Introduction from part one which can be read here (http://bit.ly/oB3ZYw): “… Can you taste the difference between a Coca Cola and a Pepsi Cola? I am sure that you think you can. But most people cannot. Customers buy the brand – not the product. It is branding that creates returning customers. It is branding that makes the different in the cola business, and so it is in eCommerce.” This post was original posted on the Klarna blog in Swedish, so if you prefer Swedish you can read it her.
How do you build up you brand value as internet retailer? Here is a small guide of 15 small tips to increase your brand value without buying expensive TV ads.
Branding to existing customers
The most relevant audience, the most likely people to be effected by your branding, is your existing customer. Make them know and recognize your logo and shop name. Here are some small tips to increase your branding towards those:
1) Have your logo on the packets you send out (or at least on the tape).
Knowing that the packets is from your shop makes your customer exited to open your packet and is good customer experience. Besides that, often the person receiving the packet is not the final customer, but could be the customers colleague, neighbor, mom, spouse or a friend collecting the packet for the customer. And now that friend/lover/colleague will also know that you are a real company.
2) Get your logo, or a sticker with your logo on each product packing you send out.
Often the brand of the product you are selling, (Nike, Appel or whatever) have the product in a nice inner box with their logo on. That inner box are more likely that the customer keep, than the external one. Add your logo sticker to that box too.
3) Include a small catalog or flyer in the packet.
Include something with your logo on in the packet that the customer might save. It might be leaflet, a candy, a catalog with more products or a note about how to return the product in case of reclamation (customer save that one). iPhonebutiken does this with candy and even get blog post about this.
4) Have the same email signature template for all employees.
Include your logo and a link to you Facebook fan site and to the shop. Outnet.se does it the right way.
Other corporate standards your should consider implementing online:
5) Decide max. 3 “corporate” colors, that you use everywhere in your design, logo and more.
Use standard colors in your logo, in your banners, in your web design and everywhere that you use colors. Especially use the same colors in your banner as on your website. That is the “Scent” Brian Eisenberg talk so much about. ” we’re a bunch of scent following animals, and as soon as we lose the scent we drop off. Keep all design on brand and in line with the campaign*”
Lekmere.se uses red, white and light blue everywhere and you recognize it.
6) Print the invoice in colors
It cost money, is bad for the environment, but is good for your business. I am sure your logo not just is black and white. So don’t send out invoices or other letters with your logo in black and white.
7) Have a letterhead and get your logo on any letter you send out.
Your suppliers, your bank, your business partners, they are all very potential customers, and of cause they should be brainwashed to memorize your logo and slogan.
8 ) Standard logo
Have a standard logo that you uses everywhere. Don’t use one in 5 different formats.
Have the logo in high resolution and in vector format.
10)Make something out of your logo.
Many shop only have a text stating their name and no logo. From Zappo’s logo you see that they sell shoes. From Lekmer.se’s logo (monkey helicopter above at point 5) you see they sell toys.
11) Be a sponsor
But only at relevant events, that matches your audience. Often all you have to pay is some free products, and you might even be able to have your supplier pay for the free products
12) Business cards
Have business cards, and hand them out everywhere. Your friends, family and business partners could be your best sales people.
13) Avoid a SEO shop name.
Customers don’t remember the difference on e.g. Computerstore.com or onlinecomputer.com, but customers remember a name like ASOS, Zappos or Amazon. Also notice that those big shot eCommerce companies have names that can be used across borders. Don’t use a shop name that include Swedish or other local language.
14) A big sign on your door/building/car
Put a big sign with your company name outside of your building or on your company car. Why hide your company from your neighbors that are potential customer.
15) Free random sits people might see your name
Add your name every where it is for free, especially online – google maps, google plus, any online site or on a blog you own and so on.
A couple of issues to remember when doing branding.
- Remember it is not about getting everybody in the hole world to see your logo at once, it is about getting everybody who really needs your products to see your logo again and again and then remember it. Then they will be a lot more likely to respond to your (Search) marketing.
- The larger your business is the more important is the points above.
- Branding can be very very expensive, especially if it is external branding like TV ads and so on, but it can also be done cheep. Be carefully not to spend too much time or money on branding.
- Branding is a lot about being consisting (scent). That the customer knows what this brand stands for and what this brand will deliver. Make sure your customer gets the same experience every time they shop at your shop. A consistent “good customer service” is better than 50% extreme good customer service and 50% mediocre customer service. CDON only have customer service via email, and I believe that is better than have phone customer service that they might only answers every second call. It is consistent.
- Branding becomes more efficient if people see your logo via different channels. The person who see your web banner and then your logo on your door/on a packet/on google maps/in a tv ad or anywhere else, is more likely to buy you product than the person who just sees your web banner twice. It is very powerful if your audience see your logo and name difference places. That is possible if you know who your target group is and you target one group at the time via different channels.
- The effect of branding is very hard to measure. Anyway one indicator can be the percentage of direct traffic you get to your shop.
Summery. Be consistent in your branding, and use your logo everywhere possible, and especially when it is internally and you can print your logo for “free”.