When many new sellers list their products on Amazon, they usually only have one thing in mind: selling as many products as possible (& turning a profit). While that’s a great place to start, it’s not always the best long-term strategy. Instead of just selling random private label products, its best, it’s better to focus on a private-label brand.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the foundations for building a strong brand strategy for Amazon. The concepts will apply whether you are doing private label or you develop your own products. You’ll be well on your way to creating an awesome brand that will help establish a relationship with your customers for the life of your business.
The importance of developing a private label brand strategy
Along with your overall Amazon business strategy, it’s important to have a brand strategy in place before you start your Amazon business. Creating a private-label brand can be difficult, but it’s an important step – one that is often overlooked by many new Amazon FBA sellers.
Since you are going to be investing capital to get your products produced, you want to make sure that you have the right strategies in place. This will ensure you minimize the mistakes and maximize your success.
I see a lot of people getting into the Amazon FBA business that make the same mistakes, over and over again. Some people will haphazardly pick one or two products, fail to brand them, and then they wonder why this whole Amazon private label business is not working out for them.
While this strategy of only selling a couple generic products might work for some, more often than not, it results in failure and frustration. The most successful Amazon sellers seem to be the ones that sell a lot of products. And guess what? This usually requires a brand to be successful (though not always). A brand just helps ensure the success of your product line.
Characteristics of a good brand?
Many people think that a brand consists of your logo and name. While this may seem true on the outside, there’s so much more to a brand. It goes far beyond a logo design. Yes, the design is usually a major factor, but there’s much more to branding than design.
Creating a good brand is really all about creating an emotional connection with your customers. When people have that emotional connection to your company and view your company in a very positive light, it can be a powerful driver of success. One way you do that is through design (visual communication). But there are many other ways to accomplish this through Amazon:
- Good customer experience
- Product design
- Product quality
- Return processes
- Product Page descriptions (Copyrighting)
As far as Amazon is concerned one of the biggest contributing factors to a successful brand is having high-quality products that people love. Yes, your logo, your customer service, your company values, & your design are all important.
However, at the end of the day, Amazon customers expect a certain level of quality in your products. If you can deliver quality in your products, they are more likely to love your brand and continue to buy more products for you.
While there are many pieces to the branding puzzle, one major factor to consider is consistency. Consistency is incredibly important when creating a brand on Amazon. You need to be consistent in your company’s message, and the quality of your products, your design, and more. With that said, it is common for a brand to evolve. There’s a big difference between random changes to the brand and an evolution of a brand.
Branded private label products vs non-branded
There are two ways Amazon FBA sellers tend to go with the private label method:
- Branded: Buying products from China (ODM – Brand their own product)
- Generic: Sell random, generic products from China (non-branded)
Selling a generic product is surely easier from the start, but with it, comes various hurdles down the road. If you were thinking of going the generic route, here are some questions to ask yourself first:
- What happens when your sales stall? How do you create repeat business?
- What happens when you want to sell another product or more products?
- What happens when you want to go from selling that one product to building a line of products?
In all of these cases, a good brand is what you want. So it is important to start thinking of and implementing a brand from the get-go (ideally). Or since creating a brand will cost more, you can also develop a bootstrapping strategy: Create a brand from re-investing profits from your early products.
Why create a Brand on Amazon?
Customer loyalty & Relationships: You’ll want to develop a relationship with your customers to experience continual growth and success. One of the best ways to develop a relationship is by creating an awesome brand. Building your brand means deciding how you want your customers to perceive you and doing what it takes to make it happen. This can be anything from adding a logo to providing exceptional customer service when a problem arises. A brand is all about how your customers perceive you.
Repeat business: Repeat business one of the biggest benefits of creating a brand on Amazon is that it encourages repeat business since a brand is a positive connection with your company. People are more likely to purchase more products from you if they really enjoyed the first product they got from you. This can have a compounding effect over the long run and can really create a lot of success for your business.
Word of mouth: Word of mouth or the mouth doesn’t seem like it would be a huge factor for an online business. But you’d be surprised many people will tell their friends about their new product or if a product if a customer really enjoys a product they’re more likely to tell friends about that product or post it on social media. If people feel a positive emotional connection with your brand it can not only produce repeat business it can create brand ambassadors and fuel Word of Mouth.
Competitive edge: A competitive edge when you build a brand on Amazon it gives you a big competitive edge. If a customer purchases multiple products within the same niche and they come across your product even if it’s ranking lower than a competitor’s product.
