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4 Alternative Brand Building Methods For A New Ecommerce Store
Today eCommerce is about so much more than being an online store. Market leaders have not only developed an efficient sales portal, but they’ve also harnessed the power of effective brand building to create loyal customers.
Branding has taken over our lives, defining the products we use and how we present ourselves on social media. Whatever your opinion, it’s undeniable the impact a good brand has on the fortunes of an eCommerce store.
Brand building is about so much more than just having a good logo or slogan. There are hundreds of guides available that explain the basics of how to build your eCommerce brand, but let’s take a look at some alternative methods to help you stand out.
Live streaming has developed into one of the most popular forms of entertainment. From Twitch turning gamers in their bedrooms into household names to pop stars interacting with their fans on Q&As, live streaming has changed the way people interact online and has the potential to change the way a brand and image is shaped. It’s a growing medium that’s here to stay, so how does an online store use it to its advantage.
Just because you don’t have an online celebrity with over a million Instagram followers behind your brand doesn’t mean you can’t make use of live streams. With a respectable social media following, you can use their live streaming features to deliver content directly to your existing fanbase.
The simplicity of Instagram and Facebook Live lends itself to the habits and curiosity of social media users, who are likely to at least give your stream a chance to hook them. You can use these streams to give your brand a bit more personality, offering a sneak peek at your operations, introducing your team and showing off new products. This is a great way to drum up interest amongst your fans and, more importantly, establish you as a fun store run by genuine people.
If you’re looking to build your brand around your people and want to put products directly in the face of your customers, there are few methods as effective as live streaming.
Go offline? But we’re an online store?
Yes, the idea of going out into the world like a traditional salesman may seem outdated or even a little daunting, but it’s a great way to drum up interest in your brand and what you do. Just because you’re an online store doesn’t mean you don’t have offline assets that can’t be put to use in person.
Going offline is about reaching alternative audiences you may not have access to through conventional eCommerce methods. Maximizing offline marketing to build your online brand is about finding new ways to reach fresh audiences. Where are the offline equivalents of where your audience interacts online and how can you reach them?
Try and replicate your online messaging and reach by sponsoring or selling at an event or expo. Not only does this expose your brand name to a wide range of people, but it also offers you an opportunity to speak to them and control your brand story. This is also one of the best ways to demonstrate products and take away the frustration generally associated with online shopping.
You can treat this as a brand-building or market research exercise. Discover what people do and don’t like about your products. Ask them what they’d like to see in the future from both the products and a website selling them. Not only will you learn how you can improve your eCommerce store, but you’ll give your business a face and develop a reputation for caring about your customers.
Get behind a social cause
Of course, brands should put their weight behind social causes out of the goodness of their heart, but it’s also an effective way of building a brand that signifies for people who you are and what you stand for. Companies that take a stand have a stronger chance of acquiring hard to reach customers and establishing a foothold in the marketplace.
Picking a social cause should be a personal or team decision, based on your own concerns and staying true to your values. This is why it’s such an effective brand-building method, as there’s no dishonesty around the campaign. Consider if you want to support a local cause to establish a local community base, or if you want to take your brand international by supporting a worldwide cause.
Whichever cause you choose to support, it will help strengthen your relationship with your existing audience and expose you to an entirely new one. Try and involve yourself as much as possible within the cause. Rather than just making a monthly donation, send your team out to work with the charity and film some content you can later use on your website, social media or newsletter.
Beyond being a great way to get more exposure and build up a bank of positive content, it will make both you and your staff feel good to be supporting a cause. Just make sure you do your research on them first!
Become a thought leader
Consumers want to know their shopping from a legitimate business. Once they have a choice of professional outfits to choose from, they’ll often go with whoever knows more about the products, even more than they’ll make their decision based on price. Becoming a thought leader is about more than just getting invited to a conference once a year, it’s about establishing a brand that people respect and make a point to come back to.
Make your eCommerce store blog the center for discussion about the industry. Use it as a space to discuss your opinions and ideas on new products, and release a slew of content that is highly useable to content, such as how-to guides and product rankings. Weigh in on industry discussions on other platforms, such as social media, to build your reputation and link back to your blog.
Some brands may be afraid to have an opinion, but it’s an important step in building a respectable brand people trust.
While these methods are effective ways of establishing a brand and making people care about it, most of your decision making has to be personal. A brand is something your business will be stuck with for its lifespan, so build something you feel you can personally relate too and want to ingrain yourself in.