Amazon has become the go-to destination for sellers seeking to build a brand and introduce new products to as many consumers as possible. In this post, readers will learn some basic tactics for growing their brand on Amazon.
Do you remember the film Field of Dreams? In the movie, Kevin Costner builds a baseball diamond in his rural Iowa cornfield to summon the ghosts of his deceased father and hall-of-famers from baseball past.
Most people remember the now famous misquote from the film: “If you build it, they will come.” The idea was that the Costner’s character, Ray, would build a baseball diamond and attract the spirits of his father and sporting legends.
So how does this apply to what you’re doing? Because we all know that doing or building something doesn’t mean it will attract people. By saying “If you build it, they will come” is a bit of a misnomer. The quote should say something like, “If you build it, brand it, market it, improve it and delight, maybe they’ll come and keep coming.”
If You Build a Brand, Customers May Come
Simply creating and building something doesn’t merit success. As you know, creating a brand takes work and time. You need a product. You need to manufacture the product. You need to package it. You need to ship it. You need to sell it. You need to attract shoppers. You need to convert shoppers into recurring customers. You need to improve and optimize. And on top of it all, you need to provide a top-notch buying experience.
And one of the most powerful things you can do for your business is to create a strong and recognizable brand.
Think about some of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world. Whether it be Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, they all share common traits. They each have simple, yet strong logos. They use color to create emotion. They each have a story to tell. A great brand tells a story and entices people to be part of the story.
Why Do You Do What You Do?
In Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, he talks about starting with why, and more importantly about what, how and why people do things. If your “why” is to make a profit, that’s not enough. Making a profit is the result of doing business. He encourages people to discover their true purpose—why people do what they do.
He goes on to say that people don’t buy what you do but why you do it. That’s because people want to be part of a story. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to identify with something that has deep meaning to them.
And if you’re looking to create a lasting brand then you’ll want to start with why you do what you do instead of what you do. Because anyone can make money. But not everyone creates something with meaning.
Creating a Brand on Amazon
By no means are we advocating that you stress about creating the ultimate brand that means everything to everyone. That’s nearly impossible. Not everyone is going to be an Apple or an Amazon. But people will see right through your product and your brand if it doesn’t have heart—at least the brands that truly matter.
Sure, we all need fingernail clippers. And I’m guessing that you haven’t thought about your fingernail clippers lately. At least until you noticed that your nails were getting a bit long. But what if you could be the best, most attentive, most customer-focused fingernail clipper brand. Wouldn’t that be something? Because nobody uses fingernail clippers for fun. They have a reason for using them. Whether that be because their nails are annoying them; they don’t want to start biting their nails; they don’t want to be embarrassed by looking unmanicured; there are lots of reason why somebody would use fingernail clippers.
This is the “why” of which I’m referring.
So once you’ve pegged down why you do what you do, and why people would use your product, you’ll be ready to articulate what your brand is and how you’d like people to perceive it. Remember, a brand is much bigger than a well-designed logo—however important it is, it’s not the beginning or the end of your work.
There are tons of great resources out there for refining and creating your overall brand. I want to primarily focus on how to build your brand on Amazon. More companies and brands are using Amazon as a launching pad than ever before. Oftentimes, a shopper will see your brand on Amazon first, which is why you want to nail your brand’s experience here. Amazon isn’t like it used to be either. There are lots of options available to sellers that didn’t exist a few years ago.
For starters, if you sell on the Amazon Marketplace, Enhanced Brand Content is an absolute must. This feature lets you showcase your brand and products like you would on a traditional e-commerce website with blocks of text, images, and video.
Love them or hate them, product reviews are still a crucial component of your brand and product perception on Amazon. Product reviews are always a sticky topic because some sellers have abused them in the past, which has made getting them increasingly difficult for everyone else.
Long gone are the days of incentivized reviews. However, you can use the Amazon Vine program but it’s an invitation-only program. So how is a seller supposed to get reviews for their products beyond hoping and waiting?
The solution to the product review conundrum is by using Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging feature. There has been a lot of discussion in the industry into what is permissible with Buyer-Seller Messaging. And as of this writing, it is 100% TOS compliant for an Amazon seller to message their buyers. However, there are a few caveats.