More credibility: If you build a good brand and a positive connection with your customer they are more likely to purchase from you even if your competitor is beating you in other ways. When you create a brand has value associated with its customers are able to trust that you create good products so if they purchase one product from you and they had a good experience from their product and from your brand they are more likely to purchase more products from you because they trust in your brand and they trust that any future products they buy from you. Are going to result in a good experience.
Better SEO & Conversions (Google & Amazon): There are other perks to branding that you may not have initially considered. Building a solid brand can lead to higher reviews, higher conversions, and ultimately higher search rankings – both on Amazon and Google. Amazon’s algorithm is more based on conversions, whereas Googles is more based on user experience and ranking the URL that matches the user intent the best. Good branding can take care of these two factors and it can have a compounding effect on your business not just from repeat buyers, but also success in Amazon SEO.
Tips for Building your Brand on Amazon
Building a brand on Amazon is not much different than doing it anywhere else. As a matter of fact, it might even be easier to do it on the biggest eCommerce site in the world. Well over half of all online sales take place on Amazon, and a vast majority of those sales come from third-party sellers:
The point to all of this is that most of the world is shopping on Amazon which means exposure to more consumers than you’ll have anywhere else. That’s one huge benefit of Amazon – the is exposure! This is also great for branding, as you need lots of exposure for your brand to become well known.
When you build a brand, you aren’t just selling products, but you’re creating your own customer base that will stick with you as your business grows.
When building a business on Amazon, your branding journey may not look like everyone else’s. Every company and every brand is unique. However, there are a few key tips to keep in mind:
- Find your target audience: If you’re not sure where to start with your brand strategy, look at your competitors. Who is their audience? What do their customers want and what are those companies doing to attract them? A simple Google search of your type of product is the best place to start.
- Understand your target audience: Start by putting yourself in your ideal consumer’s shoes. What would you want from a company selling your product? What qualities would keep you coming back to that brand? You may even create a persona for your typical customer, which helps direct your marketing to appeal to your target audience.
- Choose a good Amazon business name: If you are creating a single brand for your products, this will likely be your Amazon seller name/ business name. Others may choose multiple brands for different product lines within on seller account. It’s important to pick a good seller name as this can have an effect on your conversions.
- What is your brand’s personality?: Once you pick a brand name, decide what you want your brand’s personality to be. Describe it with about five keywords. Take time to brainstorm based on what you know about your target audience. Just make sure you focus on a particular segment of consumers (based on your previous research), instead of trying to attract everyone at once.
- Implement good Design: This may include your logo, brand colors, a slogan, and anything else that you want customers to see and identify as being associated with your products and your company. If you are not artistically inclined, you should hire this aspect out. There are many high-quality freelancers on 99designs, Upwork or even Fiverr that won’t cost you very much.
- Be Consistent: Make sure your brand’s defining characteristics are consistent across the board. This means applying everything to your Amazon account, your own eCommerce site (if you have one), your packing slips (if not using FBA), your business cards, and any other digital or physical materials associated with your company.
- Focus on quality: Ideally, you want to have the highest quality product possible. However, things do break, products aren’t going to be flawless 100% of the time. Statistically, you may have some duds in your product batches. Your job is to minimize this (find a good manufacturer with good quality control) and take care of your customers if they ever have complaints. The worst thing that can happen to your products and your overall brand is receiving a lot of bad reviews because your product wasn’t meeting customers expectations. The most important things you can do are: diligently vetting your manufacturers and have a contingency plan in place for negative reviews.
Expanding Your Current Brand
If you already have your own website or eCommerce brand, Amazon is a great place for expansion. Some established e-commerce companies may be intimidated by making such a big change and selling through various channels. If you have a lot of products, and you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of putting them all for sale on Amazon, one strategy that people use is they only a select few products on Amazon.
The idea is that they can put their foot in the door and test the waters. Also, some believe that once a customer is familiar with your brand, you can then direct them to your website to see your extended line of products. However, you need to be careful in a strategy like this, since it has the potential to get your selling privileges revoked (Amazon doesn’t want you directing customers away from their site).
I think the companies that are hesitant to expand from their current e-commerce store to also selling on Amazon are the ones who will suffer. If their competitors are on Amazon, and they fail to make this move, the competitors that fully embraced Amazon are likely to experience the most growth. At the end of the day, I would just recommend embracing Amazon. It is here to stay and is the single biggest shift in the e-commerce world – so why not jump on board!