Brand Build – Why It’s So Important
Why You Need To Build A Brand Before You Sell Any Product
With competition amongst digital entrepreneurs only continuing to grow in today’s tech-led era, it’s more important than ever to stand out in your field.
A guaranteed way to do this is to focus on building a brand.
This gives your business the valuable foundation it needs to make product launches a success.
When entrepreneurs think about building a business, they often think of launching a service or selling a product as quickly as possible. However, to make their business a real success, this isn’t always enough.
Instead, time and effort need to be invested in creating a brand which will add value at the individual, social and economic levels.
By beginning with a brand, you will create a business worth more to itself and its customers in the long-run.
Here are five reasons why you need to build a brand before you sell any product:
1. Why should we care?
OK, great, you’re the next Steve Jobs. But why should we care? Do you know how many times we’ve heard that before?
Whatever you think your world-changing product is, nobody is going to be interested unless you can tell them why they should care about it.
And I mean really care. It’s not enough these days to have a slick website with ‘we care about the environment’ written in a footer somewhere.
Instead, you have to show that your business has true values — that you stand for something. Prove that you care about your customers and values as much as you expect your audience to care about anything you has to say or sell.
With the rise of social media, it’s really easy to give your customers and potential audiences a genuine insight into your brand.
By creating a brand, you are building a platform to showcase your brand’s true values. This invites customers to connect with you in an authentic way. Plus, it gives them that added reason to care about you and your product compared to your competitors.
2. Expressing identity
On an individual level, people buy things they identify with.
Social scientists have shown through research that consumer consumption is an extension of our self. Depending on your niche and market – for example, selling hair dye vs. wood screws – this statement will relate to different aspects of identity.
Selling hair dye is directly tied to individual identity. So to succeed amongst your competitors, you can build a brand which appeals to this sense of identity.
And even if you sell wood screws, you can still create a brand which sells DIY supplies — perhaps as part of a lifestyle identity (for example, Carhartt is way cooler than Walmart for workwear).
You can express your identity with your content — on social, on your site, through emails. But you need to have a content strategy to maintain this.
Content strategies aren’t that hard once you start to read up and understand them — check out our post on why content strategy is like fishing.
3. A sense of belonging
Moving from the individual to the social context, creating a strong brand takes the concept of expressing identity one step further.
Not only does a brand give something for customers to identify with on a personal level, but it can also create a sense of belonging amongst a wider community.
A sense of belonging is an innate human longing, something we can all relate to. In a consumer world, we get this sense of belonging through the brands we interact with and collectively consume.
Often, today’s consumers make purchasing decisions based on the prospect of joining a new community of like-minded customers. Building a brand helps create an identity people can relate to at an individual level, but also gives them a sense of belonging to a wider like-minded community.
Most of the small to midsize e-commerce brands that have joined the market in the past few years are a great example of niche-based marketing. From comic avocado-themed stores to stores specializing solely in bamboo products, new e-commerce businesses on the market are a perfect example of how creating a brand around a community and tapping into a niche with your product inventory make for compelling and profitable businesses.
This is the new millennial and social media-led way to consume — and brands should focus on specialization and creating a sense of community in order to compete.
4. A reason to share
Digital entrepreneurs and e-commerce business owners spend a lot of their time chasing social engagement, shares and links from top influencers. In the old school days, this championed goal was known as ‘going viral’.
By creating a brand, you are giving people a reason to share your content. Strong brands attract the most attention on platforms like Instagram, where the potential for growing your business via community could be limitless.
As we have seen above, building a strong brand connects with people on individual and social levels.And if your market can relate to your brand’s identity, and feel part of your brand’s community, they will naturally want to share their association with your brand. A reason to share equals increased social proof for your brand.
5. Brands add value
A strong brand image can add a huge amount of value to the products and services you are trying to sell.
Just think about your favorite outfits: the clothes we buy often wouldn’t be worth half as much without the same labels on them. Imagine a plain white t-shirt sells for $15. Now just putting one ‘tick’ on that t-shirt, the shirt suddenly costs $30.
It didn’t cost $15 extra for the ink. You’re not getting three times as much physical worth. The extra price is directly attributed to the individual and social value of the brand that tick represents.
By building a brand, you can add monetary value to your business in terms of your pricing and profit. But with the right branding, you can add to your business’s overall value, wider professional reputation, and have a limitless positive impact in many other areas.
So, it’s obvious: build a brand before launching your product. Your product is likely to be worth a lot more with a brand to prop it up — both to your customers and to your business.
Brands offer added value to their audiences at an individual, social, and economic level. When brands get this right, everyone benefits: businesses increase in value, and the customers feel like winners too, enjoying their sense of belonging and connectedness amongst a like-minded community.
Patrick Foster is a writer and e-commerce expert from E-commerce Tips — an industry-leading e-commerce blog dedicated to sharing business advice and insights. He’s passionate about helping startups become success stories. Check out the latest news on Twitter @myecommercetips.