Branding in E-commerce.
As a broad definition, your company's "Brand" is the calumniation of who you are, what you do, how you do it, and what makes you different from the competition. It's your company's philosophy -it's essence.
Many people believe branding is simply a logo, but a brand involves much more than just the logo and visual aspects of a business. Let's break down what elements are involved in a true brand, and how this is related to e-commerce.
This is a company's look and feel, and involves all visual elements and media involved with your business, this includes the logo, stationary, business cards, signage, marketing materials, website and other online media such as advertisements. All of these elements reinforce the brand (they are not the brand itself).
The Corporate ID for an e-commerce business may be the highest determining factor of how the public perceives your overall brand. The most prominent factors for online branding are the logo and website.
The logo is a business's first impression. It should reflect your true brand, your philosophy and essence. The colors, shapes, fonts, and graphics in a logo should be well-thought out and consistent with the overall brand your company is striving to project. Remember a logo is all about first impressions, few people are going to scrutinize the different elements of a logo or try and go "figure it out". When creating your logo, as the starting point of your visual brand, keep in mind both the self-centric and client-centric "5W's".
The same goes for the website, if you are projecting a feeling of traditional corporate professionalism would you have bright colors, crazy photos, and animation? Of course not! Consistency is a key ingredient in branding.
The corporate image is how the public (your potential customers and target market) perceive you. It's your reputation. Every action you, your employees, affiliates, etc make is a direct reflection on your brand. Does the content of your website project the kind of corporate image you wish to achieve?
If you want people to trust you, would you participate in a spam email campaign?
Branding is the process of creating a brand. Simple idea, but one many companies loose focus of. Branding is a constant process, it doesn't stop after you figure out what your brand is and get your logo and marketing materials together. Advertising, marketing efforts and customer service are some of the elements that continuously effect your brand.
Again, consistency is the key, every action your business adds to your brand (negative or positive).
"Corporate Identity" + "Corporate Image" + "Branding" = Your Brand.
Making your Brand work for you:
Find out why your customers choose you over your competitors. Is it your customer service, friendliness, simplicity, trustworthiness, prices, quality etc? Once you know why people choose you, you can emphasis those qualities in all of your marketing materials, and reinforce those qualities in your overall brand.
How do you find out why customers choose you? Ask them!
Invest in creating an online survey, that asks your customers or even potential customers about how they perceive you. Offer incentives for people to take the survey by offering discounts or prize draws for participants.
What questions should I ask?
Copyright © 2005 Dennis Partridge, All Rights Reserved. Another Partridge website production.