just on the basis of pricing irregardless of any other Amazon guru’s opinions. Marketing experts such as Simon Sinek, Marty Neumeier and Seth Godin agree that any purchases are made on an emotional level. Simon Sinek says:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

The best way to influence a purchase or a behavior is through branding.

But the subject of branding is much more complex and is not the purpose of this article. However, no matter how great you think your logo is, how clever you think the name of your company is, when looking for a listing optimization service, you should keep in mind that improving photos and infographics, product description, etc. is all important. But having a cohesive brand that speaks to your target audience is likewise very important, if not more important.

Branding not only gives your company a higher value, but it also generates a community. Seth Godin explains branding as: 

“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.”

So, branding has little or nothing to do with how proud you are about your logo. Factually branding is not even a logo. Marty Neumeier defines branding as:

“a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization” (and I would include their feeling about a person, since every one of us has a personal brand). In other words, your brand is “not what you say it is; it’s what they say it is.”

In an ever-expanding world of competition in e-commerce, branding is not something great to have, it is a must. Branding is your identity, your reputation, your flag and emblem.

Here is our tip to you. $1,000,000 on sales does not guarantee you have a brand. If your purpose is to go beyond Amazon FBA or FBM, you need to ensure you have an authentic brand with personality. If you want to sell your company in the short or long run, having a relatable brand will make the most out of your efforts.

Categories
Brand

3 Common Logo Mistakes That Harm Brand Loyalty

As an Amazon Seller, whether you are just starting out or you have been around for a long time, one of the biggest fears is how to make your brand stand out amongst all of the other competitors. It seems that the numbers of sellers increases on a daily basis and it is vital to know what you can do to stand out. In this article, we will discuss the 3 most common logo mistakes that Amazon Sellers make when starting out that make your brand appear unprofessional and will harm the loyalty of your customers.

Mistake #1: Not being relevant to your target audience 

Under this falls enough information and research in order to know who you are targeting with your products so you know what will resonate with them. This is ensuring the style fits the industry.

This could be child-like for a children’s brand

 

Elegant for a real estate brand

 

Or sleek for a tech brand.

If you create something for the wrong target audience, you will be hindering your company’s growth and doing yourself a disservice. You wouldn’t want to have a medical logo when you are trying to sell kitchen products. And you wouldn’t want a sporty-looking logo for a baby brand. Your potential will get confused as to if they chose the right brand. Even when they see it on the packaging they already purchased. Every bit of your contact with your buyers is important to stay consistent to the messaging you want to create. It is often the subtle things that truly create brand loyalty.

Some key points to think with in your logo design:

What is the message of your company? 

Who are the main competitors you would like to be positioned against?

Always do research to look at who the top companies are in your industry. Look on Pinterest for inspiration, and understand the type of imagery and styles your target audience likes and create a huge reference folder for the project so that you can truly know your brand is on message to who and what you are trying to communicate to and with.

Mistake #2: Not being recognizable at a small scale 

You must ask yourself before deciding on a logo “Can I scale it really small and still see it?” You want to go for making it be readable and simple enough that no matter where it will be placed, it can be seen and printed. Often companies want to print their logos on pens, business cards and have it as the favicon on their website. It is important that when you do get a website, you don’t have just a generic favicon at the top. It makes a huge difference in the professionalism of your business to have a recognizable logo representation of your brand.

Also now with social media, having a clear logo on your avatar or profile picture is really important. It shouldn’t be some complicated illustration, but should be something you can easily see within a 1” square.

When you see a social media profile on Instagram or Facebook, if you can’t clearly see what it is, or recognize the brand, it could deter customers away from following or interacting. There are constant noises out there in the Internet world and every little bit you can do to stand out will help you to grow your business.

Mistake #3: Being too complex that you can’t turn it black and white

The last, but not least is that you must be able to turn it completely black and white and still distinguish it. This is the ultimate test of complexity. If it has too much complexity and indistinguishable shapes, you won’t be able to still read it when it is turned black and white.

In order to create a brand that looks professional and will stand the test of time, you must, must, must do proper research into your target audience to ensure  you logo will get their attention, you must ensure that it can be recognized on a small scale and you must ensure it can still be read when turned black and white.

If you would like help creating a professional logo that attracts your ideal client, stands out and creates brand loyalty, feel free to contact us so we can help you out! We help you with proper research, ensuring your colors are right for your messaging, and ensuring they will appeal to your ideal customer.