Branding 101 – Finding your brands voice
Finding Your Brands Voice
Starting out in e-commerce it is often a long hard push to simply start stocking your product. Picking the right platforms, themes, getting photography, creating product descriptions, working out shipping, pricing your product there are many hurdles that a fledgling e-commerce store owner needs to look at to simply get a product to market. There are times when it may seem like a futile exercise to look at defining your brand. However, only the strong survive and those brands that have stood the test of time to become household names that have a well-defined brand identity.
Customers will be looking for consistency in your message, and your brand identity and core business values are the thread that ties all parts of your business together. Once you define your values you can build a framework for all of your customer communication and have a consistent persona that filters throughout your entire business.
Step One – Looking outward – Brands that YOU Love.
Choose up to three brands you admire. Look for:
- Track record,
- Perceived Value.
Example – Zappos – One of the biggest success stories of e-commerce, Zappos started out as shoe store (shoesite.com) and then expanded in 1999 to offer a full gamut of retail items. After receiving a letter from a customer who was unable, not once but twice to get a set of shoes, about how the customer service WOW’d her, (she received a gift certificate and a tee shirt) “We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for,” said CEO Tony Hsieh, “we didn’t want to sell just shoes. I wasn’t even into shoes – but I was passionate about customer service.” From there the 10 core values were created and Zappos went on to be acquired by Amazon. The Zappos customer service, remained intact through the sale and the core values of the business still thrive even under the umbrella of retail giant Amazon.
What emotions immediately come to mind when you think about those brands?
Example – There is no more emotive brand for many than Apple. A computing company found by rogue entrepreneur Steve Jobs, has become one of the most iconic brands. When Apple release a new product it is preceded by months of speciation and followed by months (or years) of ridicule and reverence. Apple products bring about some of the deeps and most ferocious brand advocates. Their ability to innovate, think laterally, and turn a whole industry on its head is legendary.
How do you feel about yourself when you’re experiencing the brand you love? When using those brands, how do you feel others perceive you?
Example – think about the difference between luxury and budget brands. There is reason that big name brands like Chanel, Gucci, or Prada get copied – there is a certain lifestyle that is perceived with owning a luxury brand item. You should want to bring a feeling to owning the product that you sell.
Step Two – Look inward – Love your Brand, Create your Voice
What do your customers love about your business?
- Ask yourself why do my customers shop with me? Best brands? Low prices? Great service? Personalised shopping experience? Do they love interacting with me on facebook etc?
- What is the experience that you want your customers to have when your using your product?
- What 3 words do you want your customer to use when they are telling their friends about your product?
What emotions does your brand evoke or what would you like it too?
- How does your brand make you feel? Why are you in business? Why did you choose to stock the products that you do have? What is your Brand story?
- Have you had an “AH-HA” moments (like the Zappos Wow’d letter) with your customer or product journey that can help you become relatable to your customer?
Looking at your Brand role models – How can you use your “brand models” to inspire your brand’s position?
- How can you marry the traits of the brands you love with your own brand voice to create a unique brand story?
Now that you have looked at your external influences and married them with your internal values, how can you bring those together to form your brand identity?