Strong brands generate strong sales. This applies not only to the brand manufacturers themselves. Above all, it also applies to retailers who become a brand themselves through clever marketing. But how do you build your own brand as an Amazon retailer and keep it alive? Here you will learn the most important things to bring your own brand to life with Amazon FBA.
What is a brand, anyway?
Originally, in the earliest times, a brand was actually once a brand with which owners marked their livestock as their property. And little has changed in this respect to this day. Even if the meaning of an own-brand mark seems far less archaic, the original function has remained largely the same: The brand marks your product. The only difference is that today an extremely complex world of experience is associated with a brand.
Basically, it does not matter whether a brand stands for a product or a service. In both cases, brands are associated with the characteristics of personalities. Character traits such as reliability, trustworthiness, or power and strength describe brands as well as people. And thus trigger the same reactions in the limbic center of the brain. A product becomes likeable through a brand and leads to a positive experience.
The logo as the face of your brand
One not entirely insignificant characteristic of a brand is its recognizability. It is usually achieved through a strong logo as the face of the brand. Did you know, for example, that the BMW logo represents a stylized, rotating propeller? In earlier years, the company used this to emphasize its origins in aircraft engine construction. Together with the Bavarian national colors of white and blue, this has resulted in one of the strongest logos of our time.
The claim underneath is at least as important as the logo itself. “Sheer Driving Pleasure” has been the carmaker’s brand promise since the mid-sixties, accompanying drivers on all roads. Of course, a brand promise also includes features and capabilities that make the promise tangible. At BMW, this is the technical philosophy of relying on balanced load distribution between the front and rear axles just as much as on the separation of steering and drive forces and the use of powerful, high-revving engines. These are the most important things that make driving a pleasure.
Short explanation of terms
So far, so good. When it comes to building a brand, the terms corporate design (CD), corporate behavior (CB) and corporate identity (CI) come up. But what does this actually mean? First of all, corporate design refers to the visual appearance of a brand. As the most visible sign, this naturally includes the logo, the typography and photographic imagery in communication. Some companies go one step further and define their stores, for example, the materials and lighting fixtures, right down to the plantings in front of the business premises.
Corporate Behavior also describes how the company deals with its customers and stakeholders. These guidelines often referred to as compliance, can be quite comprehensive. Both together – the Corporate Design and the Corporate Behavior – result in the Corporate Identity. It describes the corporate identity as a whole and determines the public perception of a brand.
Sense and purpose of a brand
A brand is a promise. It serves as orientation in a confusing offer. And it takes advantage of the fact that people like to buy what they know or from someone they know. Brands are precious. That’s why marketing experts also speak of so-called brand added value: It refers to the amount consumers are willing to pay more than a no-name product or retailer of the same quality. In the fashion industry, this amount can often be several hundred euros. But online sellers can also achieve considerable brand added value by setting themselves apart from the competition through their corporate identity.
When building a retailer brand, the first step is to determine what exactly this brand should stand for. Simon Sinek’s brand building model can be a great help here. It consists of a brand core and two further shells around it. The core stands for what drives the brand. And no, this does not mean making money. That’s what drives every dealer, and so, of course, it’s neither a suitable nor a likeable distinguishing feature. BMW (which, of course, also wants to make a lot of money) is quite different with “Sheer Driving Pleasure.”
The brand-building, according to Simon Sinek
According to Simon Sinek’s brand model, the first shell around this core explains how this goal is achieved: for example, with balanced axle loads, rear-wheel-drive freed from steering forces and, last but not least, powerful engines. And the outer shell stands for what can be used to achieve this goal: with the products, i.e. the 3 Series, the 5 Series, etc.
This brand model, also called Why-How-What, thus consists of three steps:
- Why. Answer: For the Sheer Driving Pleasure.
- How. Answer: With balanced axle loads, rear-wheel drives freed from steering forces, and powerful engines.
- What. Answer: BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, etc., so the entire product range.
How you make a name for yourself
If you want to establish your own brand as an Amazon merchant, you first need a name. First of all, it should be catchy, secondly, it should allow you to draw conclusions about the range of products offered, and thirdly, it should be freely available. Once you have found a strong name for your store, you have already done a significant part of the work.
The next step is to fill this name with content. To do this, you should first think about what it is that drives you. To distinguish yourself as a retailer from other competitors, you should stand for something. This can be, for example, a special assortment. Let’s assume that as an Amazon retailer you specialize in hi-fi products: After some thought, you’ve decided on the name “Big Noise.” But why exactly should someone buy hi-fi products from you? Let’s apply our brand model.
Fictitious example of a seller brand
The Why-How-What brand model is all about your inner motivation. And in this fictitious case, let’s assume that you as a retailer have a special love of music as the motivation and core of your brand. You formulate this claim, for example, as: “for the love of music.” This would be a rough formulation of the brand core. The first shell around this brand core, which answers the question of “how,” could be: “through many years of experience as a radio electrician.” Or something else that describes the “how.” So that still leaves the question of “what.”
What: Your assortment
Here it is not crucial to offer some hodgepodge in the phono sector, but to offer products that represent a clear line: why not “speakers of the upper class”? In order to form a real brand from this brand positioning, only two important things are missing: the logo and the corporate design.
Logo in focus
The logo serves to give the potential customer a sense of the retailer’s philosophy and the quality of its service at first glance. Question: Is the logo associated with music? Does it stand for quality? Is it unique and recognizable? If so, the logo designers have already done a very good job.
The claim, which is usually placed directly under the logo, should positively charge the store. For example, by describing the product range or characterizing the service. But if the core of your brand is, of course, your love of music, the claim should also say something else.
For example: “Big Noise. For the love of music”
If you want to set up a store page as an Amazon merchant, you can also define color and image worlds. A special style for the product representations (which are conveniently rendered files), which depict your assortment in a typical brand look, underlines the independence of your Amazon store. So much for the visible features of the brand.
Promises must be kept
If the brand is a promise, it must of course be kept. Through products that match a range. And, of course, through services that make the brand promise tangible.
No other company masters the claviature of corporate identity as well as Apple. Even unpacking the goods at home becomes a lasting experience. After all, brand worlds create added value for the customer that pays off. Identification with the retailer leads to a drop in the complaint rate and a higher number of repeat customers. In short, strong brands generate strong sales.
Brands not only create trust, but also ensure recognition. To do this, you need a strong logo and a claim. But both have to be filled with life. Simon Sinek’s brand model will help you with this. If you stick to it, with a little patience you will build a strong Amazon brand over time.