Brands are important for growing and maintaining your business, particularly if your business has a significant online presence. For eCommerce, brands are how customers “find” your business and you maintain loyalty and generate repeat business. A “brand” is often synonymous with a trademark. A brand can be a word, slogan, design or symbol. Cultivating your brands and trademarks is essential for any effective marketing strategy.
Maximizing your brand strength and equity involves several techniques. First, you must start correctly. For any type of business, an effective brand is a distinctive brand. Something like “Green Flowers eMarket” is not very distinctive as a possible brand. It leaves no particular imprint or strong impression with consumers. It is merely descriptive of your eCommerce business and, actually, is a bit vague with respect to what your eBusiness sells. From the beginning, ensure that you have a strong and distinctive brand.
Second, for any business, maximizing brand strength means being consistent with use of the brands. Use in commerce is a legal requirement for a trademark/brand. But consistent use is an essential requirement for a strong brand. Consistent use means using the brand wherever and whenever possible. Examples include using the brand on:
- Shipping materials — including on the exterior of the box and even on cushioning and filling materials
- Invoicing statements
- Email headers and signature blocks
- Web pages — on every page and on lower portions of pages that require scrolling
- Letterhead, stationary, envelopes, business cards, etc.
- Press and media releases
- And more
Third, for eCommerce businesses in particular, maximizing brand strength means being repetitive with use of the brand. Given the nature of online search engines, the more iterations of the brand that appear on webpages, the more likely those websites and webpages will show up in search engine results. This goes under the concept of “search engine optimization.” For on-paper writing, being too repetitious tends to reduce the reader’s enjoyment of what they are reading. However, on-line writing has the additional purpose of attracting the “attention” of search engines. Thus, repeating the brand on every webpage 10-15 times is important. And there are techniques for doing this without destroying readability.
Another key for maximizing brand strength for an online business is to offer customers other reasons to visit your website, social media account and/or online sales store. As the saying goes, “content is king” and having extra content and ways for customers to engage is often a good way to drive sales. This is one reason that platforms like Facebook are successful. Added content is also a way to enhance brand visibility. A visible brand becomes well-known and is a strong brand.
As an example, I may go online looking to buy antiques and succeed in finding a certain webpage or platform. But, in addition to antiques that are of interest, I find the pages full of photos and charming vignettes and stories or maybe I find blog articles of interest. These sorts of extra content create a positive association with the brand and I decide to make a purchase. But, because of the extra content, I also come back later for more photos, articles and other “engagement.” Likely, I will become a repeat customer and make recommendations to others.
A few other techniques to help build and maintain a strong brand include:
- Excellent customer service
- A reputation for quality
- Clear and consistent messaging about products and services
- Competitive pricing
- Timely delivery
- And more
For more information about branding and trademarks, contact the experienced trademark lawyers at Revision Legal at 231-714-0100.