When was the last time you received an advertisement to buy an apple product?
Apple is more than iPhone & Mac. Nescafe is more than coffee. Nike is more than its shoes. Coca-Cola is more than just a soda. It’s all about creating experiences and feelings for them. Now, that’s branding. In your marketing efforts to convert or create an experience, the latter will always win. Without much ado, let’s talk about the correlation between branding and sales.
Great companies don’t sell. They brand.
About two decades ago, the perfect and ideal marketing plan would account for revenue generation, expenses, profits etc. Branding revolved mostly around the radio or even television ads.
The simpler times are behind us. This the internet age. Social media and Google are kicking the conventional plans to the curb. Want to buy a new dress, or get a loan perhaps, or maybe just visit that new restaurant around the corner, Google has become a go-to trusted adviser. The world is a global village, and brand matters.
So how are you going to be relevant in this day, age and time?
Never before have we had the chance to do so much with branding. The opportunities to leverage a brand to expand a business, boost sales, amplify credibility and ultimately the bottom line, are endless.
Branding is an insistent process. It requires getting touch with the heart of your customers and the core of your business. It’s about researching and applying the unique set of features to your organization so your customers start associating your brand with your business. Your brand is your biggest asset, and branding is how you’re going to build a relationship, and stay relevant for the next 50 years.
It’s your legacy.
Branding pulls consumers and builds loyalists. Sales, on the other hand, push consumers towards your product/service. Combine the two, and you’re golden. Use your brand to support your sales. Contrary to what is believed, when it comes to consumer choices, brands value.
Imagine you’re in a supermarket to get some cooking oil. Do you take the unlabelled, pocket-friendly one? Oil is oil, at the end of the day, right?
Wrong. The consumer will pay a premium for the labelled, heart-healthy bottle. Their family’s health depends on it. Consumers trust Saffola, they’ve built their credibility through consistent quality. Through the years, Saffola has had the persistent messaging of ‘healthy oil for healthy people’.
In a recent survey, over 60% of shoppers pick up brands they recognise and regularly buy, and around 21% picked up a brand because they liked it. To be in business today, our most important job is to market the brand called you. It’s just as simple as that – and just that tough and unavoidable.
Branding, in e-commerce, is even more important and even harder. An online brand has to work twice as much to establish its credibility. E-commerce is built of brands and products that aren’t tangible. So, the idea is to step outside the norms to better engage and serve the consumer and keep them coming back for more.
Here are some basic tricks and techniques that help up your e-commerce branding and sales game.
So, what does packaging have to do with your branding? Let’s unpack that. Packaging is a great way to make an instantly amazing first impression on your customer.
Split down packaging into three parts. First, the functionality, which is that the parcel with the product must reach its destination safely with no damage. Other two, the sensory and emotional part of the packaging is where the whole ballgame is. Companies like Organic India, Wishing Chair, or Forest Essentials are investing in making their delivered packages personalised, ecological, sustainable, quirky, minimalistic or just plainly delightful.
Give your consumers a reason to share their experience.
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed website. Much like an offline shop, the online store represents the essence of the brand. Think of brands like Chumbak and the inside of their stores – it’s colourful and on point with their brand image. Their website also embodies the same elements. If you’ve happened to look at Nappa Dori’s website, it has a different charm altogether. This brand selling handmade leather products has a very bespoke chic online space.
Our websites are perceived as an extension of our physical stores. So, naturally, the time gap between the payment and getting the product is an impatient one. This brings up a lot of insecurities even before the purchase. The potential customer is already concerned about the order being delivered in time, or if it’ll be damaged and what are the options if it’s broken, and the biggest rooting from not knowing where your package is and with whom. Let your customers know their rights and that you will value and protect their package as if their own. Integrate a good tracking system which proactively updates your customer on the location of his package. Keep the communication line open, reassure them that their anticipation is going to be worth it.
The Internet has changed the way we shop and look at retail experiences. This transformation has created a lot of opportunities. An ideal brand plan starts with a vision, a destination which defines what the brand symbolizes or represents. Then we move on to our mission, which is going to be the plan of attack to launch your brand.
Since e-commerce websites are highly visual, make sure you tap into relevant social media to make full use of your marketing budgets. Content marketing can be done in various ways. Optimise your product page for short, product-driven keywords. Write engaging blogs for your customers to visit and talk about socially. This is one of the best and most efficient ways to capitalize on user-generated content. This basically means finding out ways for your customer to promote and share your business. Word-of-mouth is as powerful a tool in the digital world as it was in the pre-internet days.
Anyone can have their 15 minutes of fame or that one great sale. Instead, be the one to build your brand and an army of loyalists for years to come.
The first e-commerce is known to have happened back in 1994 sometime. It was the purchase of a CD. E-commerce has come a long way since then, courtesy the internet. As the digital age grows further, we can only imagine the boom in the e-commerce market in the coming years.