Branding is the bread to your butter, even for online retailers. You can deliver the best product on the market, but without branding, customers won’t be as loyal, and they won’t be able to identify you.
Take a look at Goodwill Industries. You probably have a vague idea of what they do and how they operate. For those who don't, Goodwill is a nonprofit organization known for helping people find competitive employment through the sale of donated goods. They’ve spent decades building their brand, so even though you may not have known their exact product or service, you had a decent hunch.
How to Build a Brand:
Expanding on Your Company’s Mission
It’s impossible to describe the creation of a brand in one article, but having a vision or mission is one of the first steps. A mission is something to work toward; it's a goal that your business revolves around - something you personally live and breathe. It doesn’t have to be fully fleshed out right now, butyou should have a firm understanding of its basics. You’ll revisit the mission on a daily basis with new questions like: “Does this new product flow with our vision?” and “Do my employees understand why I started this company?” and “What sets me apart from big box stores?” Your mission.
Creating a Distinctive Look and Feel
Let's go back to our example business; you likely know what Goodwill’s logo looks like. If not, you would definitely recognize it if placed alongside similar (but slightly skewed) logos. This logo is distinct, and it’s plastered all over their website, which has a parallel look and feel. Even the bathrooms at your local Goodwill are guaranteed to have the cheerful G-smile somewhere. You need an expert to help build this look. It isn’t something you want to change often.
Extending that Look
As an online retailer, you don’t have a storefront to display the new logo. However, you can invest in custom shipping boxes, which will be seen by hundreds of people as they travel to their destinations. Yes, custom boxes are far from the cheapest solution, but they’re another form of advertising. Everyone knows what an Amazon box looks like. Most people are familiar enough with Lenovo to raise an eyebrow when a laptop-shaped Lenovo box arrives. You want the same brand recognition with your logo, as you do your box.
Results from Cohesive eCommerce Branding
Understand that businesses that go from zero to $1 million in one year are few and far between. The people behind those businesses struggled until they found something that worked. Branding is a process, and it works best when you genuinely believe in your mission