eCommerce Branding—Building a Consistent Image
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
As online markets become more and more competitive, the importance of having a strong brand increases too.
Join us for a discussion on ecommerce branding strategy and some pointers on what to focus on for success.
What Is eCommerce Branding?
eCommerce branding is the process of creating a unique identity for an online business.
This identity should be reflected in everything from the store's design to the way it communicates with customers.
Because ecommerce is less physical than brick-and-mortar stores, it can be harder to create a strong brand presence; customers are passing through quickly, and interactions are much less personal.
However, by focusing on key points, it’s possible to foster a strong image and increase consumer trust.
Points to Consider
When working on your branding, there are many points to consider.
Let’s begin with the most basic aspect.
The most basic thing that will dictate your online brand strategy is the products or services you sell.
Are you selling your products or services or reselling another company's products?
Selling your own products gives you more control over your brand. You can determine everything from the packaging and marketing to the actual product itself.
On the other hand, reselling products from other brands gives you a much wider range of options to choose from. You can select products that fit your brand identity and target market well.
This also allows you to “borrow” brand power, provided they aren’t white-label products. If you sell big brand products, while your personal ecommerce brand might be small, you will naturally attract consumers who enjoy the big brand.
Branding on Packaging
Leading on from the last point, you need to ensure branding on your ecommerce packaging.
Because users will be receiving items through courier services when ordering online, nobody will be stepping into your store. To compensate for the lack of contact, shipping materials can be branded to your company.
This can be as simple as including a sticker on the box or getting custom tape with your company’s logo.
You could also consider including a small branded gift like a lanyard.
Branding in Emails
When it comes to marketing emails, your product branding strategy is everything.
To brand well, you need to choose a strong email service.
The best autoresponders will let you create custom email templates that can be done in your style while also providing high deliverability, ensuring that your emails make it past spam filers.
Branding on Your Website
Of course, because your ecommerce website is a stand-in for a brick-and-mortar store, it needs to be branded well.
Your branding should be evident from the moment somebody lands on your home page, and it should be consistent throughout the entire site.
A well-designed, professionally branded ecommerce site will help instill confidence in potential customers, while a “stock look” will likely put customers off.
This applies whether you create a store through Shopify, or build a site from the ground up.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media presence can be incredibly helpful for branding.
First and foremost, social media platforms provide businesses with a way to reach out to potential customers and build relationships with them.
By creating informative and engaging content, businesses can generate interest in their products or services and encourage people to learn more about them. TikTok has emerged as one of the most effective platforms for ecommerce brands.
Additionally, social media can be used to monitor customer feedback and build brand loyalty.
Finally, having an active social media presence can help businesses to stay ahead of the competition by keeping up with the latest trends and technologies.
Keep Branding Consistent
It should go without saying… but we’ll say it anyway—keep branding consistent across your website, emails, social media, and your actual products or services.
If you don’t, you’ll fragment recognition because consumers won’t be able to “group” your platforms together.
It’ll also come off as sloppy.
On that note…
Create a Media Kit
For the sake of your ecommerce brand strategist (even if it’s just you) and to help with things like affiliate marketing, create a media kit.
A media kit will contain all of your logos and pointers about how your branding should be used, whether on social media, sponsored posts, or reviews.
Balance Convention With Uniqueness
Because your brand is a valuable asset, you want to strike the right balance between convention and uniqueness.
If your brand image is too unique, it risks being unrecognizable; if it's too conventional, it risks being indistinguishable from your competitors.
This is why some of the most successful brands are those that have found a way to combine familiar elements with a touch of originality.
Four Common Online Branding Strategies
Next, we’ll discuss four common broad branding strategies.
Name branding is where a company focuses on the name of its brand.
This works for companies with a long history, and some examples include Coca-Cola and Nike.
Individual branding is where a company will cultivate brands for “specific” products.
For example, “Apple” is the overarching brand, but it individually brands its phones like iPhones and its computers as Macs.
This often enables companies to cultivate a “premium” image and price their products accordingly.
Attitude branding focuses on building a brand by creating an emotional connection to products rather than focusing on the products themselves.
This is a common branding strategy for luxury brands that sell the image and prestige associated with a product.
These brands often leverage viral and influencer marketing to try and generate interest.
Many companies that are just starting focus on this strategy because their products aren’t well known enough yet.
Extension branding is where companies draw on an existing brand to associate it with their own.
For example, a gaming accessory company may make accessories exclusively for Playstation to get closer to Playstation users.
eCommerce branding is extremely important, but it has to be done from a solid foundation—a good product or service.
Without that, any ecommerce branding strategy would be wasted.
From there, it’s about building a strong brand and weaving it throughout every aspect of your business into a comprehensive whole.
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Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.