Building a Brand Image in Ecommerce
We’ve discussed how to tailor your purpose with Brand Identity, now it’s time to discuss how to position your brand image to influence the way customers perceive you. A strong brand image in combination with a solid brand identity can propel a business into a new stratosphere in the world of e-commerce. Independent e-commerce retailers should take note and plan on devoting a substantial amount of time to the development of their brand image.
What is Brand Image?
Though many marketers will use brand image and brand identity interchangeably, they are not the same. Your image is a passive perspective that audiences have on your brand. It focuses on what your brand has, rather than what it wants to be. Image doesn’t concern values or social responsibility, but rather it involves more superficial components, such as social proof, media coverage, and notoriety.
Ways to Build Your Brand Image
Share Your Story
Emotional connections are one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. Storytelling can help establish that connection in a powerful manner. Consider transforming your “About Us” page into an “Our Story” page. Don’t simply tell customers what you do, but tell them why you do it. To help craft your own story, think about how you would answer the following questions:
What do you care about?
What motivates you?
How would you describe who you are?
Stay Focused on Your Market
Once a target audience has been developed, hyper-focus your attention on that audience. It’s important that you remain actively invested in whatever lifestyle, niche, or demographic you are marketing towards.
Having a genuine interest in the market helps a tremendous amount as well. For example, an online store marketing to college athletes should be acknowledging NCAA Championship winners, writing blogs focused on collegiate sports, and constantly seeking to drive conversation around related topics.
Invest in Social Media
This goes well beyond regular posting and engaging with your audience on a variety of channels. The most successful e-commerce brands have invested not only time, but money as well into social media. For companies building from the ground up, it’s very difficult to build a presence on platforms like Facebook, which has begun to turn into a ‘pay to play’ platform.
Paid advertisement goes a long way in terms of getting your brand in front of potential customers. An effective ad will not only drive visitors to your site, but it can convert them into long-time customers as well. However, traditional paid advertising is not the only avenue for independent e-commerce retailers. Influencer marketing is a fairly new practice that is becoming more and more popular, especially on Instagram. Identify an Instagram influencer in your market and find out if they offer promotional posts, or will at least review a free sample of your product.
Building your brand image is a vital part of your e-commerce brand as a whole. A positive image will not be developed overnight, but a negative image can be. Invest a substantial amount of time into this aspect of your company and the long-term benefits will grant you a great ROI. Nothing is built overnight, but a change towards a better brand image can lead to higher conversions, increased traffic, and better results as a whole.