Have you ever bought something from an online store but couldn't remember its name a few weeks down the line?
As internet users, we are bombarded with about 5000 ads per day. And obviously, we cannot possibly remember all of them. So how could you even think about remembering all the brand names we actually buy from?
Around 80% of consumers forget information from branded content after only three days of seeing it. And over half of them can’t recall a single detail at all!
But the ones that people do remember - are the ones that have a distinct brand. So if you are thinking of launching a store without any branding in place, read on to know why that may not be the best idea.
What is branding really?
Branding is the process of shaping your organization's/product's perception in the audience's mind in a way that you want to be perceived.
Your logo, vision, mission, work culture, customer support - all count as branding. Effective branding helps organizations stand out, establish credibility and build something that people want to buy into.
Take for instance the Starbucks coffee that people are willing to overspend on, even when there are other options available.
Why is branding important?
Branding gives you a competitive advantage.
It helps you build a legacy of sorts. It helps your customers trust and establish a connection with your company. Thus, it helps not just attract potential customers but also retain the old ones.
You need to put in thorough thought, efforts, and resources to build a brand that people would want to buy into.
Good branding is strategic, while marketing is tactical.
If you thought only a good product and a good price deal is how you succeed at eCommerce, you’re wrong. Let’s understand the nuances of branding in ecommerce in a much better way.
Why is branding important in ecommerce?
According to IBEF, the Indian ecommerce industry is expected to grow to US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.2 billion as of 2020. India's e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 111 billion by 2024 and US$ 200 billion by 2026.
While that shows a promising future for ecommerce businesses, it also means there is going to be an increase in the competition each business faces. That’s where ecommerce branding comes into play - the one thing that makes or breaks how sticky your business stays.
Think H&M in times when there are so many other fashion and clothing brands getting launched online every day.
Here’s taking a look at some of the benefits of ecommerce branding in detail:
1. Build better connections
Branding helps you create deeper connections with your customers. The more a customer resonates and forms positive associations with your brand, the better will your reach be as well. This connection with customers will help to increase sales.
77% of people refer to certain items by brand names. For instance, Google, as a brand, has grown to add so much value to our lives that we just say “I’ll google it” for looking something up on the internet. Another brilliant example is how most people know of Xerox and Chocobar almost instantly.
2. Builds trust
59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from the brands they trust. Branding can help you leverage this number. By presenting what your brand stands for, your ideals, the quality of your products and/or service, the value you add to your life - you can establish trust.
Think about Adidas for a minute.
They have the widest range of sport shoes and are continually expanding their catalog. But no matter how expensive or not their shoes get, the consumer is always certain of the quality they offer.
The moment you see the logo on the shoe, you trust that it has been built by those who know the importance of comfort and functionality in sports. The salesperson doesn’t even have to say it!
3. Improves customer retention, hence loyalty
Branding not only helps you attract new potential customers but also retain the existing customer base. As an eCommerce store, the acquisition and retention rates both play a huge role in determining your position in the market.
According to studies, 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values. If your eCommerce branding is done right, you will be presented with a loyal customer base that trusts everything you sell.
For example, Levi’s and their campaign - Going Water<Less. The fashion and apparel brand is known for its quality denim wear. But their customer loyalty doubled when people saw the ‘good’ the brand is trying to do in the industry.
4. Impacts and boosts your marketing efforts
All your efforts will be scattered and you will not be able to drive good results if your branding is not done right. When people can't recall the last interaction with your content or your brand name, you're going to have to spend on campaigns reintroducing yourself time and again.
For example, you run a Facebook ad to introduce your products in the defined target market. But your ad lacked elements that would help them remember who you were or where they saw the offer you were promoting.
So even if the buyer is interested at a later stage, they may not know how to reach your brand at all.
This means, you will have to start your campaigns all over again to jog their memory from scratch.
But if you had branding in place, even a consumer who chooses to make a purchase from you a week after seeing the ad campaign, you could save on the marketing costs of jogging their memory and focus on those that nurture them towards making a purchase.
Impact of ecommerce branding in numbers
Well, to answer that here are some numbers for you to crunch on -
- 59% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases from brands familiar to them
- Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%
- 76% of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to
- 71% of consumers prefer buying from brands that align to their values
- 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values
- 43% of customers spend more money on brands they are loyal to
Steps to build a brand for your eCommerce business
There are a number of ways in which you can approach branding for your eCommerce business. But here are some steps we recommend to cover all important aspects:
- Do your research - Before you begin, study, analyze and understand the current market, who your target audience is and identify your competitors.
- Define your brand value proposition - Based on your research, clearly define your strengths and weaknesses, and identify your unique selling point - the one thing that will make consumers choose you.
- Choose your business name - Brand names trigger more of an emotional response than other nouns; focus on giving your business a name people can remember.
- Write a tagline - Create a sentence that describes your business in about line, in a catchy way. For instance, Nike’s “just do it”.
- Choose the look and feel of your brand - Create a moodboard of how you’d like to present your brand in terms of look and feel; colorful, peppy, playful, etc.
- Design your logo - Create a visual identity that becomes a profile picture for your business. Read this detailed guide on designing a logo.
