Over two billion customers shop online regularly, according to estimates. Having your products stand out from the crowd and earning your market share has never been more challenging. Building an online brand strength is an ongoing process.
Gaining a customer’s trust is one thing, but converting a first-time shopper into a loyal customer is a different story. In most niches, customers have so many alternate options for similar products they can choose from. Sometimes the lowest price will win for sure, but there has to be something else that will make a customer decide to buy from the same seller repeatedly. That something is called a brand.
As Seth Godin put it: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
A strong brand will ensure a solid base of repeat customers, and therefore the stability of the business. It will also help the company grow by introducing new products to the market and raising prices. Consumers will likely pay a top dollar to the brand they trust or whose values they identify with. Even when the end goal is to sell a business, brand strength is one of the key metrics every potential investor would look for when considering a business purchase.
Branding on Amazon
With hundreds of millions of Amazon users and a rising number of sellers worldwide, Amazon is a leading e-commerce platform and a strong brand itself. It thrives by providing the best customer experience among other e-commerce platforms and understanding the needs of individual businesses trying to compete in the marketplace. Instead of being product-centered, Amazon is becoming more and more brand-oriented. The company constantly provides new features for sellers to communicate their brand stories. Keep reading to discover ways to build, grow, and measure your brand strength on this powerful e-commerce platform.
Building your brand on Amazon
A clear mission and vision are the first things every brand needs to succeed in the long run. Visual elements catch the eye of new shoppers, but for long-term success, a brand needs to stand for its values and communicate them holistically and consistently. Being aware of your buyer persona is crucial, and it must be an integral part of every brand-building step. According to the recent research that Amazon Ads did with Environics Research, 83% of the U.S consumers want more brands involved in helping the world. Sustainability issues and global citizenship are becoming increasingly important, and they directly shape the way consumers shop.
How to get started?
To get access to Amazon’s brand building, growing, and protecting features, make sure you visit Brand Registry and join companies that have already registered their brand, like P&G, Levi’s, and GoPro. The next step is to make sure you are using all the applicable channels to express your brand and that your media assets are aligned with what your brand stands for. Here are the most important elements available on Amazon for building your brand’s presence and telling its story:
- A+ content helps tell more about the brand story and product features using rich text and images on the Amazon detail page.
- Stores is a free, self-service, branded destination on Amazon. It’s an ideal place to show what the brand is truly about.
- Sponsored Brands is an ad form that combines logo, headline, custom image, or even video.
Combined with accurate product descriptions, high-quality and eye-catching images, and videos, those elements are a solid base to grow your brand. Amazon Ads now even includes an easily accessible list of Creative assets and Creative services where you can hire a trusted agency to create your content in just a few clicks.
By making it so easy for sellers to get access to high-quality content, Amazon doesn’t just improve the user experience for sellers and engage them in keeping their business on Amazon. Every customer enjoys having quality and visually appealing graphics while surfing on their site or app, right? Why shop elsewhere when all the best brands are on Amazon?
The party has just begun once you know what your brand means and how it should communicate with customers. Below are the next steps to grow your brand strength!
Growing your brand with Amazon Ads
There aren’t many Amazon success stories that don’t involve a solid and well-structured PPC strategy. Paid assets are mainly oriented toward growing your business by reaching new customers and ensuring your brand is still a top choice for your old customers. Outbranding competition can be done if a customer likes your Store and the values presented, but they need to find your Store in the first place. PPC is a must in today’s environment for any seller willing to keep and grow their market share.
PPC is bringing your brand much-needed awareness and consideration. If PPC is done right, most of the traffic brought will lead to purchase. If it is done continuously, it will help other brand elements lead to loyalty and even advocacy. How to expand your customer base using Amazon Ads? Although there isn’t a universal answer that would help every brand, explaining what needs to be done on and off-Amazon sounds like a solid start.
Broadening on-Amazon targeting
Whether we talk about targeting broad category keywords, increasing the reach of automated targeting campaigns, or exploring new opportunities with audiences, broadening targets is the first thing to do to reach more potential customers. Now, this strategy sounds like an obvious choice, right? The answer we often get from new clients when proposing this is that they don’t want their spending to be over the roof and that we should stick to the things that work well, at least until the entire strategy is presented.
