The Trick to Successful Branding on Ecommerce

Josh Mendenhall

May 3, 2021

3 minute read time

Imagine your brand as a single tree in the forest of an ecommerce marketplace. Although you may first notice your tree’s wide trunk or long branches, the most critical element to your tree’s long-term survival is actually its roots. In this comparison, think of roots as your brand equity—an often overlooked factor that determines whether your brand thrives in ecommerce.

Brand equity is the consumer-perceived worth of a brand, and it translates into value. It makes your product memorable and easy to recognize, and it gives your consumers quality assurance and trust. When you build a consistent, trustworthy brand, customers are more loyal and more likely to buy your product, even when it’s more expensive than other options.

However, many common ecommerce practices erode your brand equity much faster than you can build it, losing you valuable consumers and sales in the process. Read on to learn more about brand equity and how you can overcome the mistakes that keep you from achieving it.

How you can build brand equity

Your brand equity isn’t the result of one big decision, but a million small ones. These decisions form a customer’s experience with your brand, and they may be related to packaging, logos, social media, colors, advertising, and customer service. Most importantly, everything your brand says or does should be consistent with your brand’s story.

Nike and Coca-Cola are both prime examples of brand equity built on consistency. While both companies stay on trend and keep their marketing fresh, they’re also true to their brand, making it effortless for customers to recognize them. Their vision and aesthetic are both clear, and their visual communication remains consistent across platforms even as their brands evolve. As soon as you see the iconic red color or a loveable polar bear sipping soda, for example, you know you’re watching a Coca-Cola advertisement.

Your goal should be similar. One of the best things you can do for your brand equity is to stick to your brand guidelines and ensure any vendor that sells your product does the same. This doesn’t mean you need to use the same ad over and over or that your marketing never changes—it simply means you should stay within your brand’s box, even when that box is expanding.

When you’ve created and promoted a quality product, you’ve set the bar for your company and must continually meet that bar. The second you fall short of your standards is the second customers start to lose trust in your brand and your brand equity starts to erode. On the other side of the coin, even small brands can establish solid brand equity and enjoy ecommerce success when they’re consistent with their messaging.

Factors that erode brand equity

Since consistency is integral to building your brand equity, it’s logical that your equity begins to diminish when several different vendors (both authorized and unauthorized) begin selling your products on ecommerce with different visuals and messaging. Third-party sellers are often not as committed as you are to enforcing your brand’s guidelines.

This may result in listings with low-quality photography or unpolished copy that are not only sloppy, but also inconsistent with your brand’s style guide. If your creative elements tell a different story on product listings, social media accounts, and your website, your brand becomes unrecognizable and unfamiliar to customers, and your brand equity suffers.

In some cases, third party sellers may include inaccuracies in their descriptions for your product. Consumers are then dissatisfied when they receive your product and it doesn’t have all the features the product description claimed, leading to negative reviews, increased returns, and lower organic search rank for product listings on marketplaces.

Vendors may also sell your product for below Minimum Asking Price (MAP), driving down the price for all sellers and minimizing your margins. Consumers will be confused if your price is inconsistent and eventually begin to lose trust in your brand’s quality. Lower prices may initially lead to more sales and higher conversion, but over time, they will decrease consumers’ perception of your brand’s value and quality. Consumers will also tend to buy from the lower priced seller, which may be an unauthorized source, continuing to help the bad actor while hurting your margins.

A similar concept applies when you hire agencies to help you market and sell your product. Agencies may have worked well a decade ago when brands just needed to hire someone to design a big campaign or revamp their packaging, but ecommerce is a different game now. Brands now need an almost constant stream of consistent content on social media and across ecommerce marketplaces, and it’s difficult for agencies to stay consistent with this messaging when they’re not involved in the brand’s day-to-day operations. Simply put, an agency can’t quite connect the dots like a team that’s constantly invested in the brand, leading to visual miscommunication and brand erosion.

Why partnering with a sole distributor may help

Considering everything we’ve discussed, you may find your brand in a difficult situation right now. You know it’s best to minimize third-party sellers, but your company doesn’t have the resources to handle all Amazon sales on its own. You know agencies can be disconnected from your brand’s full story, but you also can’t afford to hire in-house designers and writers.

That’s where Pattern comes in. Partnering with a sole distributor like Pattern in a selective distribution model may just be the answer your brand has been looking for.

When you partner with us, we become your sole Amazon seller, giving your brand the consistency it needs to establish brand equity. But unlike other third party sellers, we’re fiercely committed to your style guide and MAP policies; We’re in the business of ecommerce, so we understand their weight. We adopt your brand’s voice and values and communicate them wherever we can.

For example, Integrative Therapeutics faced issues with channel conflict and inconsistent listings and content. Unauthorized sellers on Amazon led to poor brand representation and slow brand growth. After partnering with Pattern, Integrative regained control of its brand and grew its compound revenue 39% year-over-year.

"Prior to Pattern, we had two individuals spending a lot of time and not making much progress,” said Mandy Kraynik, Integrative VP of Innovation. “Going to the next step of making Pattern our sole Amazon reseller was critical to achieve the control we ultimately needed and have been able to maintain. They treat our brand as if it was their own. We trust them with our brand."

Our ecommerce experts work together with your team to create a consistent content strategy that converts. But unlike agencies, we’re involved in all of the day-to-day aspects of your brand’s messaging on ecommerce, bridging the gap in a way agencies can’t. Every Pattern partner is assigned an art director that’s dedicated to understanding the brand and translating its strategy to Amazon. We never launch creative content until it’s been approved by you, ensuring content consistently aligns with your vision and brand’s story.

Sock brand Feetures struggled with a lack of brand control and messaging before partnering with Pattern. Together, Feetures and Pattern eliminated unauthorized sellers, expanded to new marketplaces, and optimized images and content on Amazon. These changes led to a revenue growth of 67% in Feetures’ first year with Pattern.

“I trust Pattern implicity to make content that is on brand,” said Feetures Art Director Shelly Tackett. “I don't doubt their choice. Whenever they come to me with ideas, I'm always all thumbs up.”

Ready to build your brand equity with Pattern as your partner? Email hello@pattern.com for a free consultation or request your demo now.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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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/)

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads
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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.