This article is part of a 3-part series on the 3 ingredients to succeeding in eCommerce.
- Part 1: How To Improve YOU In Order to Grow Online
- Part 2: The 3-Part Process of Discovering Your Perfect Customer
- Part 3: You Are Here 🙂
Have you ever felt so compelled to purchase an item but couldn’t figure out why you needed it? If you’ve experienced this (as most of us do at some point or another) you can thank the business’s brand for that internal persuasion.
When it comes to building and growing a successful retail business, one of the most important things you can do is create a strong brand. However, a brand is more than just a name or logo. It’s the essence of your company, what separates you from the competition, and what customers come to know and trust about your business.
Creating a solid brand is just one of the three core ingredients necessary to create a successful retail business. The three ingredients in order are:
- You as an entrepreneur
- Your Customers
- Your Brand
It’s important to follow these ingredients in order so if you haven’t read our previous blog posts where we dive deeper into you as an entrepreneur and your customer, we highly recommend you read those first. To briefly recap, you want to start with yourself as an entrepreneur because this is where you can define and develop what a clear plan of success looks like for not only your business but also yourself. Then, you can develop a strategy around what it looks like to become the entrepreneur capable of running that business.
Next, you want to dive deeper into knowing exactly who your perfect customer is. By understanding who your one perfect customer is, you can design your site, plan your social posts, write emails, buy products for them, and ultimately create a stronger brand experience that will resonate and attract more dream customers.
Once you have these two ingredients taken care of we want to finish up strong by diving into how to create a strong brand for your business. However, creating a successful brand in retail can be tricky, but with careful planning and execution, it’s definitely doable. Here are the components that make up a successful retail brand:
- The Aesthetic Of Your Brand
Start with the visuals. These are the items such as your logo, fonts, and colors. It’s important to make sure that there is cohesiveness to those pieces.
After all, these are the images and colors that customers will associate with your company. As such, it’s important to choose visuals that accurately reflect your brand identity. For example, if your brand is all about luxury and sophistication, you’ll want to avoid using excessively playful or cartoony visuals. Instead, opt for something sleek and elegant. On the other hand, if your brand is geared toward families or children, you’ll want to use visuals that are fun and inviting. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your brand’s aesthetic is coherent and consistent across all platforms including your store, website, and even social media.
While all of this is important to nail down, the visual side of branding is the smallest piece in the overall brand experience. The following pieces serve a higher impact on your business when it comes to your overall brand experience for your customers.
- Finding Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is how your brand communicates to your customers. It’s the overall tone and personality of your brand, and it should be consistent across all of your marketing materials. Your brand voice should reflect your brand’s values and target audience.
When you start to build out your voice it’s important to first understand who your perfect customer is as well as figure out how they talk. This is crucial to know when it comes to how your brand will communicate in your marketing.
No matter who your target audience is, though, your brand voice should always be unique and recognizable. By developing a strong brand voice, you’ll help build a stronger and deeper connection with your customers.
- Brand Values
Your brand values are the deeper why behind what your brand does. Your brand does not just sell clothing or things within a hobby, it’s something more than that. We want to make people feel a certain way that comes with the industry they are shopping for.
For example, if you’re in the makeup industry you want to make your customer feel beautiful. Or if you’re in the health industry you want to give your customer access to a healthier lifestyle. These deeper reasons are why people buy. People don’t necessarily buy the product, they buy the feeling that comes with it.
Ultimately, brand values are about more than just selling products – they’re about creating a connection with your customers that goes beyond the transaction. When done right, they can be a powerful tool for growing your business.
- Brand Experience
The overall brand experience is last, but it’s actually the most important. Creating a brand experience that is both memorable and positive is essential for any business. But what exactly goes into creating a great brand experience? It turns out that there are two key elements: solutions and superpowers.
Your brand’s solutions are the things that it offers to solve your customers’ problems. Again, this is why it’s important to really understand who your customer is and how they shop. This is where you want to think through what problems they have that your brand can start to address. This will play out in the merchandising, navigation, curated collections on your website, and more. When you can figure out the way your customer thinks about shopping for a product you can create a better shopping experience for them.
On the other hand, your brand’s superpower is what you do better than anyone else for your customer. This might be something like customer service or convenience but we challenge you to dive a little deeper. Think about if someone is talking about your brand and they are recommending something to their friend, what would they say their friend has to check out your store or site for? Whatever it is, make sure that your superpower is front and center in your brand experience in-store, online, and on your social media.
All of these pieces tie together into one big thing which is your brand feeling. What do people feel when they walk into your store or visit your site? Part of the in-store experience is that you, as a person, can control their feelings by how you communicate with them. On top of that, they are experiencing other senses like how your store smells and how it looks and is laid out.
But on your site, this is where all of these things become more important than ever. When we can understand who our customer is we can start to figure out what would make them immediately know they are in the right place when they land on our website. Everything starts to tie together when we understand our brand and our customer.
Subtle changes you can easily make to build that feeling online is including imagery in the hero image that your customer connects with or you can switch up your copy to be around what they are currently experiencing in their life right now. We want someone to immediately know they are in the right place or else they will click the back button which means we lost the opportunity to sell to someone who could have been our perfect customer.
All of these pieces tie together so well to fully understand who our customer is. When we understand who they are, how they shop, and what their deeper desires are, then we start to understand our brand and the relationship that exists between them. We’re able to build a site experience, a store experience, and a social media experience with them in mind. That ultimately lets our customers know they’re in the right place and you are able to solve their problems better than anyone else.
If you are looking for other tips and advice, you can join our Facebook group to connect with other brick-and-mortar retailers working to grow online.