Create your media kit - Consistently presented brands are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand presentation. So create a media kit that keeps your brand consistent on all marketing and sales channels. Here’s what it needs to include:
- Color palette
- Tone of voice
- Vision, mission and value proposition
Looking for a detailed guide on building your brand? Read this.
What are the important elements of branding?
Everything the brand does, every tiny little thing, even the smallest details, from taglines to brand colors to cards, to the work culture to the employees, is part of that brand's story with every element screaming out the values it holds.
A brand without a story is perhaps just another company - just another commodity. Creating a brand story is not simply about standing out and getting noticed; it’s about building something that people care about and want to buy into. Focus on the feeling your brand invokes.
Rather than creating a customer base, the aim is to create a tribe with trust at its core.
Take the example of Google. Everything it does has become a unique identity as such. From their font to colors to everything around and between the lines!
Here are some important factors you should focus on to tie your brand story together -
Every brand needs a logo. A logo is possibly one of the most important elements of branding. It is an image that screams your brand’s identity.
It helps you grab your audience’s attention and make a strong first impression. Consider it as the foundation of your brand identity. It becomes the symbol that customers recognize your brand with.
Your logo also helps you stand out among your competitors. A well-designed brand logo can help communicate the company’s vision and mission through the right colors and fonts.
Did you know that 94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo? That’s how iconic their branding has proven to be!
A brand logo is that brand's identity. Take McDonald's brilliantly impressive Follow the Arches campaign for instance. McDonald’s branding is so iconic that even their cropped-up logo to work as directional signs screamed "I'm loving it!"
Today, you can also use a lot of handy and free tools like Hatchful to create professional logos in seconds.
2. Color palette
There is something about great visuals that capture our attention. According to various researches, around 83% of information around us is processed by sight alone! Our brains are wired to give more leverage to vision.
Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%.
However, you cannot simply pick out any color for your brand simply because it looks good. How we, humans, process colors are more psychological than we understand. Take a look at this color wheel. It shows what emotions most of the common colors invoke.
Did you know that 1/3 of the world’s top 100 brands include the color blue in their logos? It’s because the color blue strikes positive feelings like loyalty, trust, peace, tranquility.
Taglines are strategic brand messaging. Consider the above two examples -
“Connecting people” and
“Have a break, have a KitKat”
These are iconic statements that have become a part of our lives now. In fact, Nokia says, “At Nokia, ‘Connecting People’ is more than a tagline. It’s a mission statement that has guided almost everything we’ve done for over 20 years”. The number of people with access to a mobile device has grown from a mere 0.4 per% to the present day, with over a billion people connecting every day through various mobile devices.
Your tagline gives additional context to your logo. It’s not just a declaration of what you, as a brand, do, but also what customers can expect from you.
4. The tone of voice and story
Let’s take Cadbury as an example.
What does the very name of the brand strike? A bundle of joy, perhaps!
From multiple stories being rolled out about the Cadbury 5 Star to Cadbury Silk to Cadbury Celebrations, each of these has managed to reach out to its customers with an added emotional value. It helps a brand become unforgettable.
Setting a mood for your brand helps you gather the attention of your target audience as well.
5. Your vocabulary
Starbucks does not just call their various cup sizes; small, medium, and large. Instead, they developed a system of their own that has grown to become iconic today.
Similarly, you can add certain words that will become the vocabulary of your brand - to be used by both employees and customers likewise. It helps create a long-lasting impression and adds value to what you do.
Every font screams a different personality. Think about what you want your brand to resonate with. Is it fun and peppy, is it sophisticated and professional or is it homely and earthy? Determining the feel and mood of your brand plays a major role in what font(s) to choose.
While picking out font(s) for your brand, consider that it should be -
- Unique & memorable
- Communicates your brand story
Fonts are classified into 6 main categories -
- Slab serif
And each of these categories has different use cases. Study and understand it carefully before you pick one out for your brand.
Source - Venngage
All kinds of visual elements and images you use in your branding, marketing, and advertising come under imagery.
This is more about the style and aesthetics of your brand. Notice the visual consistency of Kylie cosmetics here -
When you decide on your brand’s persona, you don’t just determine what you offer to your customers, but how you fit among other brands in the same domain.
One key point is the pricing. Another is, how attractive and competitive your offer is. Brand positioning also guides you in determining your target audience. And so, it helps you figure out what their requirements are and hence, provide better services.
For instance, handbags designed by Forever21 are way different from bags designed by let's say, Prada. This is because their price points, target audience, and style aesthetics are different altogether.
Your ethos is the connection between a brand and its audience; it is what makes you authentic. Consumers evaluate brands based on their character and determine if they are credible enough to be bought from.
For example, Nestle’s purpose is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
10. Vision, mission and values
A vision statement defines what a company wants to ultimately become. On the other hand, a mission statement focuses on what the company is doing to reach the vision.
The values you define in your branding are basically the core morals you will keep intact as you work towards reaching the vision.
Get your brand in place before you’re forgotten
Competition in this sphere is increasing by the day. Your goal shouldn’t just be acquiring one-time sales. but for repeat sales. People need to find value in your store. To do so and to get people to talk about you, you need a brand in place.
Take time to understand your target market and define your brand before you launch your online store.
You can also reach out to experts to help you through the process of defining your brand.