eCommerce Brands Built to Last

Every eComm seller wants their storefront to be on the first page of Google, but staying relevant is even more challenging. In this session, we discussed building sustainable brands and achieving better sales as a result of your branding. 

Authority = Sales = Trust

While you can’t always predict future trends and patterns, it is important to consider several factors before beginning to ensure cohesion and user experience. Before making any decision permanent, consider any potential trademark options, social media and domain name options, color scheme, and other details that make your brand unique to you. 

How are you going to get people engaged on your website and build a sense of community?

Norm emphasized taking the time to really understand your audience and the audiences you want to reach and shared the formula that works for him: Authority = Sales = Trust. Find out what they really want and the problems they need to be solved before pinpointing how and why they’ll choose your brand over others. Produce quality content consistently, using reviews, photos, and blog posts to highlight brand identity and a clear depiction of what customers can expect. Try audience research tools like SparkToro to help expand your reach or keyword finders like Frase and Jasper

Once you’ve established your brand and found your niche, find people that align with your company to help you advertise. Working with micro-influencers on TikTok and Instagram for content creation and marketing campaigns is effective to find more customers in your target audience. Another affordable option is reaching out to repeat customers and asking them to be brand ambassadors – they already know the value of your product! Chances are, their friends and followers have similar interests. 

Your eCommerce business can have lasting success– check out the full session above for more tips!

  • Read the Transcript

    eComm Weekly – EP30: eCommerce Brands Built to Last

    [00:00:00] So we’re gonna be talking about building brands, making them sustainable and just how to achieve better sales through branding. I’m in a ninth century castle in France right now, and I didn’t even think I’d have, uh, wifi, but anyways, uh, hopefully this takes, uh, goes on, uh, is gonna be a great topic. 

    I am a branding person as well. I’ve been branding forever. My name’s Norm Farrar. This is eComm Weekly. Branding, why is it so important? And you know, what you can do to, make sure that you have the best brand possible now. But first of all, you know, what is in a brand. And I think you’ve gotta spend time. You can’t spend two seconds thinking of a brand. It doesn’t work.

    If you try to do things on the cheap, depending on what you’re trying to do to grow your brand, it doesn’t work. If it’s usually your first gut impulse. I usually like [00:01:00] to think about what am I trying to achieve, the demographic, the colors, for example, uh, with some creative things that we do, we use the colors orange and black orange is known as a very creative color.

    So we kind of incorporate it. If anybody knows any of the sites that we’ve done, uh, for our branding, uh, you’ll notice that every site we do is orange. The other thing that we wanna make sure that we have is you wanna make sure that the trademark is available. So if you do need the name, nobody’s gonna come back and bite you because it’s so important.

    I’ve seen this happen a thousand times, a thousand times where you’ve established a website, you got everything up and going. And then you got a cease and desist order. So you wanna make sure that that’s clear, so you can go to the us, um, trademark and patent office and just do a test search. You’ll see it.

    It’ll just be a trademark search [00:02:00] once you get that done. The other most important thing that you do is check out your social media and your domain name. So all of us, for the most part. We getting I mean, it’s a lottery. If you can get a go for it. I tell people too, if, if you can get a, a at a, at a fairly good price, I’d buy it.

    But my go to for the most part is I like got clubs. And the reason I like it is what’s a club. It’s a community. And around my, all my brands, every one of my brands for the most part are like a candle club, dead sea mud club. Well, I can put blog articles about, you know, the different products, the different brands I can be talking about.

    Um, I can add, uh, uh, yeah, the, the blog articles, the different content on [00:03:00] my social media. Uh, it’s all about the whole community. So building a brand. It’s not just the design. It’s not just the website it’s being consistent and it’s building a community. That’s probably the most important thing that you can possibly do if you’re just sitting there and you’re not building that com uh, community, if you’re not having that engagement, it’s probably not gonna work.

    I know, like if you ever listen to our podcast lunch with norm, that’s exactly what we’ve done. We get people to become engaged and we build a community. People wanna be part of what they like. So if they have questions or if, you know, for our community, we’ll answer questions, we’ll have contests, but I know a lot of the people’s names directly this community.

    So one of the other things I tell you to do is make sure you go to a website by the name of name check. And if you can go there, [00:04:00] I think it’s N a M E C H K. Uh, just check it out type in your name and you’ll see which social media, um, which social media is available. And you can just check it out, see if you can buy it.

    Like I said, dot clubs are good. Um, dot co dot coms, but don’t go after the crappy ones, like, uh, X, Y Z I could never figure that one out, but I’m not gonna buy an X, Y, Z. I want people to know what I’m all about. Now. The other thing about building your brand is understanding your audience. One of the thing.

    Oh, I think we have a question. Here we go. Okay. One of the other things about building your brand brand, Hey, Derek, how are you?

