The samples are ordered. It’s starting to come together. To look like a collection. Your collection. And you’re proud of it, dammit!
But something’s missing.
You can’t quite put your finger on it. But you know it’s that unifying element which makes your product recognisable, even at a glance.
That thing which will take it from being just another product, to being a brand.
In this article I share nine tips you can use – on any budget – to create a brand your customers will love and become obsessed with.
I also share insights and expert advice from creative directors and branding wizards – on exactly how you can establish that elusive, powerful and profitable connection between your business and ideal customer.
So, if you’re ready to build a brand that’s made to last, let’s get started.
9 Ways To Create A Brand Your Customers Are Obsessed With
Decide what your brand’s about and who it serves
Building a household name brand isn’t ‘just’ about having a big budget. And let’s be honest, most of us here can’t afford to hire a full service branding team anyway.
But it’s impossible to define your brand until you’re crystal clear about who are you, what you do, or what your mission is.
So, before you make another tweak to your website or wonder (yet again) where you’re gonna find the cash to hire one of those “expensive branding expert people?”.
Here’s what you need to do: Open a blank document and create a brand mission statement.
Questions to answer on your mission statement:
— What is your brands purpose and mission?
Make sure to include your vision for your business, your lifestyle and your aspirations.
— What are your brand values. What do you stand for?
Make sure you include what your brand believes in, why it exists, and who it aims to delight – and most importantly, why?
— How do you differ from your competitor?
Competitors can’t be avoided, but you need to find out exactly how you differ from them?
Things to think about include:
- Brand positioning
- Price structure
- Social and content marketing strategy
Also, if you leave your email below, you can also get a free copy of my competitive analysis workbook.
- How to position your online store
- Examples of brand positioning strategy
- How to discover your ideal customer avatar
- Select 3-5 adjectives that accurately describe your brand personality
To help you do this, think about the ways you imagine your brand would be lived out in everyday life.
My adjectives for Brazen Profit Lab are: bold/witty/warm/reliable/fun
If you want to build brand recognition, emotional attachment, and buyer loyalty, you need to be clear about who you are and focus on attracting your right people.
Make a copy of the words that relate to your brand and keep them close hand to help you enthuse these traits into everything you do for the brand.
Decide what your brand stands for?
This doesn’t mean being radical, eco-friendly, or donating one-for-one on every item you sell in your online store – we can’t all be Toms shoes, or replicate their success.
What’s important is that your brand is able to identify its unifying feature. That *thing* which makes your customer want to be associated with you.
Aussie fashion brand, Black Milk, nail this.
Focusing on lycra leggings with popular prints, this brand bandied the stylish geeks all together, and created a (big spending) tribe.
- 4 ways your store can appeal to millennial shoppers
- Why millennials should be the focus of your Ecommerce strategy
- How Black Milk Built a 7 figure ecommerce (only) business
Speak to the people who matter – your customers
One of the biggest mistakes online boutique owners make is failing to validate their business idea before they go all in.
They have this vague idea of an online store catering to women 20-35 who like a bargain. And with no deeper research or proof they’re onto something, they build something no one really wants.
To avoid that, make sure you define who your most ideal customer is as early on a possible. Then spend as much time as you can speaking with them and getting their feedback.
Let them help you refine what you offer, so you can give them what they want.
Next, make sure every element of your visual presentation – from the look, feel and navigation of your website. To your product photography/descriptions and web copy, is designed to communicate with those people.
Don’t be afraid to test ideas as you go along
Your brand will evolve over time and that’s a good thing, it means you’re growing.
It’s also why you should revisit your branding statement at least once a year to make sure it’s in-line with where you are now, and equally importantly, where you want to be.
But this doesn’t mean you can jump from pillar-to-post following every creative whim that comes to you, hoping your audience will follow along.
Your role as the director of your brand is to make sure that your brand remains consistent, inline with your values and business goals, and never forgets the most important people – your customers.
Consistency is about more than just using the same font and colours.
Brand consistency is the result of being hyper selective about the type of products you offer. The marketing messages, language and tone that you use. Even the way you interact with your customers.
