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Is Selling on Amazon Recession Proof?

 It’s not 2019 anymore. We are now facing uncertain times.


There is no way to escape from a recession but there are ways to understand what happens to the market in a downturn and plan accordingly. In this article, I am going to tell you from a marketing stand-point, some interesting data that can help you to recession proof your amazon business.


 As a creative branding studio who has worked with countless e-commerce entrepreneurs we have seen the workable marketing strategies used by those sellers who are thriving in their business right now. Even in hard times many companies survive.  But in order to survive you have to take the necessary steps to execute those strategies that will keep your business above water. I am going to tell you some of the main reasons why people fail during hard times.


1. lack of understanding of the market

2. lack of strategic planning

3. Poor marketing execution


If you want to bullet-proof your business, read carefully:


We all know in weak economic times marketers may forget that rising sales are not caused necessarily by bright advertisings. This is because purchases depend on consumers having disposable income, feeling confident in their future, trusting in business and the economy. These values are what encourages consumption.


In light of bad economic news, confidence is low, buying power is limited to consumers adjusting their purchase behavior to what they really need instead of want.


According to a Harvard Business Review article from 2009, in times of downturn customers will fall into four groups:


1. Those who will slam-on-the-brakes. They are the ones who feel most vulnerable and hardest hit financially. This group reduces all types of spending by eliminating, postponing, decreasing, or substituting purchases. Although lower-income consumers typically fall into this segment, anxious higher-income consumers can as well, particularly if health or income circumstances change for the worse.


2. Pained-but-patient consumers tend to be resilient and optimistic about the long term but less confident about the prospects for recovery in the near term or their ability to maintain their standard of living. Like slam-on-the-brakes consumers, they economize in all areas, though less aggressively. They constitute the largest segment and include the great majority of households unharmed by unemployment, representing a wide range of income levels. As news gets worse, pained-but-patient consumers increasingly migrate into the slam-on-the-brakes segment.


3. Comfortably well-off consumers feel secure about their ability to ride out current and future bumps in the economy. They consume at near-prerecession levels, though now they tend to be a little more selective about their purchases. This segment consists primarily of people in the top 5% income bracket. It also includes those who are less wealthy but feel confident about the stability of their finances—the comfortably retired, for example, or investors who got out of the market early or had their money in low-risk investments.


4. The live-for-today segment carries on as usual and for the most part remains unconcerned about savings. The consumers in this group respond to the recession mainly by extending their timetables for making major purchases. Typically urban and younger, they are more likely to rent than to own, and they spend on experiences rather than stuff (with the exception of consumer electronics). They’re unlikely to change their consumption behavior unless they become unemployed. Regardless of which group consumers belong to, they prioritize consumption by sorting products and services into four categories:


• Essentials are necessary for survival or perceived as central to well-being.

• Treats are indulgences whose immediate purchase is considered justifiable.

• Postponables are needed or desired items whose purchase can be reasonably put off.

• Expendables are perceived as unnecessary or unjustifiable.


Now we all know that what is essential for a parent might not be essential for a senior citizen or for a student who has just graduated from college and only has his own shoulders to worry about.


During recessions it’s more important than ever to remember that loyal customers are the primary, enduring source of cash flow and organic growth. Marketing isn’t optional—it’s essential to bringing in revenues from these key customers and others. And how do you create loyal customers? With a Brand Strategy. You have to assess opportunities on your brands and products or services. Determine which have poor survival prospects, which may suffer declining sales but can be stabilized, and which are likely to flourish during the recession and afterward.


Your strategic opportunities during the downturn will strongly depend on which of the four segments your core customers belong to and how they categorize your products or services. For example, prospects are reasonably good for value-brand essentials sold to slam-on-the-brakes consumers, who will forgo premium brands in favor of lower prices. Value brands can also effectively reach out to pained-but-patient consumers who previously bought higher-end brands, a strategy Wal-Mart aggressively used with its “everyday low prices” policy in the 2001 recession. Value brands have opportunities with postponable products, as well. Repair services can market to the pained-but-patient group, who will try to prolong the life of a refrigerator rather than buy a new one. In deciding which marketing tactics to employ, it’s critical to track how customers are reassessing priorities, reallocating budgets, switching among brands and product categories, and redefining value. It’s therefore essential to continue investing in market research. As the recession winds down, consumers will regain buying capacity but possibly will not return to their old purchasing patterns.


