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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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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.