    I’m doing well, Norman, thanks for, um, inviting me on, I just had a quick question about, [00:05:00] um, you mentioned about building your brand now. How does one, um, get from zero people to like the first 10 people? I mean, is it like boots on ground? Is it, you know, like aggressive? Um, like for example, like starting a clubhouse, like, I mean, like for myself, I am an aspiring entrepreneur and myself and, you know, getting from like zero to 10 or zero to 50 people, like even before actually incorporating, like, I think that’s something that, you know, for me, that’s always been an interesting question.

    So if you could shed some light on that, that’d be great. Yeah. You know what? That’s a, that’s an incredible question, uh, because you know, how do you get those? Like, just like selling a product, how do you get those reviewed? Well, the first things that you can do, let’s say that, uh, let’s say I have a. Um, a dog

    You could start and there’ll be [00:06:00] that, or maybe a schnauzer club or a bulldog club. And people who have that same sort of liking will start to bring in the community, bring in experts. I think the first thing that you try to do is become the authority. And this is a really simple, um, formula authority equals trust equals sales, and it can start on clubhouse.

    It could start with a, um, uh, like a better quality press release, announcing what you’re doing. It could be blog content. It could be on social media getting your first few people or it’s no problem whatsoever. So if you go into a Facebook group, Now, this is key. You can’t go and just be promoting, promoting, promoting, promoting, but you can start a Facebook group and you can invite a few people in, or you can go and you can, uh, go into a Facebook group and get, this is, this is very important.

    Get the language or the tone that people are [00:07:00] using around your product. There’s been a lot of times that I’ve tried to launch product. And I missed out on the tone. I didn’t get it, you know, and once I understood that and you know, when I, when I, um, started targeting or doing posts that made sense to these people, then all of a sudden, now I was starting to build the community.

    But once you can add value any which way you can, then you’re gonna start people coming in. Now that could be. As simple as putting something onto Facebook or, um, if, if anybody, if you haven’t used this, there’s an app out there. It’s from the founder of Maz and, uh, it’s called spark And what it does is you can go to all of you can kind of spy on your competitors and you can see who their audience.

    And you can see if they’re targeting that audience and then you can follow them or you can, you can invite those people [00:08:00] into your community. So you already got the audience. So it’s pretty cool. What you can do once you got the right tools and spark Toro, it’s one tool that, you know, you gotta live with.

    I mean, it it’s it’s, it just makes your life that much easier. The other part to this is, you know, going back to your demographic. Well, if I was selling. These are just the stats. If I was selling a, uh, a product, probably a ladies product, uh, I would say mid twenties to 45. I’d probably be on Pinterest. And I know print Pinterest.

    Pinterest has the highest. Average dollar order value. Um, I mean, it’s awesome if your, if your product suits that, but if you take that same product and you’re targeting, you know, this is just saying it right wing conservatives that are male you, it might not do, you know, so you’ve [00:09:00] really gotta just narrow it in there’s and there’s so many, um, tributaries, you know, that you can go down.

    So I was selling. You won’t believe this, but I was selling this to fungus remover and when I first saw it, it was horrible, but the product was really good and we ended up rebranding the product. So instead of making it look more medicinal, we made it look like a health and beauty product instead of focusing on.

    Yellow, ugly nails. We focused on beauty, you know, the beautiful nails grow, your, go, grow your nails. And, you know, um, and we were using greens and blues and whites rather than the box was powder blue, yellow with a, um, an ugly toe dripping oil wouldn’t sell, but this, the, the product took off. So I don’t know if that helped you out.

    I mean, I there’s so much you can do to build your first. Um, I mean, it’s almost, [00:10:00] it’s, it’s almost too easy once you start using products like that, and don’t forget, we haven’t touched on it, but influencers, it’s so easy to work with influencers right now. And this is a market that’s been building and building and building, but to go out to TikTok and to, to grab an influencer, if you’re on Amazon going to live stream.

    There’s a whole, you know, there’s a whole section of, um, influencers that can market your product. So once they get to, um, under once you get to sell their product, I usually put an insert in where they can follow me on different social media. Anyways, that’s a quick answer to your question. Well, and that really wasn’t quick though, Derek

    Thank you. I appreciate it. Hey, no problem. Okay. It looks like, oh no, that’s the last question. Okay. So going down that influencer [00:11:00] route, now you’ve got your brand, you know, what do you do? How do you get in contact with influencers? There’s a lot of different, well, every platform has different ways of contacting influencers.

    So you might wanna go down. The Facebook route or the Instagram route, you might wanna go to TikTok. And like I said, you can go into TikTok and find influencers. They have a platform or a program, which is really cool called TikTok creator. It’s the simplest easiest, um, interface that you can use you type in the keywords.

