Building a business and building a brand go hand-in-hand. While building systems and focusing on margins are a core part of business, branding is vital for crafting an authentic connection with customers. Without ecommerce branding, you’re limiting your business from reaching its full potential.
Not sure where to start? Here are some eccommerce branding steps you don’t want to miss in 2020.
Identifying Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The thought that one’s product or service offering isn’t entirely original is a hard pill to swallow for many business owners. However, it’s the truth. It’s how businesses use branding to set themselves apart from the competition that ultimately attracts customers.
Identifying your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a crucial step in the branding process. With this exercise, you’ll explore what sets you apart from the competition and highlight why customers should choose you.
To identify your USP, take the time to consider both the features and benefits of your offering. Then connect how those features and benefits connect with your target audience and solve a problem for them. Use your USP to tell your customers what they will gain by acquiring your offering.
Narrowing Your Ecommerce Branding Focus
The sweeping approach to marketing is no longer viable. While it may seem like targeting more potential customers will result in more sales, the key to higher conversions is narrowing your focus.
Take a deep dive into your ideal customer. Who are they? How much money do they make? What do they value? Use this information to craft a customer avatar— a personification that embodies your ideal customer. Your customer avatar will be the sounding board for your brand strategy; everything from your content to your tone of voice should appeal to your avatar.
Image by Christina Morillo.
Practicing Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service has become a buzzword recently. When you practice proactive customer service, your business takes the initiative in solving problems before they arise. Proactive customer service can be accomplished by feedback requests at various stages of the sales funnel and frequent follow-ups after a purchase.
Being proactive is an easy way to over-deliver on your promises as a business. As a result, you create stronger brand loyalty and awareness.
Managing Reviews and Testimonials
Gathering online reviews has largely been viewed as a passive marketing activity. However, businesses are becoming more aware of the power these tidbits of information hold. Online reviews boost SEO— the bread and butter of digital marketing— while adding invaluable social proof.
Modern consumers want to know that someone else has parted with their money and gotten what was promised in return. Their first stop in confirming this is online reviews. Take the time to learn more about getting online reviews to build a robust brand strategy that sells.
Adding a Human Touch
Automation and chatbots are commonly accepted practices in content marketing. While these tools are integral for streamlined business processes and improved customer experience, customers value the feeling of interacting with a person. The difference is the feeling of being talked at and spoken with.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities in content marketing to add a human touch to your communications. For example, using a conversational tone and authentically responding to comments in a blog is a fantastic way to connect on a human level. Showing your audience what’s going on behind the scenes and introducing them to your team with video marketing is another way to humanize your business.
Using automation to manage tasks isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s recommended. However, it’s important to remember that a human audience thrives on authenticity and transparency in content marketing.
Analyzing and Evolving
Your killer branding strategy today might not work six months from now. If there’s one branding step you should always do, it’s analyzing your data and evolving to fit changing times and trends.
For example, consider your 2020 marketing plan as of December 2019. Like many businesses, you likely experienced significant changes in spring 2020 as a result of Covid-19. As such, your intended messaging for summer campaigns likely had to change. The tried and true content surrounding summer plans of travel and socializing were suddenly irrelevant and tone-deaf. Businesses were forced to adapt or face extinction.
Being able to evolve and adapt to changing times is a necessary skill set for marketers. Whether you’re facing a global pandemic or new social media platforms, learning to go with the flow is a must.
Set aside time monthly to review your numbers and see what’s working and what’s falling flat with your audience. If something isn’t working anymore, that doesn’t mean it’s a failure— it’s an opportunity to improve. Without evolution, your content will inevitably become stagnant, and your audience will look elsewhere.
The key thing to remember when developing a brand strategy in 2020 is to connect authentically with your audience. By drilling down into your niche and USP, and prioritizing your customer experience, you’ll build a powerful brand for your business.
About the Author
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.
Feature image by Ryan Loughlin.