Your eCommerce brand should be recognizable, memorable, and distinct. Building a strong brand strategy helps you differentiate yourself from your competition and build customer loyalty.
Just like an architect draws out a building plan before they start building, you need to develop a brand strategy for your business.
How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Brand strategy is a combination of several elements that you’ll need to focus on to fully develop your brand.
Define Your Brand Mission Statement
A mission statement articulates your brand’s purpose – it announces to the world why your business exists.
Think of a mission statement as a combination of what your business does and how and why it does it, expressed in a way that summarizes your brand values.
Your mission statement is something you can come back to whenever you’re setting goals or making business decisions.
Create a mission statement that’s unique to your eCommerce store, depending on your focus and values.
A mission statement generally includes a basic description of the business, its purpose, and its goals.
Keep it short and concise – your mission statement shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences.
Don’t limit yourself – leave yourself room to expand. At the same time, be realistic and not too vague.
- Who are your customers?
- What problem was your solution created to solve?
- What are your goals as a business?
Identify Your Target Audience
Establishing your target audience means knowing who your ideal customers are and directing your marketing and products toward them.
Start by figuring out the demographic of your target audience. Identify factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, where they live, what they do, and who they are.
You can identify your target audience by doing surveys of your current customers. Ask basic questions about your customers’ age, family, occupation, and earnings to create a thorough picture of your customer base. Also inquire about hobbies, beliefs, passions, values, and pain points. Make sure to include questions specific to your industry.
Then develop your buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your target audience. Develop a story for and context around the people who are most interested in your product or service. Your buyer personas are the best place to organize all of the information you identified about your target audience into a story that you can relate to and understand.
Knowing who you’re selling to will make it much easier for you to develop content that speaks to your target audience’s goals and challenges.
Outline Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
A unique selling point (USP) is a definition, in a sentence or two, of what makes your eCommerce store better than your competitors and why customers should buy from you.
A strong, instantly recognizable USP can make or break businesses operating in competitive industries. Until you know what your USP is, and how to capitalize on it, your eCommerce business will be just another voice clamoring to be heard.
Your USP could be:
- Lowest price
- Highest quality
- Fastest delivery
- A unique location
- The most innovative products or services
- Easiest returns process
Keep in mind that people don’t want to buy products – they want to buy feelings.
Look at the cosmetics industry for example. Cosmetics companies don’t just sell make-up – they sell glamour, confidence, and style.
The promise they make is that people who may not feel glamorous, confident, or stylish will if they use a particular product. This concept is the basis for a lot of cosmetics advertising and can be applied to every other industry.
Create an irresistible USP by analyzing your perfect customer and then marketing your products in a way that shows you can meet their needs.
Create Your Brand Style
Your eCommerce brand style consists of colors, fonts, logo, voice, and more. By defining your brand style, you ensure your content is consistent, recognizable, and enjoyable.
Keep all the definitions of your brand style in a style guide that you can refer to as needed.
Brand colors are a palette of around 5-10 colors that are used to represent your business. You can increase brand recognition and awareness by applying brand colors consistently and strategically.
Your eCommerce brand’s color scheme plays a key role in the way you create your logo, your website design, and much more.
So how do you decide on your brand colors?
Colors can have different meanings depending on the colors they’re paired with, as well as on context and cultural connotations.
Look around for color inspiration. Analyze what makes your competitors’ palettes – see what you can learn from their color choices, and how you can differentiate your brand.
Other sources of inspiration are online color palette generators, where you can find ideas for visually-pleasing color pairings and appealing shades.
Typography is one of those things that can go unnoticed when done well, and stick out like a sore thumb when it’s not.
Each category has its own traits (this is called font psychology). Understanding these categories can help you narrow down the search and find the right fonts to fit your brand’s personality.
The basic font classifications:
- Serif – Classic, traditional, and trustworthy
- Sans-serif – Modern, clean, and minimal
- Slab serif – Bold, rugged, and confident
- Script – Elegant, unique
- Handwritten – Informal and artistic
- Decorative – Stylized, distinctive, and dramatic
Specify your font and design hierarchy in terms of font sizes and font weights. Make sure the font for your headers complements your subheaders, and that the fonts you choose work for all your different platforms.
Your logo is the face of your business. You use your eCommerce store’s logo to explain who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.
Your brand’s logo appears on your social posts, eCommerce website, marketing materials, business cards, and more. That’s a lot for one little graphic, so it’s important to make sure it represents your store accurately.
Elements of a good logo:
- Looks good in any context
- Portrays your brand style
Combine your brand story, colors, and message to create a logo that represents your brand perfectly. It can be easy to overcomplicate logos, and very often simpler is better, so make sure your logo is clear and uncomplicated.
Brand voice is your brand’s personality in all of its communications. Are you a funny and playful brand, or is your tone more serious?
Clearly defining your brand voice will enable you to be consistent across all your platforms, even if you have different teams creating content for different channels. Set down your brand voice in detail, including do’s and don’ts for grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, and tone.
When establishing your eCommerce brand voice make sure to look at:
- Your tone
- Your brand’s persona
- How your voice matches your brand values
- The target audience you are directed toward
A distinct brand voice helps your customers remember and relate to your eCommerce brand, which results in greater brand loyalty.
Build an Authentic Brand That Customers Will Love
With a solid brand strategy in place, your eCommerce brand will be easily recognizable, attract your target customers, and build brand loyalty and trust.
Develop your brand story and style to create a powerful brand that stands apart from the competition.