Building a thriving online business may sound like a difficult challenge and without question, it is. But as any prospective business, the road towards e-commerce success can be narrowed down to three milestones: 1. Build up your own room, 2. Attract your audience and 3. Make them stay.
As Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon used to say, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”, which is not only true but it also traces the basic needs of your public and future customers: they need something to talk about and they need a room to do it. The first falls into the hands of marketing, the latter is advertising, what’s left is giving people something to actively and continuously talk about, in other words, branding your business. There are multiple tools available for building a reliable, unique online brand, but how exactly should you use them?
In order to attract your audience, you need to build it first.
“What is my brand’s message?, What am I selling?, What is my brand committed to?”. As a start-up online business, you need clear answers to these basic questions, which will help you define a clear consumer profile and start building your branding strategy.
Know your public.
Most start-up online brands fail in sorrow and despair, and their failure is mainly due to a lack of audience information. “Who are the individuals who may be interested in buying my product? How old are they? What are their values, needs and expectations? What may their income be? What kind of blogs do they read? Which websites do they visit regularly? Do they shop online? How often do they shop online? What frustrates them? How can I relate to their needs and dreams and transmit them my products are able to fulfill them?” The key to effective branding is commitment to fulfill your public’s needs. It’s Sir Richard Branson, CEO Virgin who said at one point “Branding demands commitment, commitment to continual re-invention, striking chords with people to stir their emotions and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.”
Know your competition.
Even if the product or the services you offer are so innovative that there’s no targeted competition to worry about, you still have to monitor search engines keywords and see where they are coming from. You need to have a panorama over your competitors, see what exactly turns other brands into your competition be it through type of product, services or keywords rankings. Learn more about their business philosophy and description and make yours more appealing. What are their offer, prices, and marketing goals? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is it they are really selling?
Build interaction between brand and audience.
The number one rule in online branding is to permanently keep your audience engaged, connected to your brand. A faithful audience is one that is satisfied with the way(s) the brand responds to each consumer’s input. Building a brand experience is crucial to your customers who will rapidly leave your products behind if this requirement isn’t satisfied.
Help your audience trust you!
This part of the branding process is of major importance. Your public wants to see consistency, adaptability, an informed position, ambition, and foremost, they need to be addressed in their own language. Your customers’ trust will not only promote your brand’s success but will also help you handle situations of crisis that may arise in the future.