Using Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging the Right Way
Don’t Over-Message Amazon Buyers
You should never send more than two messages per order—we recommend only sending one! This is because Amazon already sends 2-3 emails per order (at purchase, upon shipping, and sometimes 10-14 days after). Your messages need to complement, not compete with, Amazon.
Anything more than two emails is over messaging. Again, just send one message—as in uno, un, ein, один, واحد and single. Yes, you really can accomplish your goals with one message, which I’ll touch on next.
Use One Call to Action
If you’re like me, you probably don’t read every single word in every single email you receive. The people who buy your products are similar. Have a point and a purpose with your message. This can be anything from sharing a PDF, soliciting a product review, or asking for seller feedback.
Every email you send for your products needs to have a clear call-to-action for the next step you’d like them to take.
A common mistake sellers do is bury their call-to-action below a mountain of links. This hurts your click-through rate. Keep emails simple, relevant, and include the most important information and links (preferably one) in the body.
Focus on the Buyer
Always focus on the buyer and their experience. Messages focused on you and not on those of your buyers’ will be less effective.
Show them what their benefit is if they follow through with your call to action. Asking for a product review or seller feedback based on your needs isn’t a compelling enough a reason for them to comply.
If you want a product review, show how their product review can help other shoppers make educated purchasing decisions. Everyone benefits from honest product reviews, that’s why it’s important for them to share their opinions.
Send Relevant Messages
Amazon Prime Day and the holiday shopping season are great times to change your messaging to match the buzz of the seasons. Especially since shoppers are looking to buy instead of browse.
Don’t send your usual follow-up messages. Be creative and add relevant imagery and copy to match the season. And remember to keep your images and copy neutral and non-denominational.
Automate Your Buyer-Seller Messaging
Time is our most important asset. Everyone gets the same amount of it every day. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to spend your time doing tedious and monotonous things. As important as Buyer-Seller Messaging is, it can be both. Besides, you don’t have the time to personally message every person who buys from you. Maybe at first but it isn’t scalable.
That’s why you need to automate your Buyer-Seller Messaging with a tool like Feedback Genius. With it, you’ll be able to be many places at once. You just have to craft the right message for your buyers and let Feedback Genius do the rest.
Not only can you save time with Feedback Genius, but it will also create consistency in your business. By sending a consistent brand message that resonates with buyers, you’ll be able to improve your seller reputation and build your brand by soliciting product reviews.
Best of all, Feedback Genius sends your emails when and how you want. Like I mentioned earlier, Amazon is already sending messages when an order is placed, shipped and even delivered. The problem with these messages is that they don’t represent your brand—they are merely informational.
By automating your Buyer-Seller Messaging, you’ll be able to send a message as soon or as late as you want to your buyer when you think it will be the most effective. For example, if you sell a health supplement, you don’t want to ask for a product review as soon as the buyer receives their product. Instead, you’d want to send a message 30, 60 or 90 days after the product was placed when the user may start seeing results from their purchase. This small and simple gesture will delight your buyer and create a positive brand impression.
This is when automated email messaging becomes powerful. Because you write your message once and then it gets sent when you want it hundreds of times. Which means you don’t have to think about sending a buyer a message.
You Do Have to Build Something...
Ultimately the success and failure of your brand comes back to why you do what you do and by taking action. Nothing was ever created just by thinking about it. Your brand is what you make of it. It is why you spend your spare time building a business instead of watching TV.
Sure, you probably won’t get instant results like Ray did from Field of Dreams. And just because you sell something doesn’t mean that people will flock to your products. But if you take the time, add your passions, and genuinely care, you might build a brand that excites people and connects them with your story.
And to help you build and establish your brand on Amazon, we’re offering you a free 30-day trial of Feedback Genius to get started.
Not only will you save time with it, but you’ll build your brand and improve your reputation on Amazon.
About the Author
Cory is a Product Marketing Specialist at Seller Labs. He has more than five years of experience doing digital marketing and professional writing. When he’s not writing he’s getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons or yammering incessantly about motorsports.