Brand Management: What it is & How it Protects Your Brand

Pattern Marketing

March 2, 2022

It’s easy to throw your product online, forget about it, and go about your business expecting to make big profits on ecommerce in your sleep. Even though the internet has made some incredible things possible—like ordering 1,500 live ladybugs to your doorstep—what it can’t do is tackle your brand management for you; and without brand management, you could be inadvertently causing real financial harm to your company.

What is brand management?

At a high level, brand management (or marketplace management) is a component of marketing that ensures your business is running smoothly and has consistent messaging across all domestic and international channels—this includes your marketing, your advertising, logistics, listings, social media, and more. In ecommerce, brand management includes controlling how other sellers use your brand name and products in the marketplace.

Why does brand management matter?

Brand management (or the lack thereof) directly impacts how customers view your brand and your product, which affects the value of your brand and product, and the price a shopper is willing to pay for your brand’s products. With good management, you can increase the perceived value of your product line and improve your brand equity over time. You can also grow brand awareness and build a tight ship that consumers love and trust.

Brand management protects your brand image

Without brand management, you’re essentially giving unauthorized sellers or even poor authorized sellers permission to say and do whatever they want to your brand image.

Let’s say you’ve got an awesome product in the market and you’ve got a wide variety of partners selling it. You might think your job is done and that these partners can just distribute your product and make money for you without you doing a thing.

Not so fast.

There’s an old adage that when the cat is away, the mice come out to play—and it applies to brand management. Without brand management, sellers are more likely to throw your product listings on Amazon with reckless abandon and without the care your product deserves. They might have an image stack with low quality photos or not enough photos, for example. They might not provide enough details on the listing for a customer to feel confident making a purchase. They might use messaging that’s inconsistent with your own messaging so that buyers don’t trust that they’re getting a genuine product.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Not so fast! I picked a good distributor, they would never do this.”

But we would argue (because we’ve seen) that even the best appearing distributors can get a little shady when they need to make a profit. If one distributor goes rogue and lowers the price, the rest of your distributors may lower their prices to compete, which means your price is now lower overall. Or if one distributor decides your product isn’t selling well enough, they may take a few liberties in the title or product description, just to help push your product a little harder.

Unfortunately, all of these things don’t just reflect badly on the seller, they reflect badly on your brand. Because even though the product comes from a third-party seller, the first thing a customer will see on the listing is that it’s your product and your brand. In fact, the unique seller is rarely noticed by marketplace shoppers. It’s a sobering and important note that all of the hard work you put into creating a good reputation can become worthless if you aren’t controlling it across all sellers and all marketplaces.

Brand management protects your profits

Poor brand management, in addition to harming your reputation, can have significant and immediate negative financial impacts. One of the most common ways this can happen is through price erosion.

Price erosion happens when an unauthorized third-party seller gets a hold of your product and undercuts your pricing. This tactic is useful for the authorized seller as they will drive your shoppers to their discounted product, leaving your fully priced product on the shelf. But it leaves your other distributors out to dry as consumers will choose the lower price over the authorized retailer. This strain causes every other seller to lower their own product pricing in order to stay competitive. But this eats into your margins and your sellers’ margins, and these price drops will keep happening over and over again until your sellers run out of inventory.

Not only does this diminish the perceived value and quality of your product to customers, but it harms your relationships with your sellers. If they know that you’re not managing your brand online to prevent situations like this and protect them as sellers, they will have few incentives to continue selling your products in the future.

And you can’t blame them. If sellers can’t make a profit on your products, why should they continue to sell them?

How does brand management work?

Okay, okay, so brand management is important for the reputation and financial health of your brand, but what does it look like and how does it work?

Brand management comes down to having a solid brand strategy, quality partnerships, consistent messaging, and effective brand protection that stops rogue sellers in their tracks.

One way you can manage and protect your brand online is by creating and enforcing a MAP pricing policy to standardize the recommended pricing of your products on Amazon. Effective MAP policies let your sellers know that you’re serious about keeping pricing stable and willing to enforce consequences when sellers underprice. It can weed out the bad players harming your brand and support the partners that want to do business with you the right way.

Another way you can manage your brand better online is to limit your distribution to one or two quality distributors so leaks are less likely to happen. When you focus on a few quality sellers you can trust that your messaging will be consistent across all channels. You want imagery to be high quality and your brand voice to be recognizable, engaging, and true to brand, whether a customer is finding your product on social media, your website, or another seller on Amazon.

Rather than doing all of this work on your own, though, you might consider hiring an outside brand manager to partner with you, tackle the workload, and bring your ecommerce gaols to life.

Your brand manager should have a good sense of what your brand is and what goals you have for the future. A good brand manager will work in partnership with you to enforce your policies and messaging. Ultimately, when looking for a brand manager, you want to find someone you can have a good relationship with who cares just as much for your brand as you do.

The Benefits of brand management with Pattern

Here at Pattern, we offer high quality and strategic brand management for our partners as well as every tool they need to take back control of their ecommerce business from the ground up.

With access to our internal data and tech software, our brand managers work in concert with your ecommerce team and to pinpoint your pain points on ecommerce, enforce your MAP policy, clean up your listing copy and imagery, and provide you with an SEO marketing plan that helps you to capitalize on the right keywords and reach your target audience.

When you partner with Pattern, you receive your own brand manager who helps manage your Pattern team, answers any questions you have, and helps you drive a strategy for success. We’ll make sure your branding and content is consistent across all of your channels and provide stellar customer service to keep your customers coming back.

Ready to learn more about the financial savings and brand protection of a partnership with Pattern? Get in touch today.

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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 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]( 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]( --- 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]( 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]( --- 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]( 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]( 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](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (20th September 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]( 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]( --- 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]( 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]( --- 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]( 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]( 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]( 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](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (13th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider]( --- Other Marketplace News --- is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star]( Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday]( FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel]( India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](