You’re undoubtedly excited to get started selling your private label brand, but there a few things you should do before you get started. The most overlooked is probably product branding.
What is Product Branding?
Branding is a segment of marketing that involves creating a name for your business and coupling it with a logo. Your goal is for this name and logo to differentiate your products from other similar products in the marketplace.
Your private label brand is undoubtedly similar to other private label products in the same category. Creating a brand name for your product and company allows it to stand out.
You may not have realized you would be creating your own brand when you became involved in selling private label products, but it is one of the key components of the business. A strong brand presence tells customers who you are and what they can expect from your product. You choose your brand, and you get to choose how customers perceive you.
Private label selling is growing at a remarkable rate. While that is great for your private label business, it makes it even more necessary that you find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Why You Should Build a Brand
Creating a brand allows you to forge your own identity in the crowded online marketplace. By creating a brand, you are allowed to determine how people view your products. What is important to you? Quality? Style? Affordability?
Done properly, when you create a brand you are able to emphasize particular features in your product, catering to unfulfilled needs in the market. Your hook can be lower prices, innovative features, reliability, or any other features you determine there is a market for.
When you create a brand for your product, you want to make it clear that your product is its own brand. You aren’t trying to pass off as a “cheaper name brand” rather your product stands alone.
When expanding your product line, keep your brand’s marketing position in mind. If your brand is built on innovative, affordable kitchen gadgets, you don’t want to dilute that brand by offering supplements.
Use Your Brand To Boost SEO
Creating a brand name creates a targeted result when people search for it. Not only do you get the top listing on search engines, but you effectively drive your competition down the page. Given the preference people have for purchasing branded content over generic, this is an effective way to boost your conversion rate.
Components of a Brand
Rather than trying to make a quick buck selling as soon as possible, take the time to create a brand. Creating a brand for your private label product allows you to create a product that customers will come looking for and allow you to develop customer loyalty.
Building a brand to sell your private label products requires you to take the time to think about who your target market is and how to appeal to them. This answer will be different for everyone, depending on your product and your price point.
Time spent before you launch your product to develop a brand is well spent. Once your product goes live, you don’t want to change your packaging or rewrite your listing to include your brand. And if you plan for expansion, at some point you will want a brand.
How To Build a Brand
You need to start with a name and a logo. From there you have the basics to develop a successful brand.
You want people to have a positive connection with your brand. This means providing a good customer experience.
How to do that?
- Offer a quality product.
- Have a well-written product description.
- Answer customer questions is a professional and timely manner.
Every part of the product branding process should work toward the same goal. If your brand is professional and competent, your logo, color scheme, and product descriptions should all aim to present that same image. If you are looking for a more carefree vibe, your name, colors, and design will look entirely different.
A successful brand is identifiable at a glance. Whether they can pick out the writing on the label or not, just seeing the product should let your customers know your brand’s personality.
Your goal is to develop a brand that reflects how you hope your customers feel when purchasing and using your product. This personality is reflected in the name, packaging, and logo you create.
Creating your brand involves spending some time doing some hard thinking about how you want your brand to be perceived.
Consider ways that your product is different from similar items in the marketplace. Think about who is likely to use your product and what problems it will solve for them.
When you have successfully completed the product branding process, you will have created a face for your company. This will help generate business and makes it more likely that you will get repeat customers.
Think About the Future
When creating your brand it is important to think about where you see your business in six months or even six years. You are probably starting with a very small product line, even a single item. That’s great and makes sense.
If your planning to scale your business up, you will need to expand at some point. As you learn more about what sells and what doesn’t, it will become apparent the best way to scale your business. When you’re just starting out, don’t box yourself into a name for your brand that limits you needlessly.
What does that mean? Don’t build your brand based on one product. Even if all you are selling is stainless steel water tumblers, don’t name your store The Tumbler Store.
You may decide to expand into coffee mugs, carafes, or other beverage containers, or you may decide to go toward other stainless steel items. Since you don’t know the direction you will expand, don’t limit yourself.
Analyze Your Competition
When doing research as you create your brand, take note of your competitors. What are they doing? What do their branding and packaging look like? Read reviews for their products.
What are they doing right? You don’t want to copy them, but you should note the things that are working for them. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
What are they doing wrong? Pinpointing this gives your brand an opportunity to stand out. Look at the pictures of their product. Is the logo muddy or difficult to make out? Does the packaging make the product look cheap?
Read negative reviews. Are the instructions included with the product unclear? The packaging not protective enough of the product? This is your opportunity to beat the competition out of the gate.
Set Yourself Apart
Improve on your competition and take advantage of that. When you list your product, include these facts, without discussing your competition, in your listing. Phrases like “easy to follow instructions” or “packaged to ensure it arrives safe and ready to use” get your point across to people who read reviews.
Create a Brand Name
Just like the process of selecting products to sell, the first step of branding involves a lot of thinking and not much action. Make a list of words that come to mind when thinking about how you want people to feel about your product(s).
