Module 4 - Create Your Brand

4.2 How to Define Your Brand Strategy

Another way of defining your brand is to build a branding strategy that consistently develops brand preference, customer loyalty, and brand equity in your niche. Here are the 3 best practices in private labeling branding:

  1. Be Different
  2. Create an Emotional Connection
  3. Sharing is Caring

Best Practice #1: Be Different

We’ve talked about this during your product research, but it’s important to review this again before you make branding decisions. Private label brands are perhaps at their best when their offerings are incremental value to a particular category and the overall marketplace.

When you examine the marketplace, study what the customers truly love about the leading brands and what problems remain unresolved. Differentiation should be more than merely a lower price than the manufacturer brands. There should be some uniqueness in the branding efforts.

Best Practice #2: Create an Emotional Connection

Customers will be drawn and remain loyal to brands where there’s an emotional connection. This is not only true for private labels, but for all brands. As a private label brand, it is really important that your image stands for something beyond price – more than a product attribute – they need to provide an emotional benefit that is relatable.

At the end of the day, business can be simplified to one basic principle. Businesses get rewarded when they can move people from a “Before” state to a desired “After” state. And, when you do this on a consistent basis, you build brand equity and a loyal customer base.

As it is explained in a great article in Digital Marketing, in the “Before” state the customer feels there’s a problem for various reasons. In the “After” state – everything is better because the problem is solved. Most businesses that fail, do so because either…

  • They do not consistently provide the desired “After” state (the product doesn’t work.)
  • They are unable to describe the movement from “Before” to “After” in such a way that it resonates with their targeted audience (the marketing is misguided).

Best Practice #3: Sharing is Caring

Finally, when you consider your basic branding efforts, you should consider the power of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is driven by our nature to tell stories and desire to share our experiences with others. It’s important that your brand has a positive impact on your customers because then your customers will become conduits for your message. Given the nature of personal relationships between individuals is based on trust, word of mouth marketing is often perceived as a credible source of information. Why? Because if a friend shares something, we assume he cares about it. So how can we create the positive customer experiences that will be shared?

According to recent scientific research, word of mouth marketing is not random and there are very good reasons why things are shared. In Jonah Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, he reveals why content and products go viral. With stories and scientific evidence, Berger, an assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, describes 6 STEPPS to enhance a brand’s shareability and word of mouth advertising. They are:

  1. Social Currency
  2. Triggers
  3. Emotion
  4. Public
  5. Practical Value
  6. Stories

There are some great videos online where he discusses his scientific findings. Here’s one on ‘How Ideas Become Popular’:

For now, think about these three points:

  1. People care about how they look to others, so make sure your product branding is something that they would want to share with other like minded people.
  2. When you’re designing your brand, try to leverage an object, thought, smell, sight or sound that will be frequently triggered in your audience’s mind.
  3. And, finally, use positive and high-arousal emotions like awe, excitement, anger, amusement and humor into your basic branding efforts.

Now Let's Pick a Brand Name!

You’ve laid the foundation for your brand by defining your brand values and strategy. Now let’s get a bit more practical: to convey your values, you need a brand name. Next up, you’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of picking the best possible brand name for your FBA business!