Market research should explore whether consumers will go back to familiar brands and products, stay with substitute products, or welcome innovations. In tough times, discounts that require little effort from consumers and give cash back at the point of sale are more effective than delayed-value promotions such as sweepstakes and mail-in offers. Many marketers will need to increase the frequency and depth of temporary price promotions. At the same time, they must carefully monitor consumers’ perceptions of “normal” price levels: Excessive promotions lead consumers to revise their expectations about prices downward and can threaten profitability in the recovery period because people will resist the steep increases as prices return to “normal.” Extreme price deals can also lead to costly price wars. So, how do you prepare for a recession?


Do your research. Find out where your audience will fall and under which category. KNOW YOUR MARKET, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. I hope this article brings to you a peace of mind, knowing that although we cannot change all misfortunes ahead, we can at least be as prepared as possible in order to survive. 

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The Power of Branding on E-Commerce

So you already are selling physical products online or you might be thinking about selling them. Well, if you are serious about your e-commerce business, you might want to read this article in full. Because here I will reveal some in -depth insights on advanced marketing.


We are taught by the Amazon gurus that all you need to have in order to sell well is amazing photos, a good understanding of keywords and being able to run sponsored ads accurately. And while all those strategies might get you selling, it is often forgotten that using these as the only thing you need to know is like telling Nike or Adidas when they first started out that all they need to do is to just create great photos of their shoes, run ads and it all be good.


E-Commerce entrepreneurs very often do not understand visual branding and marketing as a whole, and I understand why. Because their mentors do not understand this either. It is only barely touched upon.



They will tell you to get some $5 logo, have someone make a package design and an insert and that’s it.


This are not the early days of Amazon anymore, and the more people that get into the e-commerce business, the more competitive it becomes. And at the end of the day, it is not the best “price” what will win the buying-box. But rather the best marketing strategy.


As a studio who has worked with countless Amazon Sellers over the past several years, we have gained a great insight into what the most workable marketing and branding strategies are. And I will share some of this insight in this video with you.


There is a way, THE RIGHT WAY for creating high-converting Amazon listings and in this video and I will walk you through this strategy so you can boost your sales with your listing images.


Here are 5 advanced marketing steps that if applied, will boom your business to the next level. Some of these are practical while other require just a viewpoint shift.

1. You are not selling a product, but you are selling a solution to a problem.

Understanding this might be the best lesson you will ever have with regards to the Why of your company. If you think you are there to make money only, your days are numbered. You are there to resolve problems. Every product exists to resolve a problem. Every niche exists as a division of life with situations that require solutions.

Inventors don’t start with “what can I sell” but instead “what problem can I resolve?”

2. See your business as a separate entity from you.

You are the head of your company but you are not your company. Every great business in the world lives as an independent entity. Through the formative stages of effort from their founders, the company was conceived as an independent entity. It was then given to creative minds to give it the face it required to showcase its presence: the company was given a brand.

What is a Brand? – a brand is not just a logo. It is much more involved than that. It is the logo, packaging, the colors, the fonts, the mood, the photo style. It is a correlation between all of these. It’s the message, what the company stands for, how people perceive it, what they feel about it, it’s the music and all individual associations thereafter. But the most important point of all, is the consistency and repetition of the above over and over and over.

Think about Starbucks. It is more than just coffee, right? – Perhaps a place to bring your laptop on a Wednesday afternoon to work away from everything, a place to bring your girlfriend or boyfriend, a place to meet, the smell, the atmosphere, their packaging, menu, the feeling every time they call your name when your drink is ready. It all works together to form the sensation that has become Starbucks.

