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magento & ecommerce

How to Differentiate Your Brand in an Overflowing Market

The e-commerce market is overcrowded. Imagine a shopping street in a city center. Businesses pay enormous monthly rents knowing someone will inevitably visit their store as the number of outlets is limited. Now, imagine this street is literally endless – that’s the modern internet and the level of competition. To succeed, you must set your brand apart from others.

In this guide, we’ll share the best tips for building a strong brand identity and gaining customer recognition. We’ve also included tips suitable for businesses of all sizes and within all industries. Read on to discover how to stand out in this highly competitive web world.

1. Strong Content

A content strategy helps to establish brand identity and supports an omnichannel business model. Most successful online businesses offer something more than a nice site design. They create useful or fun, but most importantly, unique and engaging content that draws customer attention. Interesting content posted across your business channels helps to keep existing customers hooked and sparks interest in only those considering purchasing from you.

Disney is a good example of how content helps to sell even overpriced products. However, in the case of Disney, content came first. As an online business owner, all you need to strive for is high-quality content that provides information different from the product description on your site. The possible content may include infographics, comics, videos, images – anything that’s suitable for your chosen platform and speaks the language of your target audience.

2. Bring Value Other Than Your Product

Your product will likely sell without this point given it’s of high quality and adequately priced. However, bringing customers something more valuable, such as informative blog posts, is a great way to upsell products and gain customer trust. Furthermore, informative articles are useful for SEO purposes.

Naturally, informative blog posts aren’t a great fit for any business type. In this case, you can bring value to society rather than a single customer to improve brand recognition and image. For instance, the Innocent smoothie brand actively takes part in charity initiatives and ensures their packaging and production is sustainable. Without supporting the reputation of an ethical brand, Innocent would likely sell significantly fewer smoothies, no matter how tasty they are.

3. Provide Great Customer Service

Time for some quick stats. A report by Microsoft shows that 90% of US residents consider customer service an important factor in deciding whether a business is worth their attention. Furthermore, 58% of the same respondents would turn to a different company if they aren’t satisfied with the provided service. The good news is, three out of five customers say customer service is the key to loyalty. Lastly, 78% of consumers are ready to tolerate operating mistakes if the company’s customer service is excellent.

It’s time to start paying attention to your customer service level to improve customer retention. Ensure that your contact details are easily accessible across all your channels and improve your response times. Take advantage of technological progress – self-service is gaining popularity. Implement chatbots and create a detailed FAQ section.

4. Create a Story

Storytelling is one of the best ways to differentiate your brand. Often, consumers don’t buy the product but rather the ideas and emotions tied to it. That’s especially applicable to luxury goods where people want to buy a certain lifestyle along with a new bag or car. One thing to keep in mind is that your story must be not only inspiring but also true, or at least seem as such.

A great example is Victoria’s Secret. The founder’s inspiration to launch the brand, so the story goes, was an uncomfortable trip to a department store to buy underwear for his wife. Roy Raymond decided to open a lingerie store targeted at men. By using designs that were considered risky at that time and promoting them with a team of models named “Angels”, the brand constantly fueled the core idea. These elements helped to build a strong brand identity and today every second man knows Victoria’s Secret even if they have never shopped there.

5. Unique and Consistent Branding

Unsurprisingly, branding is what differentiates you from competitors the most. It’s the very thing that helps the public recognize your products in marketplaces and in real life. There’s no simple and universal definition of branding, though. It’s a scope of business, design, marketing, and relational factors tied to one goal. In other words, all the points mentioned in this guide relate to branding. In this case, however, we talk about the visual part of the concept. It consists of logotype and slogan, site, social page, and product design, and other visual elements.

Consistency of branding means that all visual elements should feature the same style. Utilize similar or matching colors and materials in your products, use similar fonts for your site and promotional e-mails. Customers should understand which brand an ad or product belongs to even before they look at the logotype.

Some business owners strive to stand out by incorporating lots of visual elements into one logotype or site. However, that’s not a good way to go about it. The perfect style is easy to remember and recreate. Everyone knows how Nike’s logo looks and what its slogan is. But can you remember what the logo for the FIFA World Cup 2018 looks like? There are examples of famous companies with overly complicated identity elements. However, most of them exist for multiple decades and are known for anything but the logo.

6. Build Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers are the cheapest and most effective means of advertisement. Satisfied shoppers are happy to tell others about your brand and bring continuous profit. They will instantly recognize your brand among all others. Furthermore, acquiring new customers is 5-25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones.

Customer loyalty must be deserved, though. It builds from positive shopping and customer service experience, satisfaction with product quality, and a strong marketing strategy. You should offer your consumers some value in exchange for their loyalty. A good method of gaining a loyal customer database is offering them a discount program or early access to promotions. It’s also crucial to keep track of customer feedback to determine issues that need improvement. This can be done by monitoring brand mentions across the web or asking site visitors to complete a survey or leave a review.

7. First Impression Is Important

The first impression with online shopping actually occurs twice – when the customer first visits your site and when they receive their first order. A unique and user-friendly site design has apparent importance for brand identity. However, focusing on the product and site’s visual part, many businesses forget about the packaging and extras.

First Impression Is Important

Make your customers feel like it’s Christmas when they receive your product. Choose a unique branded design and nice-to-the-touch materials for the packaging. You may also include a small surprise gift. For instance, clothing brand GCDS adds a bag of branded candies and lipstick to all first-time purchases and packs the clothing in sealable freezer-style bags. Such a small touch makes the customer feel special and the unusual packaging boosts brand recognition.

8. Be Innovative

Businesses that undertake the risk to be different and utilize new technology always stand out. The most successful companies were once industry pioneers. It’s easy to get lost in the market if you prefer to go a familiar path tried out by hundreds of businesses before you.

One of the latest e-commerce trends not yet widely used is augmented reality. Only 1% of retailers utilize this technology even though 61% of consumers prefer stores offering such an experience. The development of AR enables users to visualize how your product will look on them or in their homes and interact with it. Implementation of this trend helps to reach new audiences by creating a buzz, increase engagement, and reduce returns.

Smart artificial-intelligence-based chatbots are another newly emerged trend that aligns with the growing importance of personalization and the popularity of self-service. Modern consumers prefer to serve minor queries on their own. Instead of calling or emailing you, they’re more likely to read the FAQ section or chat with a robot. Utilizing AI ensures your customer receives high-quality help rather than repetition of what’s written in the FAQ. Furthermore, it helps to reduce costs on customer service employee wages.

Branding Is King

Brand identity is a wide concept that can’t be built in a week’s time. Customer recognition requires constant work and a strong strategy, but it always pays off in the end. Brands wishing to differentiate from competitors must be patient and implement a professional approach to every process. Our team’s mission is to help you provide an excellent customer experience and seamlessly integrate innovation into your online business. Contact us for a consultation or quote to start building your brand’s success today.

By interactivated • on December 10, 2021

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