The Digital World Brings New Challenges and Novel Solutions
One of the clearest facts of the business world is that branding matters. One simple look at the greats of branding, like Coca-cola and McDonalds, proves that recognition and reputation can go incredibly far. However, the internet brings a plethora of new challenges to building a brand, especially for established companies outside of eCommerce who do not have an eCommerce branding strategy yet. If there’s one thing everyone knows about the internet, it’s that everything moves quickly. From viral media to “memes” that gain and lose popularity within the span of a week, the internet can seem like the big leagues for branding. The good news is that for every challenge that arises for companies online, there are a number of possible solutions.
With eCommerce being more lucrative than ever before, it makes sense that companies without a presence online would want to change that fact; part of building success online includes mastering eCommerce branding. With that in mind, you might find yourself thinking about the tactics you could bring over from offline branding strategies, and what new skills you’ll have to learn. In this blog, we’ll help you get a more solid grasp of what techniques are important and what you can learn from companies who’ve already made the transition to multi-channel selling.
The Fundamentals of eCommerce Branding for Established Businesses
The foundational fact to understand about doing business online as an existing enterprise business is that your audience online might differ from your offline audience significantly. One of the best examples of this is the fast-food staple Arby’s. Arby’s has seen record engagement from their Twitter account which has managed to give them a huge surge of business across the nation. In a fascinating blog post, Arby’s officials discussed how a single tweet which was not planned and resulted from a strategy of “always-on listening,” resulted in a tweet with a “$22 million price tag.”
How does this apply to eCommerce businesses? It’s a brilliant example of how Arby’s offline branding and online branding differ drastically. Online, they make it their goal to be plugged into every trend, respond with humor and pop-culture references, and spend time making seemingly silly pieces of food-art for fans of video games and television shows. If you only paid attention to Arby’s offline branding decisions, you’d be missing out completely on a piece of their strategy that brings customers in the door and builds their presence universally.
While some businesses do benefit from a seamless branding plan that looks similar both online and offline, many established brands making the move into eCommerce will benefit from taking the time to experiment, research, and discover any differences that exist between those who are watching and listening online and those who are doing so offline. While not everyone will hit the jackpot with $22 million valued tweets, a brand making the transition to eCommerce can increase the value of all of their online branding efforts by simply being aware and watchful of differences in audience.
Another important fact about eCommerce branding is that getting your name in front of potential customers works differently online than offline. For example, let’s consider that part of your company’s offline marketing and branding strategy involves running commercials during certain television shows you want to be associated with your brand. Online, this might be much more difficult. While websites like YouTube have incredibly popular channels, the content on those channels varies greatly from regular television programming that is largely studio produced. In addition, ad viewership in online videos is complicated by premium programs, ad-blockers, and more.
For some established brands who have migrated into eCommerce, the key to getting their name in front of customers who seem to hate advertisements was making the advertisements in and of themselves enjoyable. One of the best examples of this was a comedy ad by K-mart that involved an increasingly ridiculous application of a pun. While this started as a television ad, its popularity exploded online due to the fact that it appealed to the viral video audiences. Instead of having to run the ad during other’s shows, people were flocking to K-Mart’s official channels to watch the ad directly as if it were a production in its own right. The stunning thing is that it was a production of its own. It wasn’t just an ad, it was something worth seeking out and watching.
The core techniques to take away from these examples is to expect the unexpected, do plenty of research, don’t be afraid to experiment, and measure your interactions and data closely. Online, getting relevant data is easier than any offline technique, as most sites provide all manner of tools for tracking interactions, clickthroughs, and more. If you approach a transition to building an online brand with care, research, and a willingness to try new things, you’re likely to find the key to expanding your brand’s presence into the massive, borderless world that exists online.
Tying the Online to the Offline
While many companies have had great success with utilizing unique, customized strategies for promoting and building their brand online, in the end, it always has to tie back to some offline product. Brick-and-mortar giant Wal-mart, for example, makes the availability of their in-store pickup feature seemingly omnipresent, encouraging online customers to stop into their local store to pick up an order, often with discounted or free shipping for doing so. This rule applies to any established business building an eCommerce branding strategy: your brand online is, ultimately, a part of your offline brand, even if the techniques and surface appearance are different. With careful planning and synergy, your company can build a truly omnichannel brand which flawlessly appeals to your offline market, your online market, and everyone in-between.
If you’d like to learn more, we’re here to help. Here at www.1digitalagency.com, we’ve devoted our professional lives to understanding the nuances of eCommerce so that we can help businesses like yours thrive in the incredible world of eCommerce. Contact us today to see how we can help your brand go further online!
- December 6, 2017
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