When was the last time you purchased something from Amazon? If you are anything like me and most Americans, it probably wasn’t very long ago. In fact, in certain cities, you can have products delivered to your front door within hours of placing the order. Amazon has become the “everything store” that everyone knows and trusts, so using the platform to sell is a must for most ecommerce stores.
Selling on Amazon has become a popular hustle, but with so many companies competing in a crowded market, how do you stand out? How do you compete with multimillion-dollar ecommerce empires and build a successful business through Amazon? I’m a big believer in asking those with situational knowledge for help, so I asked Damian Prosalendis, a Fulfillment By Amazon expert and renowned consultant for Amazon stores, what he thought about the secrets to Amazon excellence. His answer was simple: The key lies in your branding — the image you portray that (hopefully) people learn to recognize and trust. Here are a few tips on building a strong brand to drive success on Amazon, straight from an Amazon pro.
Why brands are so important
What is important to consumers today? They value visibility, quality, trust, credibility and customer experience. Today’s consumers care more than ever about where they invest their dollar; they are picky. Most people will choose a brand they trust over a lower priced item from a brand they don’t know or don’t trust. That’s why your brand is one of your most valuable assets as a business owner.
Without branding, companies selling products can only compete on price. You will be forced to compete with big brands by decreasing your profit margins. Even at that lower price, your product may not sell. Shoppers reward authentic and credible brands by choosing their products over the other options, regardless of price.
And, as Prosalendis points out, there will always be people who undercut you with price.
So, beyond pricing, what are the steps create a brand on Amazon?
Secret 1: Brand names are important (to an extent).
A lot of businesses and companies spend a lot of time, energy and money trying to come up with the perfect name. But, here is the thing — brand names are not inherently good by themselves.
To explain this a little better, let’s look at one of the greatest brands of all time, Apple. The company is named after a fruit! Apple isn’t about fruit at all, of course, but the company turned that piece of fruit into a symbol that dictated high quality, luxury electronics.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t put any thought into your brand name, but rather recognize that what is behind the name is all that matters. “As long as you don’t choose a name that is hard to pronounce, difficult to remember or unreasonably long, you’ll be alright,” Prosalendis advises.
Secret 2: Build a presence outside of Amazon.
If you want to set yourself up for true success on Amazon, build your brand and presence outside of Amazon, as well.
Potential customers are quite likely to do a little digging before committing to the purchase, especially if there are several options for them. They may search for your company online and check out your website and social media presence. This is why you have to build your brand there, as well.
Prosalendis also suggests that you offer support for your customers outside of Amazon, as being willing to go the extra mile to offer support outside of Amazon will set you apart. Even though Amazon provides customer support, your customers will probably Google “YOUR BRAND NAME + support” and land on your contact page. Utilize this opportunity to build the profile of your company.
One of the surprising “ninja tips” I learned is to stress your customer service support in your auto responder email sequence as well as in a flyer inside the packaging. This can save you from negative reviews and assure your customers that you’ll be there for them in case they run into any issues.
Secret 3: Packaging is branding, too.
Packaging may be an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. After all, that box is traveling a long way and coming across the eyes of many people — including the person who purchased the product. Take advantage to build your brand, by focusing on consumers’ perception of your product.
Remember, there is a reason that cereals are not being sold in plain white boxes!
The packaging of your product conveys your brand and serves as a conversion tool. Not many Amazon sellers think about that, with many designing generic or amateur packaging or even worse, ignoring this branding avenue altogether. Think about it — when a product arrives at your door, you want to feel as if you got your money’s worth. Quality packaging offers that satisfaction and aids in improving the overall experience.
If you build it, they will come.
When it comes to branding, it really is the little things that make a big difference. Given how few Amazon sellers put forth the effort and go the extra mile in building their ecommerce brand, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take advantage of these expert branding tips and make them work for you.
Related Video: How to Get Your First 100 Sales on Amazon