How you can build a brand with your online store

by Meike Müller

Building a brand for your online store is essential if you want to assert yourself in e-commerce and in your industry. Here you'll learn everything you need to know: how to build a distinctive brand with your online store and how this also works in the B2B sector. From your company's vision, mission and values to specific tips for building your brand identity, you'll find everything you need to know here! If you have any further questions about building an online store, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Reading time 5 min

What to expect in this blog article:
  1. What is brand identity?
  2. Why you should build a brand
  3. Vision, mission and values
  4. Tips for building your brand identity
  5. B2B: Brand awareness in the business-to-business sector
  6. Our conclusion

What is brand identity?

When we talk about brand identity, we are talking about the sum of all the characteristics and values of a brand or company. The brand can be recognized, defined and differentiated from other brands based on these key aspects. On the one hand, part of the brand identity can be the visual design of the logo, advertising material, online presence, etc. On the other hand, the verbal appearance in the form of the brand name, the slogan, the language style and more. In addition, the company's values, history, team, promise to customers and much more can also become part of the brand identity. With a strong brand identity, you have the chance to gain more brand awareness. This refers to the degree to which a brand is recognized by its target group.

These are the reasons why you should build a brand

But why should you build your own brand identity in the first place? There are various reasons for this. But generally speaking, you can only benefit from it. It is therefore worth investing this effort.

One advantage, for example, is that you can set yourself apart from your competitors. If you clearly communicate what your brand stands for, you are more likely to convince potential customers to buy from your online store - because you clearly stand out from the crowd. It also helps you to build customer loyalty. After all, your company is not just a product or service, but a holistic experience. And if your customers can identify with you and your brand, they are more likely to come back to you.

You can also build your marketing more effectively. This is because you have a clear brand message and can address your target group directly. If you focus on your brand, you also need to take a closer look at your target group. In-depth research and analysis will give you a better understanding of your customers. If you decide to register your trademark, you can also protect yourself legally against imitators. Once you have established a brand, it will be easier for you to introduce new products as you have a loyal customer base.

Vision, mission and values

Three points are important for your own brand identity and your new branding: Vision, mission and values. If you clarify these for yourself, you have a good foundation for a successful brand and all other measures relating to your brand identity. The vision is the goal you have in mind for your company and your brand. Why did you set up your company? Where do you want your journey to take you? It is definitely okay to think big here. Your vision should be the source of your inspiration and motivation. It therefore focuses on what you want to achieve in the future. The mission, on the other hand, focuses more on the here and now of your actions. It is the means you use to implement and achieve your vision. To formulate your mission, you should ask questions such as "What does our company do and how? Who does our company do this for? And why is it important?". The last point is your company's ethical compass. What basic principles should your company be guided by? What does it stand for and where are the ethical boundaries? How can decisions be made?

Once you've clearly defined your vision, mission and values, you'll have a good foundation to solidify your brand identity and incorporate it into all aspects of your business, from customer service to marketing campaigns to product development.

Our tips for building your brand identity

Now you'll want to know how to build your brand identity in the first place. We have put together eight different tips to make this easier for you. With a consistent corporate design, good storytelling, a brand message and a good customer experience, among other things, you can create an individual brand identity for your company!

Your target group: creating buyer personas and more

A buyer persona is a detailed description of your target group or ideal customer. If you know who your potential customers are, you can address them much better and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly. To create a buyer persona in e-commerce, you need to work through a few steps. It's best to start with the basic information about your target group. This includes all demographic data such as gender, age, education, profession and income. This will give you a basic understanding of your target group. The next step involves a more emotional level. Determine what the needs, wishes and challenges of your target customers are. What are the goals of your potential customers and what might be preventing them from achieving these goals?

In the next step, you should analyze the purchasing behavior of your target group. What factors influence your target customers to buy a product or service? Where and how do they buy them? To add to your buyer persona, you can also use data from customer surveys, interviews, feedback and social media.

Now that you have compiled all the data and information about your target customers, you need to create the personas. In other words, you create one or more fictitious people who reflect your ideal customers. Give these people a name, a background story and specific characteristics. You should also think about where your target customers are best reached - on social media, on a blog or perhaps they are most likely to read emails? Once you've thought about all this, you can incorporate the buyer persona into your marketing strategy as well as your brand message and website.

Your corporate design

In order to create a brand identity and thus increase your brand awareness, it is almost most important that you think about a uniform appearance in the form of a corporate design for your company. The corporate design refers to the entire visual identity of your brand. This includes a central logo that represents your company, but also a recurring color scheme, consistent typography and all other design elements such as images and layout that you use for all marketing materials and your online store.

Your brand personality

If you want to build your own brand, you should also take care of your brand personality. This involves assigning human characteristics to your e-commerce company. This should enable a better emotional connection to your customers and target group, as a brand with "human traits" is more tangible and appealing.

