Branding is a marketing practice that helps customers to build an image of a company in their mind with a name, logo, colors, design elements, and the “voice” of text on social media, the company website, and other marketing materials.
Why it’s Important to Build a Strong eCommerce Brand
A strong brand helps to distinguish your business from your competitors and make your products, marking, and online presence instantly recognizable.
Customers build an emotional connection with brands and quickly develop ideas about which brands they like and trust, so it’s important to work on developing a strong brand from the start.
This means being consistent with the use of your company name, logos, and colors, maintaining a consistent tone of voice across all emails, social media, and your website, and defining a brand “persona” or personality that will appeal to your target audience.
Consumers are often happy to pay more for brands they feel a connection to. Building a strong brand means you can become more attractive than other businesses selling similar products and you don’t necessarily have to compete on price.
Just think about how strong the Apple brand is. Fans of Apple don’t go out and compare the new iPhone features with other phones or look for cheaper alternatives. For many people, Apple is their brand of choice and they won’t consider alternatives from other companies even if the products are very similar and much cheaper.
Defining Your Brand Persona
When you’re thinking about branding your eCommerce business, it can be helpful to describe your brand as if it was a person.
Some brands are playful and fun, while others are polished and sophisticated. It’s up to you to decide what you want to achieve with your branding and what type of brand will most appeal to your target market.
Your brand should be something that your customers want to align themselves with so it can help if you start by defining your buyer persona.
Think about your ideal customer – an imaginary individual who chooses to shop with you over other brands and shares the same values.
Who exactly is this person? How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do? What do they spend their money on? What do they look like? Find a photo of someone who you think looks like this person so you can picture them in your mind when you’re working on your brand. It’s so much easier to make decisions about how to reach your customers when you’re aiming to appeal to a specific individual instead of a general demographic.
eCommerce Brand Assets
There are various creative assets that go into making up your eCommerce brand:
- Your brand name – possibly the most important part of your brand. It’s worth taking some time to choose a memorable name that represents your business well.
- Logo – your logo is an abstract visual that should be instantly recognizable and synonymous with your brand name. It’s worth working with a graphic designer and investing in a really good logo if you have the budget for it.
- Color palette – you will use your chosen color palette not only in your logo but also in your website, social media graphics, and other marketing materials. Colors can evoke emotions and feelings so it’s important to choose carefully. Ever notice that so many banks use blue in their branding? It’s because it represents honesty, reliability, and trust.
- Typography – fonts have a distinct personality too so choose ones that match your brand persona for your logo and website.
- Imagery – it’s important to choose illustrations and photographs with a consistent look and feel that represent your brand persona.
- Brand voice – if your brand was a person, how would it talk? The words and style of language you use in copy and communications make up part of your brand persona too.