Your branding is what makes you unique, and a great brand persona is the best way to retain your customers, according to 90 percent of marketing leaders. Nailing down your brand is an incredibly essential part to launching an online business. As you create an online store, there must be as much thought and care put into the branding of an ecommerce company that you would put into a physical, brick and mortar location.
Even a little mistake or oversight in the process of branding can set your business down the wrong path from the start. Here’s how to avoid three of the most common ones that thousands of online brands are guilty of making.
1. A mixed or inauthentic brand voice
Four out of five customers say that the authenticity of a brand and its content is extremely influential in their decision to engage with a company. But, what exactly is an authentic brand?
Well, what makes a person authentic? They are true to themselves and are trustworthy because of their honesty.
The same thing goes for brands.
Transparency, authenticity, and honesty are so important in building a connection with an audience. According to a recent study, 94 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that is authentic, and 73 percent would be willing to pay more if a brand was truly honest and open about their products and services.
Finding your voice and sticking to it makes it easier for customers to identify and connect with your brand. Therefore, you must make sure that everyone on the team understands how to support your brand vision with every customer interaction. Inconsistency can kill your reputation, lead to confusion among customers, and ultimately slow down the sales cycle.
The important thing to do as an online brand is discover who you are from the very start. Your voice must match with your audience, product, and image that you want to portray. If you offer high-quality products, then your branding should present an aura of tip top excellence (think Apple). If your items are trendier and geared towards a younger customer base, then your brand voice should match; whereas a more sophisticated product and audience might require a different brand voice and marketing messaging.
2. Following the “traditional” social path
Obviously, social media is a key ingredient to branding. But, many online businesses create social accounts simply because it’s the expected thing to do. Nearly every brand has a Facebook page and many have Instagram, Twitter, and so on. But, are these sites truly necessary?
The answer here is pretty unsatisfying: it depends. The best way to figure out which social channels are going to be the most effective for your brand is by gathering solid customer data. Sadly, 84% of marketing teams say that they have not gathered this kind of customer insight on their audience to make data-driven decisions like this. This is why it is no wonder that so many online brands waste their time on countless social accounts that are simply not helping conversions.
Once you understand who your customers are, you can determine the best way to reach them socially. While the majority of customers do use “traditional” social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), YouTube is actually the most commonly-used site. This year, Pinterest is expected to hit the top four, and sites like Snapchat, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp are growing in popularity as well. Furthermore, social media usage varies greatly depending on the age group that your audience falls into.
Understand that not every platform is necessary or even beneficial for your brand. It depends on your audience and your industry, so choose wisely. Following the traditional social media path is a branding mistake because it can eat up your marketing resources with little returns, whereas investing in the social channels that will reach the majority of your customers will be far more effective.
3. Overlooking trust killers
It’s simple: if your customers don’t trust your brand, they are not going to buy from you. But many online businesses make the mistake of focusing solely on building trust with their customers that they ignore what is causing skepticism in the first place.
According to a study, customers are less likely to purchase from a company if they have limited payment options, little business contact information, and little-to-no social media presence. But the two biggest trust killers that will scare off more than half of customers are a low-quality brand and bad customer service.
Trust must be built overtime, but it can be destroyed in a minute if one of those mistakes are made by an online brand. Be sure to eliminate anything that could cause your customers to question your brand’s credibility by focusing on a quality CX, starting from the design of your website and its attention to detail down to their customer service experience.
Your brand is the embodiment of your business’s personality. Therefore, it must be designed carefully and strategically—as even the little mistakes that seem harmless could be destroying your company.
Be sure that you know your brand voice before your audience does; design it carefully and stick to it. Make the most of your social branding efforts by knowing where you can reach your customers with thorough data insights. And finally, create a trustworthy brand by eliminating issues that could cause customers to question your business in the first place.