Dropshipping is a booming industry with a lot of competition. It stands to reason, then, that you want to do all you can to stand out from the crowd. A solid brand will help you do that and more. But what exactly is branding and how can you go about effectively branding your dropshipping store?
What follows is a deep dive into branding: what it is, why it’s important, and how you can better brand your dropshipping business.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of giving meaning to a specific business, organization, service, or product. It creates and shapes a mental image of a business in consumers’ minds, allowing them to quickly identify the look and feel of an organization, setting it apart from its competition.
More than a company name or logo, a brand is a definitive, recognizable feeling a business or product evokes.
Brands live in the mind of those who experience them: investors, employees, and most importantly, customers. To put it simply, brands are perceptions of a business.
Why should you brand your dropshipping store?
Branding is a way for you to differentiate yourself from your dropshipping competition.
The truth of the matter is, not too many drop shippers are focused on branding. They consider themselves to operate behind the scenes and don’t think they need to brand their business. This is a mistake on their part.
Branding is important because it keeps your company in the thoughts of your customers. It allows your clients and customers to know what to expect from your business. It also allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors and clarifies what it is you offer that makes you the better choice of drop shipper.
If you want to succeed in the busy world of eCommerce, you have to have a solid brand. It will not only help you stand out from the crowd, but it will also give your business focus when it comes to product and service offerings.
Tips for branding your dropshipping store
Now you know what a brand is and why it’s so important, let’s take a look at a few tips you can use to successfully brand your dropshipping store.
1. Define your audience
In order to craft a successful brand, you must first know who you’re intending to speak to with it. This is where market research comes in.
Conducting market research lets you get an idea of your ideal audience and identify specific opportunities or gaps you could act on. Does your audience have pain points that other businesses haven’t properly addressed yet? Are there any niche markets lacking service that could be worth your time?
Research into your market and your audience will allow you to position your products and your brand effectively. Further, you’ll be in a better position to:
- Use the best traffic and sales channels
- Capitalize on emerging or ongoing trends
- Craft content that appeals to your customers
- And more
Once you’ve defined your target market, you’ll be able to make decisions backed by data that will benefit your brand both in the long and short term.
2. Lock in your business values
Having clearly defined business values is one thing that sets successful businesses apart from their competition. If you want to stand out from the crowd and create a meaningful impact, your business must clarify its core values.
As an example, an eCommerce store selling pet products might align itself with pet owner values, while businesses selling computer accessories might advocate for cybersecurity.
Once you have your brand values, you can combine them with your target audience insights to help you develop a brand promise. A brand promise is essentially what will keep your customers coming back to you – it’s a clear directive of what they can expect from your business. You must ensure you can fulfill your brand promise through your customer service, products, and other areas of your company.
3. Choose a memorable name
Your business name is your calling card. It has to be memorable, easy to spell, and easy to search. There’s little use naming your business something convoluted if you’re going to have to spend ten hours a day spelling it out to your customers.
When deciding on a brand name, choose something that aligns with your brand values. If you want your brand to evoke power and competence, naming it after a rodent might not be in your best interest, for instance.
When choosing your name, think practically as well. Is this name associated with a brand already? Is the domain name available? Are the social media handles available? The answer to each of these questions will dictate how viable a brand name is.
4. Design a logo
Just as your brand name is your linguistic calling card, your logo is your visual one. You want it to evoke your brand values, position yourself in your industry, and set you apart from your competition.
Logo design is an art form, so don’t skimp on this step. Hire a good designer and ensure you’re developing something that properly represents your company values.
A great logo will be memorable and will visually communicate with your target audience, evoking emotions to make your business easy to recall. It should also speak to your brand name in a cohesive manner – you wouldn’t have a logo of a rat on a company called “Tiger”, for instance.
5. Create a look and feel
Your look and feel includes your company name and logo, but that’s not all it is. It’s also your business’ color palette, typography choices, brand voice, and more.
Just as with your logo, your look and feel is a way to visually communicate with your target market. It should evoke emotions that communicate your brand’s values and ensure your brand is visually distinct and memorable.
Your look and feel should also be consistent. You should use the same color palette across all your platforms, for example. This will ensure your branding isn’t confused across different touchpoints.
6. Define your brand voice
Before diving into writing your product descriptions, website copy, or other content for your brand, you must first figure out what voice to use.
The brand voice must be appealing and relatable to your target market. You have to keep them engaged, lest you lose their attention before you have a chance to sell them on your products or store. For instance, if your business is an advocate for environmentally friendly practices, your brand voice should reflect that – be knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Your initial target market research will help you develop the best brand voice, but you should also consider these points:
- How do you want your customers to feel when engaging with your brand?
- What sort of language will have the most impact?
- What tone suits your brand promise?
- What do your competitors sound like and how can you differentiate yourself from them?
7. Stay consistent
Good branding is all about consistency. There’s little use in developing a killer logo, look and feel, and brand voice if you’re not going to consistently implement them across your platforms.
This is where solid branding guidelines come in handy. This is a document that outlines your brand’s positioning and how your branding elements should be used in any given situation.
For example, your branding guidelines might map out what sort of tone and voice to use on your social media, keeping it consistent with the tone of the content of your website.
Ensuring consistency means your brand will be easily recognizable no matter what touchpoint your customers are meeting it with. Whether via social media, a blog post, or an e-newsletter, you’ll be able to ensure their perception of your brand is kept clear and definitive.
8. Align your products with your brand
Aligning your products with your brand is essential if you’re going to differentiate yourself from the competition. Unfortunately, most dropshipping stores don’t ever come face to face with their products – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them your own. Here are a few ways you can create differentiation for your dropshipping store:
- Professionally edit your photos in line with your brand look and feel
- Order sample products and use them in your own unique photoshoots
- Customize your product packaging
- Develop new and unique product names
- Write original, engaging product descriptions
- Express your product’s connection to your brand values
Better brand your dropshipping store
Branding can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. With the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to better brand your dropshipping store to ensure you’re memorable in the minds of your customers.
Now you know everything there is to know about branding your dropshipping store.