When you are just starting out, it can be hard to see past your first sales. It is important to consider how you plan to grow your business when you create your brand.
- Do you want to always have the most innovative products?
- Or focus on nostalgia?
- Reliable products?
There is no right answer, but the name you choose should convey the feeling you want your brand to create.
Once you have some words that you believe represent your product, focus on coming up with a brand name you like and that makes sense.
Finalizing Your Brand Name
Before settling on a name, use a service such as NameCheap to make sure it is available. You want your brand name to be available as a domain, as well as on social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
You may plan to do all of your sales and marketing through Amazon, but don’t lock yourself in. Setting up social media accounts and a domain and pointing them to your Amazon page only takes a few minutes.
Later, you may decide to use these avenues more aggressively, and you will already have them in place.
Coming Up With a Logo
Once you’ve settled on a name, it’s time to come up with a logo. It can be tempting to throw a lot of details into your logo. Don’t succumb to this temptation. A simple logo with few colors will cost less to design and produce, and in almost 100 percent of cases, will look more professional.
As with branding, logo design requires that you think about your target audience. Who are they and what message do you want to convey to them with your logo. Young and fun? Trustworthy? Strong? There is no right answer, you want a logo that represents your brand.
What choices make up a logo?
Color selection shapes used and typography are all components of a logo. Your choice of each helps promote your brand’s vision.
Once you have your logo, you’re ready to put in on your product. How you do this depends on what you are selling and how you receive your product from the manufacturer. Some products don’t require a label. If you are selling water tumblers, for example, you may want to create a sleeve with your product logo on it. Another option is a sticker with your logo that goes on a cellophane bag your stick the tumbler in for shipping.
If you are selling something like supplements, however, you will want the label directly on the product.
What to include on the label:
- Your brand logo
- A clear description of the product
It will probably take a few tries to come up with a label you like, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
You can use more than one color, to emphasize particular points and create visual interest, but too many colors will look busy, make the label more difficult to read and increase the cost to produce.
Before finalizing your design, look at a mockup of the label at the same size as it will be printed. Something that looks good on the computer screen may be difficult to read on the packaging.
Keep in mind the final placement of the label. A label that looks great in your hand may not look the same wrapped around a supplement bottle. Make sure your logo will be front and center when placed on the product, and the key benefits are easy to read.
Check out your competitors on Amazon. How does your packaging look compared to theirs?
Ask for input from friends and family. You’re not going to make everyone happy all the time, but if you get the same complaints, about readability, appearance, or other issues, you probably need to address them.
In addition to ensuring that the packaging you are putting your label on is attractive and protective of your product, you want to consider cost. It is possible to have affordable packaging, but it is also possible to let these costs creep up without you realizing it.
- Key components of a good package:
- It protects your product
- It displays your brand in an attractive way
- It differentiates you from your competitors
Photos and Descriptions
Quality photography is another way to make your brand stand out from the competition. The first step is to make sure your images follow the requirements set out by Amazon. After that, you want photographs that:
Showcase your brand. This is where that clear logo comes in handy. Have one picture of your product in its packaging, that clearly shows your brand. If the packaging is difficult to photograph well, such as a sticker on cellophane wrapper, photograph just the sticker that includes your logo on a plain white background.
Show your product in use. Amazon allows up to seven pictures in your product description. Including a shot of your product in use helps your listing stand out.
Quality is an important part of the sales equation. While the benefit of creating a brand is that your products are recognizable, that can quickly become a drawback if your product is not a good quality product.
To create a successful brand you want to offer something that people will have confidence in purchasing and recommending to others.
Outsourcing is Affordable
Good design includes several elements: Logo, colors and a slogan. Don’t let your skills or lack of them trip you up.
Take whatever ideas you have, no matter how bare or extensive, and hire a freelancer to implement them.
The internet is a great place to hire a designer that will fit your budget. Don’t settle for something you’re not happy with.
One of the most important things about branding is consistency. Don’t choose a brand or logo that you aren’t satisfied with, thinking that you can easily change it later.
While you can always make changes and update, your goal is for your brand to be recognizable, and you can’t expect that if you are constantly making changes.
Launch Your Brand
How do you know when you are ready to launch your brand? Once you have completed all the preliminary steps and your products are ready to go, you’re ready to launch.
Now it’s time to get your name out in front of consumers. There are several ways to do this.
Don’t limit yourself to one method of promoting your brand, but you may want to focus on just a few until you are comfortable, then expand.
Create an Amazon Landing Page
If you are using avenues outside of Amazon to build your brand, such as Facebook ads, you should build an Amazon landing page. This is a page off of Amazon customer can come to and get info on your product. The landing page is a hassle-free way to send external traffic to your Amazon listing.
One great benefit of an Amazon landing page is that it asks for the customer’s email address in exchange for a discount code. This code can be used for a particular product or any item under your brand.
Having your customer’s email address is a valuable marketing tool for building your brand. You can use it to keep previous customers up to date on new products launched under your brand as well as sales and price changes to existing products.
