Build Your Brand Strategy in 3 Steps

Josh Mendenhall

March 16, 2022

Picture the newest Apple product. Now, you’ve probably envisioned something clean, sleek, and cutting edge. Next, think of the last Nike commercial you saw—can you feel the inspiration coursing through you all over again? While both of these brands have a strong reputation in your mind, you connect to them in entirely different ways. The reason? Deliberate brand strategy.

The Apple logo is so recognizable and loved that customers proudly don it on their vehicles, laptops, and water bottles. Within seconds of a Nike commercial starting, viewers immediately know the iconic sportswear company produced it. Just seeing Coca-Cola’s signature red color and font is enough to make many Americans crave a Coke.

These companies have understood who they are, who their customer is, and how to meaningfully connect the two. They’ve been aggressive in protecting their brand and consistently communicating their brand identity.

While we can’t guarantee every brand will become a household name as prominent as Apple or Nike, every company does have the potential to leverage its brand strategy to resonate with consumers and tell a powerful brand story.

What is brand strategy, and how can I do it right?

Your brand strategy is your company’s approach to building and maintaining a brand that resonates with consumers. Brands may achieve this goal through various means, but the core goal remains the same: creating and communicating a strong, familiar brand that fosters a loyal customer base.

Brand strategy starts with brand creation

The first step of brand strategy is to mindfully create a brand. We don’t mean creating a product or business—a brand isn’t just a company, logo, color, or name. A brand is how people perceive your company, logo, or name. It’s the implicit feelings wrapped around your product.

To create a brand that resonates with consumers, you should first understand who you are as a brand, who you want to be as a brand, and what your products stand for. You should also seek to understand your customer, what’s important to them, and why they need your product.

Next, develop a brand system

Once you’ve established your brand, the next step in your brand strategy should be developing a brand system to ensure you’re successfully communicating your brand identity and values. One way to develop this system is by creating what we call a kit of parts full of different elements—written, visual, and graphic—that reinforce your brand. This may include iconography, typography, voice, colors, logos, and more.

It’s also best practice to provide a style guide, photo guide, brand guide, or other similar established guidelines for anyone who will be creating assets for or representing the brand. These guides should identify each piece of the brand and how they should be executed. Make sure that all employees, partners, agencies, and sellers follow these guidelines.

Then, keep your brand protected

It’s important to protect your carefully crafted brand on ecommerce marketplaces by avoiding unauthorized sellers who misrepresent you. Incorporating brand protection into your brand strategy and keeping your company tightly managed across all marketplaces will help you maintain your brand’s image and reliability.

Unfortunately, if you’re not on major marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart.com, someone else is probably representing you there, and doing a poor job. Like we touched on earlier, your brand is how people perceive your company—and it’s difficult for that perception to be strong when your message, prices, products, and customer service are inconsistent across channels.

Balance consistency and creativity in your brand strategy

As part of your brand strategy, be consistent with your brand’s style, look, and feel. Everything you create, publish, or sell communicates a message, and you want your message to be consistent. (Spoiler alert: the more sellers you have across channels, the harder consistency becomes.)

Your packaging needs to tell the same story in every place your product is sold, whether that be brick-and-mortar stores or online. Your online listings across marketplaces, social media posts, and marketing materials should reflect the same tone and voice. Your typography, colors, and graphic design should be so consistent that consumers can immediately recognize the content they see as yours—the same way the Apple logo immediately communicates a polished, high-tech vibe.

Even while maintaining consistency, you can be creative. It’s possible to veer a bit outside your brand’s lane, so to speak, without getting off at the exit. There are always opportunities to have fun with your brand by experimenting and testing to see if new ideas resonate with the viewer. Doing so helps keep your brand from becoming stale.

How to know if your brand strategy is working

At the end of the day, you know your brand strategy has been successful when you’ve connected with your consumer to the point that they understand and recognize your brand and what it stands for.

In part, this means leveraging your brand elements to forge an emotional connection with viewers. People are attached to brands that appeal to their emotions. Even seemingly small decisions, like your font choice and color palette, invoke emotions in your customers. This emotional connection is key to establishing loyalty and differentiating your brand and product from similar ones on the market.

A successful brand strategy also means your brand is familiar and recognizable. You’ll know you’ve executed your brand strategy successfully when a customer briefly sees your advertising, listings, or packaging and immediately knows that it’s from your brand.

The ultimate goal is for customers to share your brand without you asking them to do so. The fact that some Apple customers put Apple stickers on the back of their cars, for example, is a testament to Apple’s extremely successful strategy. You know you’ve built a successful brand when customers love your brand, believe in it, and share it with others organically.

How Pattern boosts your brand strategy

PopSockets, a Pattern partner that sells phone accessories, is a great example of a company that’s nailed the brand strategy. PopSockets’ content isn’t just informative; it evokes fun, happy, and playful emotions. This branding is consistent across all channels and marketplaces. As a brand, PopSockets is aware of people’s need to express their individuality and helps them do so with its products. PopSockets’ products and content are immediately recognizable, and customers remain loyal.

At Pattern, we help brands like PopSockets save time and increase sales by helping them form and execute their brand strategy in a consistent way across channels. We can help your brand develop a brand voice and style that will resonate with customers and turn them into loyal brand ambassadors. These changes won’t just build a loyal following; they’ll also accelerate your traffic, conversion, and profit on ecommerce marketplaces around the globe. Interested in learning more? Get in touch today.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 26, 2022

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.

Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)