Think about Apple, whether you are a PC or MAC person and whether you hate them or love them, talk about premium price? But, is it really premium or just how it is perceived? And marketed? After all “They Think Differently”

A brand lives as an entity thereafter. It can go bankrupt but it will stay in people’s minds. Just like we, the millennials will always remember this.

If you ever want to create customer loyalty, it’s all about your brand. If you ever want to sell on Walmart or Target shelves, well you better start now with a cohesive branding strategy.


3. Stop identifying yourself as an “Amazon Seller” or an “eBay Seller” or a “Shopify Seller” or an “Etsy Seller” or or…

You are an e-commerce entrepreneur and business owner who sells in one or more of these platforms.

Let’s say you had a business about plumbing. And your main objective is to rank on page #1 of Google. Will you identify yourself as a plumber or business owner or as a Google Service Company Seller?

Let’s separate this again. You are an e-commerce business owner. It doesn’t matter whether you do droppshiping, private label, or create products from scratch. Amazon is the platform you sell in. If you look at it this way, well perhaps you will start paying more attention to your brand, and you will start taking your business with more consideration. This is because you cannot own Amazon. In fact, if you mess up, you might get thrown off the platform. Or perhaps one day they will decide to ban your product or products.

What will you have left?

If you had spent time looking at yourself as an e-commerce entrepreneur and business owner, if you had spent time creating a brand, then you will now have a business that sells on Amazon, not an “Amazon” business. You will also have a different viewpoint on how you can exist without Amazon. Now your brand will not be an “Amazon 3rd Party Seller” but a brand that sells on Amazon.

Every successful e-commerce business has spent time and effort in building their brand, customer loyalty, e-mail lists, and they are now being able to exist with or without Amazon, as they are selling through their own website.

In the example of the plumber, if Google bans him from their search engine, if he did a good job building his brand, he will exist without the help of Google and will continue to flourish because of loyal customers. This is branding.


4. Know Your Audience

Do you realize how big brands have an easy time advertising their products? It’s just like butter.

I will tell you why – because they KNOW who they target.

They don’t go around trying to sell products to “The World”. They don’t try to sell products to “all man and woman”. They know their “Persona” and this one changes every decade. They hire massive research firms to gain deep insights into how the markets are changing. Then they spend millions of dollars of repeated advertising to putting themselves in front of their face.

And I know you don’t have millions of dollars sitting there to hire a research agency or to put Ads on the Super Bowl.

But the truth is, you don’t need to. Now you have cheap forms of advertising that are as powerful as those mentioned above. That’s right. It’s called Social Media.

Big Brother Facebook knows more about you than you even know. Its accuracy to display Ads that can be as cheap as 5 cents per click to the right audience works like laser precession.

More over, if you want to get attraction from customers to buy from your brand, you need to create laser precession Amazon listings. Remember, you are not selling to “The World” or to “United States of America”. You are selling to a specific audience, a persona.

Let’s take Nike for example. They know who their main audience is: millennials. But let’s be more specific: Woman and Men ages 15-45. More specifically athletes or those who want to be or look like athletes. In recent years they have been targeting even more women than men, expanding women’s apparel more than ever before. Sales of Nike’s training and running apparel for woman grew by double digits in the last quarter, outpacing men’s product sales according to a recent interview with their CEO.

The fact is you can replicate the precise targeting that Nike is doing thanks to the way we collect information nowadays. DATA DATA DATA is the gold of the new century.

But you need to know with exactitude who is your audience. Who is buying your product or competitor’s product. Why? Understanding an audience is the most important part of marketing. Know before you do.



5. Here is one of the secrets of the big Brands. It’s called the Marketing Scale of Awareness and understanding this means understanding the world of commerce.

Before we get into this you need to remember: you are not selling a product, you are selling a solution to a problem.

With that said, here are 5 stages each customer follows when purchasing a product.

These stages are:

STAGE 1. DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR THAT THEY EVEN HAVE A PROBLEM.

Here we have Maria. She is a woman on her early 40s who is … going thru her 40s.