Amazon landing pages are very beneficial from a marketing perspective. They allow you to track who and where your visitors are coming from.
This allows you to evaluate your ads and ensure that you are spending money in the ways that get you the best results. And of course, by voluntarily giving you their email address, your customers help you build a mailing list of individuals who have shown interest in your product.
The best way to create a mobile friendly landing is by using Thrive Architect.
Take Advantage of Enhanced Brand Content
Using Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content allows you to let your brand stand out from the competition. It is open to any brand registered sellers.
- Advantages of Enhanced Brand Content:
- More options in text layout, formatting, and photography
- Traditional listings limit you to simple paragraphs of text
According to Amazon, users of enhanced Brand Content have an increase of up to 12 percent on sales when using this type of listing.
Use Sponsored Placement
Amazon allows you to use a pay per click (PPC) advertising model to promote your brand and products. The process is straightforward, and Amazon has done a lot of the backend work already.
When getting started, take advantage of their recommended keywords to advertise your product. After a few weeks, you will see which of the keywords are performing best for you, and you can adjust your marketing campaign.
Drive External Traffic Through Advertising and Influencers
As effective as Amazon can be, you don’t need to rely on one company to build your brand. Consider using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and even social media influencers to drive customers to your Amazon site.
Deciding on Advertising
Once you have made the decision to drive external traffic to your Amazon site, you are probably wondering how to decide on spending any advertising budget. In the beginning, when you are just starting to create a brand, you will probably be operating on a shoestring.
The pay per click model of many types of internet advertising, both in Amazon and externally, such as Google AdWords, allows you to create a workable and affordable budget that can grow as your budget does.
Don’t overlook social media influencers. Depending on the size of their audience, you may be able to get an endorsement from them for the cost of sending a free product. Sure, the largest influencers with large followings and professional representation are out of reach as you are just starting.
Influencers with fewer followers are often eager to sponsor posts. They get the product for free and can take advantage of Amazon’s affiliate program to make money when their readers click through and make purchases. This happens at no cost to you.
To be successful with this brand marketing method you again need to spend time on research. Remember, who is your target customer? Look for your ideal customer on Instagram or Facebook, and, if they have a solid following, reach out to them.
Build Your Brand Name Recognition With Lightning Deals
Lightning Deals are a promotional tool offered by Amazon that can be a great way to get brand exposure. You want to be sure you have a good supply of inventory before utilizing this tool, but it is a great way to gain exposure during your product launch and early days of your business.
There are specific requirements you must meet before using the Lightning Deal feature. You must have at least a 3-star rating on Amazon, your product must be new, and it must be Prime eligible. The product cannot be embarrassing or inappropriate.
Take Advantage of Amazon’s Early Review Program
One thing that new sellers struggle with is the need for positive reviews. Amazon does not allow compensated reviews so you are basically left counting on someone’s good nature to leave positive reviews.
You can encourage reviews by participating in Amazon’s Early Review Program. Amazon randomly gifts reviewers with a small gift, such as an Amazon gift card, for sharing their review on certain products. Of course, there is no guarantee that the review will be positive, but if you have done your homework, that should not be a problem.
Blogging is one of the best ways to put content out into the world. How you want to approach this in relation to your brand is a personal choice. If you enjoy writing and have plenty to say about your products, you may want to start your own blog.
That isn’t the only way, or even necessarily the best way, to use blogging to build your brand. Instead, consider guest blogging on already established blogs. You don’t want to write an advertisement for your product or brand in the post, as most people will skip right over those, even if the blog owner allowed it.
Instead, target blogs that would be interested in your brand, write an informative post, and at the end, include your brand name and a link to your storefront in your author biography.
So, for example, if you sell stainless steel drink tumblers, you may target mommy blogs with tips on how to organize your morning to get out the door with small children. You may target outdoor blogs with ideas on how to prepare for inclement weather.
Both of these groups are likely to buy your product, and, if you provide enjoyable, relevant content, are likely to click through to look at your store.
An added advantage of providing guest posts for other blogs is that you can develop a bit of a reputation of an expert in the field you write on. This, in turn, builds your brand.
When building your product brand, always think about how an opportunity will affect your brand. Seek out opportunities that are mutually beneficial and will enhance your brand’s image.
Once you have developed and launched your product brand, you may think your work is over. To run a successful private label company, you need to stay on your toes. Once you are comfortable with the methods you used to launch your brand, add a few more.
Constantly read your reviews and answer any questions posed by customers. If you keep getting the same questions, or if some common complaints start surfacing, you need to stage an intervention. Building a brand is not a static process.
Customer satisfaction is a key component of a successful brand. Just as a recognizable name brand can be a positive, it can also be a negative. Take your brand name recognition seriously, and guard its reputation.
You will never please everyone, but staying on top of communications and addressing any issues with packaging or quality quickly and in a professional manner allow you to control the message that develops surrounding your brand.