    And it will tell you I’ll show you a whole bunch of influencer. You can also just go onto Google. And when you go to Google, you can just type in, uh, for pet, it could be, uh, dog influencer, pet influencer, cat influencer, or pet influencer, small dogs or [00:12:00] bulldog or whatever, how specific you wanna be for natural treats.

    You can get into keywords and all of a sudden you’ll have a ton of different. um, yeah. Influencers that you can target. Now, I wouldn’t jump on the first influencer that, you know, comes up. You wanna make sure that your personalities match. So if you can, you know, take a look at what they’re saying, what they’re doing, maybe liking or commenting on some of their, uh, on some of their posts.

    That’s a great first step. If you see that they’re, you know, bringing out some really great content and you like it, you see what they’re doing. Then approach them and just say you DM them and just say that you like what you, uh, you see, you know, give them some compliments. Uh, don’t make it sound. And I’ve seen this happen where people have, uh, approached influencers, but they it’s it’s about them.

    They make everything about them. Well, the influencer [00:13:00] doesn’t care, you know, they don’t want to hear about how, you know, how good you are. They wanna really work with you and to build up this product. So if you look at, if you’re too aggressive might not happen. Now, the other thing is the compensation. So let’s say you go to TikTok.

    There’s various ways that, um, that people can get paid. You can get paid on a flat fee, but right now, uh, and I’m, I’m gonna say this about Amazon. So right now, if you’re selling things on. They’ve got this program, it’s called the, uh, brand referral program. And that will give sellers 10% credit on the referral fee.

    So what I do with that and what we’ve started to do just in the last month or two, is to say to the influencer, here’s a flat fee. Now, if you like the product and you really wanna push it, we’re gonna give you a 10% commission on. So [00:14:00] now what they’re doing is they’re making money ongoing by selling the product.

    We don’t care how many they sell. We don’t care how much they make that, that, uh, 10% fee is going back to

    them. And I don’t wanna complicate this, but if you, if you’re, um, taking part in this brand attribution program that BR um, Amazon. You’ll be able to track everything from your referral program. So you’ll know whether the influencer is doing any good or not, but at that point really don’t care because they’re just making money on your, on the sales.

    So I try to go with. Good quality, something that suits with my, uh, personality, but have very few followers. It could have 500, could have a thousand, anything more for me anyways than 10,000 units, especially, or, um, Well, actually [00:15:00] on, on TikTok, I, on the other platforms, it would probably be as high as 10,000, but TikTok, you can probably go as high as 50,000 because followers, there’s just a crazy amount of followers, but you wanna keep it low.

    If you start to see that there’s a lot more. Uh, followers, the engagement falls off and that’s usually will affect you and the, uh, influencer as well. But these smaller influencers, they, if they like your product, they go up to bat for you. And not only when they’re pitching, you know, either on an image or a video or they’re producing some content for.

    well, what they’re doing is they’re probably doing a lot of free work for you because they love your product. If they’re passionate about your product, you turn that influencer into a brand ambassador. And that’s a whole other thing, you know, and I’ll get into brand ambassador in a [00:16:00] second, but going back to those influencers, if you can start getting the influencer to love your product.

    Well, what happens on that second, third, fourth product that launch that you want to come out, let’s say you’re selling soap. Let’s say you’re, you’re bringing out bar soap and liquid soap and bath bombs. You’ve already got an army of influencers that are gonna help you promote the product. And the other thing.

    So I’m, I’m, I’m at a conference here in France right now with a guy who over the last year-ish about a year and a half. He has 7,000 images and videos that influencers have done for him, almost all. He was able to pick up very, in very inexpensive, uh, influencers converted about 20 or 30 into brand ambassadors.

    So here’s the difference. Most of the ne most of the images that are coming through are [00:17:00] coming through an insert card from his, um, or from his product. From brand ambassadors and he’s paid very little in influencers, the amount that advertising and marketing, he would’ve spent, he just broke it all down.

    I know the guy personally, I’ve worked with him for years. It would’ve been, he would’ve paid $700,000 worth of marketing. And if you take a look at his products and his, like the images, the content he dominates, uh, Google, when you type in his product line or his product, his keyword, not only does he take up the first space, but he takes up about four or five other spaces, because this is coming from blog article.

    And images coming in from the influencers. Now here’s the difference between the influencer and the brand ambassador. I target repeat customers. So if somebody likes my brand and they’ve bought it twice, [00:18:00] I am gonna be targeting them with an email or trying to reach out to them. One, we actually use a chat bot, but, um, just to get, uh, get in front of their face and see if they want to be part of a brand ambassador program.

    Usually that’s a paid position, but for us, we just say, look, you can get 50% off. You have to buy three times a year. And we give them three or four, um, uh, tasks that they have to do. They have to provide X number of images or videos or written content. They sign up for it. And, um, there it is. It’s ours for free.

