Let’s be real – starting any company online can be a little daunting, there’s just so much competition out there. How do some brands stick out more than others and how do you not get “lost in the sauce”? Being online is easy but having a real online ~*presence*~ takes time – but totally doable when you have the right branding tips for your online business.
The secret is… Behind the glossy images and funny text lies a solid brand strategy.
Don’t be fooled, a lot of work goes into creating a strong brand presence. Good branding sets your brand up for success. A good brand strategy determines how a brand navigates online. People want to know exactly what you’re all about and what they should be expecting from you.
So, why should your online business care about branding?
Establishing your brand early on is what’s going to save you from your competition but for the next new infrastructure that’s going to disrupt your industry.
You may not always know what’s on the horizon in your industry but you can always take steps to solidify a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
Here are 5 steps out of our Bulletproof Branding Workbook which we will be releasing very soon. In our workbook, we will share with you all of our tips, tricks, and resources we’ve collected over the years of working with successful eCommerce businesses, all of which you would be able to utilize to up your online game.
Let’s take a brief moment and clear 2 things up that people often confuse:
Branding and marketing are related but are 2 different things.
Think of it like this:
Marketing is what’s going to get you that first date but its branding that’s going to be the reason why they’re going to stick around. We’re not saying that one is better than the other, we’re saying that one needs the other to really thrive.
Branding is ever-evolving, it establishes your ‘why’, the look and feel, and the positioning. Your brand serves as a differentiator in the marketplace between you and everyone else.
Branding is what gets people to come back, time and time again because you’ve established trust and value for your customers. Without establishing your brand, you cannot properly market. Branding is what establishes an emotional connection. Why does your brand exist? What connects you to your customers?
The number one way to win in the next disruptive shift is to build a bulletproof brand, where they need you and must have you, and the only way to do that is to be heard by your customers.
Branding is what makes a memorable lasting impression and makes your brand stand out from your competition. It helps increase the value of your company, provides employees with direction and motivation and allows your customers to know exactly what to expect.
Branding is like a business plan, but for your brand.
All of this can be a little daunting and oftentimes, people find themselves with hundreds of ideas but unsure of how to make sense of it all. So, here are 5 tips to get you started on thinking seriously about your brand.
1. Define your brand’s ‘why’
German philosopher Frederick Nietzche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how’. Knowing your ‘why’ is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living. What is the purpose of your brand and what is your ‘because’ statement?
2. What’s your brand’s mission?
What is your brand’s mission? Mission statements provide a clearly stated purpose of your business and the goals you have for succeeding. The best mission statements go hand-in-hand with the company’s philosophy and culture and help guide a company from the present to the future.
Are there any core values you and your brand abide by?
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. How do you want to be perceived and how do you want your audience to feel?
3. Ok, hotshot. What do you have to offer?
A value proposition can be presented as a business or marketing statement that your company uses to summarize why a customer should buy a product or use your service. This is something you are committed to fulfilling whether it’s a unique gap in the market, or an offer to disrupt the industry, or a way to spotlight your brand’s best qualities.
Here are some questions to think about: What makes your company different from the others? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
Whatever it is, make it compelling enough to get that rose.
4. Know who you’re speaking to by defining your target market
Who is your target market? Who are the people you want to reach? Defining your target market lays the foundation of all elements of your marketing strategy, from how you develop and name your products or services right through the marketing channels you use to promote them. The better you understand the people you’re trying to sell to, the better you’ll be able to target them with relevant content, messaging, and ads.
Remember, you can’t target everyone, but you can sell to everyone.
5. Create content that will kick butt
As we said earlier, you can’t target everyone, but you can sell to anyone. It’s more effective to narrow in on the group of people who are more likely to convert rather than just putting out whatever content and hoping that someone, anyone, will bite.
Think about the interests and pain points of your customers. Content should provide service, value, and inspiration to your customers.
What are your target market’s interests? How can you provide value for them?