If there isn’t a well-structured strategy, and execution and measurement aren’t done right, expanding reach could endanger the business. It’s better to start small and focused than big and foolish. You need to be aware of the increasing targeting opportunities, track relevant KPIs, and read the numbers right. Questions like: “Would visitors of a competitor’s product page consider our product instead?”, “How well do they react to different ad forms on that exact placement?” and “Is the season affecting the decision?” would be model questions along the way.
In the fast-moving world of Amazon, there isn’t such a thing as sticking to the things that work to ensure long-term success. Sure, you will find your profitable keywords, set ideal bids, and all will be well. But it’s just a matter of time when new competitors will come along and take over your positions and customers. It is essential to keep testing and expanding, or your brand can’t survive. ‘
Driving off-Amazon traffic
No matter how big it is and how many visitors it has daily, Amazon is just one place where a brand can meet its customers. A proven way to increase brand awareness is reaching new customers through different channels. Using all the fine targeting options that Google Ads or Facebook can offer could be beneficial for reaching relevant audiences. Exploring the latest and hottest channels like TikTok was worthwhile for our clients who saw a significant improvement in sales and rank within the first week.
More importantly, being the first among competitors to show the product with original content aligned with the platform where it’s showing will ensure a special place for the brand in the hearts and minds of potential customers.
Amazon Attribution is also an integral part of the Amazon Ads platform and has a complete overview of Amazon traffic and sales. It covers the results for non-Amazon marketing activities such as email, social media, paid search, display, influencer, and affiliate marketing, and owned tactics that link to Amazon (ex. brand website, blog posts). Attribution provides a unique opportunity to keep track of KPIs. Without it, it wouldn’t be easy to know what off-Amazon channel actually works.
Key branding metrics to track
Luckily for all of us, Amazon is also working on covering this. Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns now have four New-to-brand metrics available. Compared to when all we could do was assume new customers, this allows us to have more control throughout the action for testing.
In August this year, Amazon launched Brand Metrics that includes all shopping and advertising data. It shows brand-level results across different categories and compares them to competition.
Category-brand metrics provide the following metrics:
- Total brand shoppers
- Engaged shopper rate – Percentage of customers who searched for a brand, the viewed product detail page, added to the cart, and/or purchased the products divided by the number of buyers who viewed over one product detail page in the chosen category
- Customer conversion rate – Percentage of visitors who made a purchase
- % Sales new to the brand – Percentage of customers new to the brand
Altogether, category metrics provide a solid base for creating category-level strategies.
Brand Metrics allows you to have a solid overview of a whole funnel for a selected category.
- The Awareness section shows shoppers that searched for branded keywords compared to the previous period.
- Consideration refers to shoppers who viewed detail pages, buyers who searched for a brand and viewed detail pages, and shoppers that added to the cart over the given period compared to previous.
- Purchased shows the shoppers who drive the top 10% of purchases or the ones who picked Subscribe & Save, and finally, Brands customers.
Benchmark is included, so brands can see how their categories perform compared to competitors from the same industry.
When it comes to data, you can be as creative as possible. Amazon Ads is constantly adding new forms of reports under the Measurement & Reporting tab. Depending on your brand’s needs, you can combine different data and track the performance of particular campaigns, keywords, search terms, or other account features over time.
Branding has never been more important and challenging. Building and growing your brand strength is a continuous job, and Amazon continues to provide excellent tools for this task. Besides Creative assets and Creative services, we see a constant upgrade of ad forms, refined targeting options, and brand-related metrics. Brand metrics are essential in shaping and executing any branding strategy on Amazon.
Keep in mind that good execution is as important as a good strategy. Think outside the box and involve off-Amazon channels into your strategy. Gaining trust is one thing, but never forget that keeping the trust customers put into your product is essential in the long run. A strong, consistent brand built over time is the best guarantee of future success.
Want to grow your brand and increase sales on Amazon? Contact Sellers Alley to learn more about their services.