Brand consistency is how your ideal customer will start to identify with you on a personal level, and is the beginning of brand loyalty – which is what we’re all after.
Don’t waste lots of time making presentations, writing briefs, putting positioning statements together and talking about what you’re planning to do.
Nike weren’t wrong when they came up with the line ‘Just Do It’. Because the sooner you have a finished-looking product, its packaging, the app, the website and whatever else you need, the sooner you’ll know for sure if you’ve got a good idea for a business (and a brand to go with it). Rob Mitchell @ www.weallneedwords.com
Decide how you will become unforgettable?
Creating a distinct brand experience doesn’t have to be rocket science or require you to remortgage your house.
It’s about finding a way to differentiate your online store so your customers remember you.
From discovering your website, to making a purchase and receiving their order – every touch point with your customer is an opportunity to create a unique brand experience.
Decide how you will create a brand which has that magic?
Tell a story worth sharing
Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it?
Your story, or more importantly, how you tell it, is part of the foundation of your brand.
Ask yourself this: when my customers go to my about page are they presented with my brand story in a concise, compelling and uplifting way?
If you’ve studied your analytics – you do have Google analytics installed, right? If so, then you’ll already know that your about page is one of the most visited pages on your website.
Use this prime web real estate to position your brand and let your ideal customer know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.
Be customer focused in everything you do
Staying customer focused should be the priority of every business.
But for new entrepreneurs, especially in the fast paced Ecommerce industry, the ability to stay customer focused and flexible is the key to a successful online boutique.
Delighting your customers doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take systems and consistency.
From the quality of your product, to your packaging and customer service – even your social media content – it all matters.
But here’s the thing – if everything you do is about delighting your customer, you’ll create a brand that even has some wriggle room to get it wrong sometimes.
Fundamentally customers want three things.
- Listened to
- Entertained and educated
- Treated with respect
If you stay customer focused you’ll always cover all three bases.
Find and flaunt your funny bits
Relax, no one’s asking you to reinvent the wheel.
No, this is about identifying the unique way your brand does something a little differently than the rest, and making a feature out of it.
Questions you should be asking yourself, are:
- What can my brand do differently – better, even?
- What one element of my business do I really want to become known and appreciated for?
Having customers buy your product is essential if your online store is to turn a profit. But having customers who love to be associated with your products and spend money with you, is how you build a brand.
Tap into what makes your brand special by being really honest about your brands’ strengths and weaknesses.
What you do well, and even what you don’t do so well (right now).
This type of transparency and open dialogues builds trust with your audience, which is how you create a brand with sticking power.
In our society there is an expectation that being “professional” means you are buttoned up, polished, and sound a little bit like a robot. The person you are for your friends and family is not at all the same person you are for your clients.
This kind of separation of personal and professional is a disservice not only to yourself but to your client. You see, when you can be who you are 100% of the time you create the opportunity to forge genuine relationships, which leads to real trust, which then cultivates collaboration, which then results in enthusiastic supporters of your brand. – Kathleen Shannon @ www.braidcreative.com
Under promise and over deliver
It can be as simple as a handwritten or stamped “thank you for shopping with us” card in your packaging.
An email autoresponder series set up to email new customers a week after purchase to ask if everything was okay or if they had an questions.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
The way you ‘over deliver’ needs to be relevant to your business. But the goal is to find small ways to stay connected with your customer, and let them know you appreciate that out of all the other options available, they choose to do business with you.
Before we wrap up, let me be very honest with you…
If creating a profitable, memorable brand was easy then every one would be doing it.
The fact is, in order to create a brand your customers are obsessed you need to think like and about your customer. Plan. Deliver Consistently, then take some time to review and analysis your results.
Yes, a reasonable budget always helps (obvs!). But if you don’t have that, fret not.
Follow the 9 tips above I just shared on how to create a brand and use that knowledge to create an Authority Ecommerce business, and you’ll still do a lot better than most.
I’d love to hear what challenges you face around branding your business? Let’s talk in the comments
If you’ve gotten some helpful advice from this article, I’d love it if you shared it with someone you think would get a lot out of it, too.