STAGE 2. THEY ARE AWARE THEY HAVE A PROBLEM, BUT DON’T REALIZE THERE IS A SOLUTION

One day Maria wakes up and realizes she has wrinkles! Oh no, this is terrible, I am aging! Goes around complaining to people.

STAGE 3. THEY KNOW THERE IS A SOLUTION OUT THERE, BUT THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS.

One day, Maria is talking to one of her friends about her aging problem and her friend says, well there are anti-aging creams. Maria runs to grab her phone and researches what solutions are available for her aging horrible situation.

STAGE 4. THEY KNOW THERE ARE PRODUCTS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS, BUT DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE.

Now Maria is trying to decide whether she should get an anti-aging cream or pay for some expensive ultraviolet treatment. All she knows is she will get rid of these wrinkles.

STAGE 5. THE PERSON KNOWS, TRUST AND BUYS A PRODUCT FROM A BRAND.

Maria spends so much time going thru case studies, and reading reviews all over the place. And finally Maria decided to buy from this brand that sells on Amazon this “Anti-Again Cream” Why not, after all, its all organic and has photos with infographics similar to her age. They also say it is not toxic as she is very health-conscious. This brand has a leaf as part of their logo. Maria likes leaves, of course it reminds her about nature and they must be really thinking about health after all.

This my friend is an example of every purchase process. And understanding this will open the door to all sorts of ways you can improve your listing. If you know your audience and how to promote the solution to the problem: your photos show this, your infographics explain this, your brand is in alignment to this, then many more Marias will buy from you.

We have a free guide on “How to Increase Conversions through Infographics” which you can download here. This guide will  walk you through the simple 9 step process to ensure you are communicating WITH your potential customers rather than throwing salesy words at them.

No matter what, keep this in mind: You are a problem solver.

 

 

Watch this Video on YouTube

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5 REASONS WHY GRAPHIC DESIGN IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Graphic design is an important tool that enhances how you communicate with other people. It serves to convey your ideas in a way that is not only effective but also beautiful. Ignoring your organization’s graphic design needs can negatively impact clients, vendors, and employees. Utilizing an appropriate design can improve every aspect of your business.

Here are 5 reasons why graphic design is important for your business:

1. First Impression



You only have one chance to make a first impression. Whether it’s a website or the logo in an email signature, potential customers will judge a business in just a few seconds based on visual appeal alone. High-quality graphic design gives businesses credibility—and that’s priceless. No matter how great a product or service, with poor design, it’s unlikely anyone will stick to the company’s website or keep its email long enough to find out.

2. Graphic Design Converts



It is good to have a “good looking” website. But having a well-made, streamlined website that converts is even nicer. Design isn’t just about making things look pretty; effective design should entice and persuade. A smartly designed website can direct visitors to take action, like clicking a “buy” button for instance. A well-crafted brochure compels readers to keep turning pages. Professional graphic design has the potential to deliver measurable results for a business, big or small.

3. Spending more upfront saves time and money in the long run



We all know the saying “you get what you paid for.” When businesses don’t take graphic design seriously in the beginning, they will more than likely go through a design overhaul eventually—in some cases, more than once. However, quality design has longevity. Paying for great graphic design one time is no more expensive than paying for subpar design multiple times.

4. It conveys a message of credibility and professionalism




As noted earlier, graphic design plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Companies that invest in quality graphic design are perceived to be more trustworthy. Presentation and perception can make or break any business. Persons are looking for signs of professionalism to convince them that you can be trusted. One such sign is the way that you present yourself. It’s important to present yourself in the best possible way by investing in quality graphic design.

5. Communication



The usefulness of graphic design extends beyond your logo and your website. Graphic design can produce visual aids that will help you communicate your ideas. An informative image can transmit ideas that cannot be expressed with words alone. You can use professionally designed images to create a positive impression and avoid misunderstandings.

Ignoring your organization’s graphic design needs can negatively impact clients, vendors, and employees. We encourage you to really think about this and invest wisely.