    We are getting sales, which still looks good. They’re providing us with free content. We end up with 20, 30, 40, uh, of these they’re called nano influencers. And we’ve got all the content you can possibly think of. I mean, you could not. You really just couldn’t publish that amount of, um, content [00:19:00] on a daily basis.

    It’s just coming into quick. So I don’t know, like when you’re thinking about brand influencers, a lot of the time, you know, don’t come into the picture. So on my podcast, I’ve interviewed. I I’ve interviewed, um, one of the, uh, ladies who, uh, uh, came out with snow. I don’t know if you know, snow, uh, whitening strips and lip balm.

    Well, the first thing that she did is anybody could have come up with whitening strips and, and lip balm. You know, you think of chapsticks or you think of, you know, a brand like that. She decided that she was gonna come up with a unique brand and a unique package. The packaging was impeccable. There’s nothing like it in the Mar on the market.

    And what she said is she, she said I wanted to provide, uh, something like an iPhone experience, that anticipation when you open up [00:20:00] the box and you know, it’s a gift that keeps on giving because not only was you get the little kid, then you get the applicator. The applicator was really cool. Um, anyways, It was part of a community that you wanted to be part of?

    Well, guess what they did, they had to, I couldn’t do this. They went and they got, um, Gronk, they got Conor McGregor, they got a whole bunch of high end, uh, influencers. And they ended up over a few years selling snow. That was the name of the company for over a hundred million. And they didn’t do any other form of marketing, which is crazy.

    I know another guy, uh, Joe Martin, and he had, and some of you may know this, um, boxy term, an incredible premium cosmetic product that, um, he was marketing through influencers and high end influencers. I believed, um, [00:21:00] I don’t know if they were approached first. Uh, but anyways, the Kardashians got the hold of ’em.

    They loved the. And he just sold his business for 500 million. It’s a subscription box business. Now that’s probably something I could not finance , but, uh, I’ll take my nano influencers anywhere anytime. The next bracket up is called a micro influencer. And they’re good too, but I like nano influencers because they’re marketing out to friends, family, friends of friends, you know?

    Uh, so you’ve got this trust already built into the influencer. Okay. So does anybody have any questions? I’m just seeing it doesn’t look like it. Okay. Um, I’m just gonna continue on here, where to get started. Probably the best thing [00:22:00] to do. So my son does all of our social media. The first thing I would be well a after you get your name and your domain.

    But you wanna make sure that you look professional. If you’re going on to, um, Walmart, Shopify, or Amazon, you wanna make sure that your listing is a high quality listing. You wanna make sure that the perceived value of your brand is there. Now, this is really important for the people that are, uh, are remaining on here.

    The there’s three levels of perception on. You’ve got the first tier, the second tier third tier, the first tier. And I’m gonna use dead sea mud as an example. So dead sea mud. If you search it right now, you’ll see that it ranges from around 6 95 to 1495 for, uh, around an eight inch jar. That’s a joke. I don’t wanna move volume.

    I, you can’t make money that way. [00:23:00] The second tier is around 29 to around $44. now that’s a much better, uh, area to be in. And they range from eight ounce to 16 ounce, and you can make some money there, lower traffic, but you can still make money. The highest price, the tier one, just better packaging. And they range from 70, some odd dollars to $95 and $95.

    One at least a few weeks ago was only 3.5 ounces. Now if I can package that and I can have all my templates around the color scheme of that $95 one. Now I’m building a brand and I’m not building a brand on the cheap. I’m spending a few extra buck to get high quality artwork. On your social media, you’re getting templates.

    You’re getting a good, now I’m an old guy. I’m not that great with social [00:24:00] media, but my son is, so I got him to do all these templates for a lot of our products and they look good when you code to any of my, either brands or to, uh, the podcast. You’ll see that it’s all templated and people know what to expect.

    The content it’s high quality content. When you go to the website, there are 1500 words of 2,500 words of high quality content. We just don’t post anything. And if you’re looking for content, by the way, um, just give you a couple of apps that you can very inexpensive apps that you can use. One is called phrase and that’s, um, Uh, F R a S, and the other one is called Jasper.

    And I kind of use them both together. Some have better features, and this is how I can find different content, because it’ll tell you what people are [00:25:00] talking about based on your keyword. And then you can send it to a writer if you’re not a great writer. I’m not a great writer. So I have just people rewrite a summarized what the top AR uh, uh, content is.

    I just send it to them. They send it back to me and then we re we post it. So if there’s no other questions, I think that’s about it. We’re just about ready to go to dinner here. This has been a really unusual clubhouse room. Um, I thought I’d have some help here, but I’m on my own anyways. It was really nice of everybody who was attending, um, as for, uh, our room.

    E-commerce weekly, we’re here every Thursday at one o’clock Eastern standard time. Really appreciate you all coming on and being part of the community. And if you have any questions, you can always DM me. All right. We’ll see everybody later.[00:26:00] 

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