The fact that you now know what makes your target group tick, as you have created buyer personas, also helps you to develop the brand personality. After all, your brand personality should match the expectations and wishes of your target customers. You should also think about the values of your company. These should be the foundation of your brand personality. The key values of a company can be, for example Innovation, sustainability, reliability, quality or tradition. It may help if you also assign a few human characteristics to your brand, such as playful, professional, youthful and more. This way, you can also create a fictitious person who embodies your brand. This means you not only have fictional characters for your target group, but also a matching personality that reflects your brand. If you are unsure, you can also take a look at your competitors. How do other companies in your industry position themselves? How can you stand out from them?

Your brand message

In the brand message, you concisely formulate what your brand stands for. Now that you have defined your values, a fictitious personality and the corporate design, it may be a little easier for you to formulate a message. In the message, however, also define what makes your brand special and sets it apart from the competition (unique selling point, or USP for short). It is important that you formulate the message clearly and simply. So avoid technical terms and embellishments. However, you can still get emotional because, as already mentioned, this is important for many people. Decisions are often made on the basis of emotions. So if you create a positive image and good feelings, this can also have a positive effect on a purchase decision. You can ask people around you for feedback to round off your brand message. Once you have finalized it, you need to spread it consistently across all channels. This is how you contribute to a uniform brand identity!

The best customer experience

The way your customers perceive your products or services and the overall experience associated with your brand is part of your brand identity. After all, it's basically about creating an unforgettable customer experience so that your brand becomes known and you gain and retain new customers. You also have the opportunity to benefit from word of mouth from your customers. To create the best customer experience, you should make a good first impression. This includes, for example, an intuitive and appealing website, a well and professionally maintained Instagram account and more. In addition, customer service is of course a crucial part that can contribute to a good customer experience. Make sure you can be reached quickly or provide answers quickly if your target group has questions or problems. This strengthens the relationship with your customer and conveys reliability.

Other points that lead to a great customer experience are an individual approach and tailored offers that address your customers directly and respond to their needs. You can also focus on after-sales support. This means that you take care of your customers even after their purchase, for example with customer support, follow-up emails, loyalty programs and more.

Consistent implementation

If you want to build trust with your customers, it is important that you implement your brand identity consistently. No matter where you communicate your brand, you should remain consistent. Anything else could cause mistrust and result in your customers not knowing what you stand for with your brand. To make it easier for you to implement your brand across all channels, you can also create a brand manual. You can then define everything you have worked out in the previous steps there. This way, your employees can always check what you have defined for the individual aspects and how they should be communicated to the outside world. Of course, you should also explain your brand identity to every employee at the beginning so that it can be implemented in day-to-day work without any misunderstandings.

To avoid an undesirable brand presence, you can also regularly check that all guidelines in this regard are being adhered to at all times. However, you also need to make sure that your brand message and appearance can be adapted to different scenarios without your values being forgotten. Different occasions and channels sometimes require different approaches, but these should be implemented within your brand identity.

Don't forget storytelling!

In marketing, a good story is always a method of strengthening the brand identity. This is because stories arouse emotions and can create a personal connection to your brand. You can also incorporate your brand values into the storytelling and make them more tangible for your target group. It also allows you to stand out from the competition. Tell your individual story that people will remember and that emphasizes the uniqueness of your brand.

Take feedback into account

Of course, your brand identity is your foundation. However, we have already mentioned under the sixth point "Consistent implementation" that it should be adaptable to different scenarios. It is also important that you can respond to feedback as part of your brand identity. This way, you can ultimately address your target group even better. Collect customer feedback from surveys, reviews and social media, analyze customer complaints and take trends into account.

B2B: Brand awareness in the business-to-business sector

Brand identity and therefore brand awareness not only play a role in the B2C sector, but also when it comes to the business-to-business sector. However, the strategies used to convince the target group differ here. If you have an online store that targets business customers, then you should not take the above tips too seriously and focus more on the following points:

  • Focus onthe customer relationship: In the B2B sector, the focus is often on long-term business relationships. To achieve this, it is important that you build trust. You can do this, for example, through constant dialogue with your business customers and a personalized service.
  • Relevant content for the specific industry: To position yourself as a specialist in your industry, you should create industry-specific content for your website, but also for specialist articles in other media or for industry reports, for example. This will help you get your name out there, but also increase your credibility.
  • A website and SEO: So that you can reach your target group and they can find you, you should definitely have a professional website and online store and optimize them with regard to search engines.
  • Attend trade fairs: If you want to increase your visibility, make new contacts and maintain your network, trade fairs are the perfect place for your company.
  • Advertising: When advertising, you should also focus on your industry or perhaps even on specific customer groups. It is usually more effective if your advertising campaigns are not too broad, but rather specific.
  • Partnerships or cooperations: In the B2B sector, collaborations and partnerships are also common. This increases credibility and also extends your reach. You can also make your brand better known among the customer base of other companies.

Building your own brand -
A conclusion on e-commerce branding

A unique brand identity is important for the success of your e-commerce brand. Of course, you will have to invest a lot of time in developing a brand identity for your online store, but it will be worth it! This applies to both the B2C and B2B sectors. If you need support in setting up your online store and adapting it to your brand identity, we as an online store agency are the right partner for you. Feel free to contact us for an initial non-binding consultation.

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from 04.01.2024

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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