In marketing class, we often speak about how branding is NOT just your logo. It's everything you do from how you speak to your customers, to the filter you use on your photos online, and to your font, your product names, and how you price.
Branding is everywhere.
Here are 5 often-missed branding opportunities for retailers and e-tailers.
Shipping as an online retailer is YOUR connection point with the consumer.
Pack up a product, and ship it to yourself. Yes, I just said that.
When it arrives... how do you feel? Surprised? Delighted? Meh?
It's all about the details.
As a smaller retailer, you're likely still managing fulfilment or maybe have a little bit of help. This is a huge opportunity to personalize and create a lasting memory with your customer.
Why not add a handwritten note? Or fun, custom labels? Or a surprise sample?
Take the ship bag as an opportunity to forge that customer bond!
If you're an in-store retailer, often you'll take the vendor's hang tags, or develop your own sticker to put on top. Cost saving. I get it.
But branding opportunity missed? Heck ya!
Add a custom tag, with your website, and logo, tagline, whatever.
Re-iterate who you are and why you do what you do.
For makers/creators, I'd say the same thing applies for product labels or packaging.
This is your canvas to the customer.
Take this opportunity to show how special your brand is, and what it can do to better the lives of the customers.
How do you respond to customer service inquiries?
Do you have a separate email address? Do you write back from your gmail account? How do you sign those emails? What are your return policies? Do they favour customers?
Tonality is critical in online retailing. So much is missed through email communication.
Even signing a customer email, as "With thanks" or "With gratitude" can make a customer feel special for interacting with you.
Consider all communication touch points as an opportunity to reaffirm your brand values with your customer and activate them.
Invoices. If you have them, or email auto-responders that go out after an online sale.
YES YES YES.
Put your social media links in them. Put a fun quote or graphic. Maximize this opportunity!
This will likely sit in someone's inbox until the shipment arrives, and may get a handful of views.
Make it engaging, interactive and provide information... missed shipment, go where? product returns..how? share this email functionality... refer a friend.
The possibilities are endless!
Lastly, pop-up events or shows ... and the same can apply to retail bricks and mortar stores.
Every customer interaction in person is valuable, whether or not they buy from you. Why?
Maybe they don't like your current product assortment? Maybe they don't like your colour selection? Or sizing? Or brands you're carrying?
Engage with them. Give them a handout or piece of information to encourage them to connect with you on social media or email.
Make it fun, and memorable.
People won't hang onto a cheesy piece of paper, or boring business card BUT an inspirational poster. Yes they will.
Lasting branding. It matters. When they're ready to buy what you're selling, they'll come to you!