Why Branding Is Important For Successful Online Businesses
Launching a business has never quite been as easily attainable or as quickly achievable as it is today, since we can now build and run virtual stores that can cater to a word wide audience without expending as much resources or as much time as building a physical store.
If you have a passion or a business idea that you want to turn into an online venture, a critical misstep that you might want to avoid is launching your store without first building a brand. If you have found yourself focusing solely on the business aspect of your online store, with very little thought of branding whatsoever, then stop right there and read this article. We are going to let you know exactly why building your brand can make all the difference in building a successful online business.
When you build a brand, you are building one of the biggest assets of your business. No matter what kind of business you are trying to run, big or small, branding is everything.
Why? Because your products can be copied by your competitors, but your brand is uniquely your own. Your products can become outdated and obsolete, but a strong brand is timeless and capable of constantly evolving.
Your brand goes beyond a graphic symbol that is your business logo. Your brand encompasses your entire operation, and what allows customers to connect and experience your product and services at a deeper, emotional level. So if you want to run a successful business with a long term approach, then you want to start thinking about building a brand that can help you foster a long term relationship with your consumers.
With this article, we are going to let you in on why building your brand is of central importance to your business, and give you reasons why you should not neglect this step. Let’s look at the top reasons why you need to refocus your efforts into building your online business’s brand right now:
If you think about it, all successful businesses have their branding at the very core of their business.
Having a business without a dedicated branding effort will hamper your potential customers’ ability to recognize your business and build any type of association with it.
A business with no branding strategy is as good as a formless cloth dummy without a face and a voice. You will find no recognizable or memorable features, and no way to make an impression.
If I asked you to think of a brand right now, let’s say Louis Vuitton, Apple, Frito-Lay, Amazon or Netflix, these very brand names are evocative enough to conjure up some strong images and even feelings, depending on what kind of associations you have formed with these brands. You may even be able to picture their logos quite clearly. Am I right?
One thing is for sure, many people can recognize these brands on the spot and associate them with products and services that have provided a great many users with value and pleasant experiences, and that there are millions of people who are willing to continue paying for what they have to offer.
Build an impression
People are similar to brands in a way. We all have names, a personal style, voice, physical features, and a unique personality that helps people distinguish us and know us from the rest. We all leave some kind of impression. There are also some personalities out there who make it their business to work on their personal branding. Think Martha Steward, Beyonce, and LeBron James—these people have certainly been marketing and branding themselves very well throughout the years.
Your business should also have distinguishing features. You have a unique name, but you also need a unique logo, color schemes, fonts, images, values, ideas, and a reputation that you want to build and manage. All these things help you build upon people’s perception of you. Your brand should accurately and consistently reflect who you are or what your business represents.
You want all these things to come together and become your brands persona, so that people can relate to and identify with your brand’s distinct personality.
Stand out from the competition
When you start an online business, you are starting a business in a highly competitive global market. Chances are somebody else is selling the same products as you! There’s just such a massive variety of products out there to choose from and focusing your efforts on pushing your products may not be enough. But like we said, your brand is what makes your business unique and what makes you different from the rest.
Good branding will help you stand out in the minds of your consumers, because your story, your vision, and what you stand for is unique and tailored to appeal to the aspirations, ambitions, and desires of your target demographic. If you can define what you do in such a way that appeals and relates to your consumers, they will be more likely to make purchases from your shop, because people relate to what you stand for.
A good example of this comes from 4Ocean , a group that is focused on saving the ocean by collecting plastic and turning them into beads for bracelets. These bracelets are in no way unique at all. They look like any other kind of beaded bracelet out there that you could probably buy online for less than a buck. However, because of their powerful branding and message, people are more willing to buy their $20 bracelets instead of a cheaper alternative because their brand represents something meaningful to them.
Create an experience
You know that saying, “Sell an experience, not a product”? Branding isn’t just how people view your logo and your color schemes, it’s how people experience your products and services.
Your branding effort should encompass the overall experience that you provide your customers, from their first encounter with you, to the long term, continued outcomes. Your focus shouldn’t just be shelling out products, but in creating powerful and memorable brand experiences and stories.
Think of companies like Apple and Starbucks, these brands have been selling not just phones and coffee they have also managed to consistently and constantly handout valuable experience that runs deep into the hearts of their loyal customer base. This is precisely what made them standout from their competitors and why so many people have a profound preference for these brands.
Focusing on your brands customer experience may just be one of the most important investments your business can make, especially in today’s competitive climate. Whether you’ve got great product quality, creating a great customer experience for your clients is what’s going to help them decide whether they will carry on doing business with your brand in the long run.
Forge an emotional bond
Emotional branding is a term used for building a brand that appeal to the emotional state, needs, and aspirations of your consumers. Many brands make it their goal to form a strong emotional bond with their customers.
A great example of a brand that uses emotional branding to inspire passionate customer loyalty is Nike. Nike advertises using a universal literary archetype, the story of the hero’s journey. There is no culture on earth that doesn’t love or has been touched by the great struggle and the ultimate triumph of the hero against adversity. It’s a classic human story. Nike achieves customer loyalty by making their customers feel like heroes themselves, because everyone identifies and aspires to be like the hero archetype.
People love ideas, inspiring stories, and exciting concepts. Emotions are what helps you as a business connect to your customers on a level that is deep, going beyond just the practical functions of your product. A successful emotional branding effort should evoke feelings and needs in your consumers that can only be fulfilled and satisfied by your brand and your products.
Create a sense of quality and value
We mentioned in the beginning of this article that your brand is going to be your business’s biggest asset. This is because a strong brand provides more value to an organization that goes beyond any physical product or service that you have right now.
No matter the size of your business, you can’t go wrong in focusing on building a high-quality, excellence-focused brand that was built for the long run. Whether you are providing a product or a service, you want your customers to feel like they have made a great and worth-every-penny kind of purchase with you.
Branding does not only help identify, but it’s also a way to help you build and attain your customers’ perception of quality when it comes to your goods and services. Simply building your brand around the idea that you are adding value to someone’s life, solving their problems, and working to exceed their expectations is a great way to keep your customers satisfied, which will help you build trust and customer loyalty that will last.
Back to you
Your brand needs to encompass your entire business and organization, touching on every product, design, story, and idea that you have.
Focus your branding effort in making your business more recognizable to your consumers, more emotionally relatable and humanizing, and focus on selling them a great and resounding experience. This is what’s going to help your brand stand out from the rest and what will sustain your business’s success long term. No matter what size your business may be or what stage it is in, the necessity of building a strong and defining brand cannot be undervalued.
In this article, we have dished out some of the most compelling reasons for you to focus your business strategy on branding. So, what are you waiting for?
Do you think that improving your branding strategy can help you and your online business? If you do, Ecommerce Pro would love to know what you think. If you have any queries or concerns, please feel free hit us up any time!
The E-Commerce Checklist
We have listed down the best practices in a checklist to ensure that your online business is ready for launching.