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.
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.
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.
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.”
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.