8 Branding Tips for Your Online Store
Your ecommerce store is more than a place to sell your products – it is a chance to build relationships & convert loyal customers. But to make an impact & build trust, you need a brand that people care about & want to buy from. Not sure where to start? Here are some of the best branding tips to help your online store stand out from the competition.
1) Gather Branding Feedback
Before you launch into rebranding your campaign or establishing one for the first time, ask your audience. Send out a poll or survey & ask current or previous customers how they perceive your brand. You can ask open-ended questions on a software like Survey Monkey or create multiple-choice questions. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Can you describe our brand in three words?
- What does our brand remind you of?
- How would you describe our products to a friend?
- What other online stores come to mind when you think of our brand?
Once you have feedback from your customer base, you can reassess which direction you want to go in. You may find your customers aren’t really your ideal target market & would rather sell to other demographics. Or you may decide your audience sees your brand in a light you never considered & want to build upon that.
2) Share Your brand Story
A good brand story can increase your sales and give your audience something to talk about. Customers who love your brand story are 55% more likely to buy from you in the future. Warby Parker’s brand story centers around the idea that eyeglasses are too expensive.
The brand story goes that one of the founders went without glasses for an entire semester in college because they were too expensive. A business was born from wanting to revolutionize the experience by offering “try on at home” designer eyewear at a revolutionary price.
Warby Parker’s story is something most anyone can relate to but isn’t extraordinary or flashy. It’s not the story of Richard Branson climbing mountains and skydiving to launch his dozens of companies taking over the world. It’s relatable & to the point. Simplify the process and find your own brand story of why you’re in business and why you want to help others.
3) Focus on Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your brand story can be part of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to differentiate yourself online. You want your customers to have a reason to pick your store above the competition. For example, TOMS Shoes created part of its brand identity around giving 1/3 of its profits to grassroots efforts to help at the local level. Their branding is easy to identify & highly unique.
Your own USP can be simple, like offering high-quality, unique designs with incredible customer service & care. Just make sure you can make good on your promise. Lowering your overhead & outsourcing the production process can help focus on delivering the best designs & quality. CustomCat helps fuel your business by acting as a behind-the-scenes arm of your business.
Upload your designs to CustomCat’s library & apply them to any of our products from hoodies to color-changing coffee cups. We make integrating everything to your online store easy & when someone purchases an item, we produce, fulfill & ship it out with a label customized with your business info. Your customers are happy & you get to be the hero of their ecommerce buying journey.
Get started with CustomCat here.
4) Use Your Logo & Brand Colors Everywhere
First impressions matter, with 55% of consumers reporting their first impression of a brand is visual. Your logo & brand colors don’t need to be big & bold to be memorable. Turning to a user-friendly program like Canva can help identify colors you like best & get inspiration with done-for-you templates. Etsy is also home to customizable branding templates or you can purchase a for-hire designer through the platform to put together a branding package for you.
Once you have your brand colors & logo in place, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. You want them to make an impact on your customers without causing overwhelm. In other words, turning all of your text teal green & your backgrounds pink is a customer experience disaster. Instead, think of branding your buy now buttons & incorporate touches of color in your product images or graphics.
5) Don’t Forget Your Brand Voice
The words you write are also part of your brand. Your brand voice is the personality of your ecommerce store & all of the communications you put out through email, social media videos, & product copy. The voice should be consistent, whether upbeat & tongue-in-cheek or more serious & helpful.
Establishing your brand voice can also evolve over time. Start by clarifying what your brand voice is & what it isn’t. Maybe your unique hoodies for active travelers are like REI but not Lululemon. Maybe you align with the spirit of Warby Parker but not Walmart.
There are always ways to clarify your brand voice, so make sure you drill down as far as you can. Once you’ve established who you are (and aren’t) keep it handy so you can shape your email updates, social media posts, & product copy to align to that voice.
Learn more about copywriting fundamentals for your online store.
6) Create Engaging Customer Service
It’s easy to get so caught up in brand colors & voice that we forget it’s also part of the customer service experience. Zappos nailed the customer-focused service brand by offering a 365 day return & exchange policy & free shipping before the biggest players in the space were doing it. Stories about their customer service bending over backwards to help out & make things right are legendary.
You may not be able to offer a year-long return policy, but you can make prompt, personalized service part of the customer experience. Define how you want to serve your customers, whether through online chat or phone & create a solid customer-focused brand that people love to share.
7) Maintain a Content Strategy
How are you spreading the message about your brand and ensuring customers connect with it? The right content strategy can reach your audience repeatedly through emails, blogging, and social media posts.
The key is maintaining a consistent content strategy, whether it’s once a month or daily. Focus on the areas that produce the most ROI, whether posting on Instagram or releasing video tutorials for your products & services. The more content you release, the more your audience will grow to trust your brand and see it as an integral part of their shopping experience.
8) Stay Consistent
Just like anything else in business, branding takes time & consistency to get just right. Create a set of brand guidelines for you & any contractors to follow. Outline where logos should go, how to handle returns & complaints, how often you’ll post to social media, & what types of graphics & tone of voice you’ll use in communications. The more detail you put into your brand, the easier it is to follow & for your audience to identify uniquely your ecommerce business.
What are your best branding tips for your online store? Let us know by leaving a comment below!