The 4-Attributes Of A Powerful E-commerce Brand (Part Four)
Series Overview: There are the 4 attributes of a powerful e-commerce brand! In the first article in this series, I described the invisible aspects of a powerful e-commerce brand. In the second article in the series, I described the 6 visible aspects of a powerful e-commerce brand including the most important aspect - the name. In the third article, I described the Legal process and ownership related issues (even though I'm not a lawyer and it shouldn't be taken as legal advice, just educational information). And in this final article, I'm going to outline the most powerful brand attribute of all!
Creating Brand Rituals - The Little Secret Behind Big Brand Success
Since your brand is, in a way, a person, you should let it act like one. People bond with your brand - and you - and your company as they interact with it. So it's logical that you want to create as many ways as you can for people to interact with your brand!
Your brand should throw parties, have traditions, and create public activities for the friends and followers that rally around it. Leaders create rituals that followers participate in. Brand rituals create fun user experiences, behaviors, and enjoyment. Expert brand builders are masters at creating rituals. They can include,
Ritual Method #1 - Regularly Scheduled Events - One of the most powerful rituals you can create is the simple routine of regularly scheduled events. Customers are creatures of habit - and if you can get them in the habit of interacting with your brand - you win! Here are two examples from my business,
- Each week on our primary Shopify site (Pixie Faire) we have a regularly scheduled giveaway called Freebie Friday, where we give away a free digital pattern. To get an "extra" level of engagement, we launch a voting poll each Wednesday and encourage people to vote on one of 4 patterns. The winning pattern is then made free. The voting helps us engage people early (on Wednesday) and use the pre-suasive technique of consistency and commitment. Because they vote - they are very likely to show up to see which pattern won the voting and is free. Then they get the free pattern - and frequently the upsells we attach to it. Last week we had 12,700 people download the free pattern.
- Each week we have a regularly schedule doll and outfit giveaway called Mod-Doll Monday where we give away a doll. The giveaway has a set of entry methods that range from signing up for our newsletter to pinning an image on Pinterest. Last week we had 13,305 entries.
Ritual Method #2 - Purchasing Ceremonies - If you can organize a ceremony component to your purchases, then you are building in a powerful self-perpetuating, and potentially viral concept.
- Open The Package Videos - Encourage your customers to make "opening their package videos" and sharing them online. This is incredibly popular with teenage girls, so if they are in your target demographic, try offering an incentive to do this.
- Buyer Bragging - Suggest to your customers in the checkout process that they announce online that they've made a purchase by sharing it on social media. Encourage them to brag about their purchase -it is a genius-marketing move.
- Souvenir packaging - a package that can be used after the purchase is an incredibly smart idea. While Starbucks cups aren't generally re-used, they are definitely iconic as customers carry them around. You can take this a step further by making packaging that can be re-used for the long-term. Bags, boxes, cups, and related "Merch" can be integrated into your packaging. This after-purchase ritual extends the influence of the brand. Can you turn your packaging into a long-term branding tool?
Ritual Method #3 - Loyalty Programs - Setting up a loyalty program for repeat customers is the most common brand ritual. It is frequently under used and marginally implemented, but even at minimum strength, it still adds a powerful component in support of the brand. Loyalty programs encourage repeat purchasing, goal-centric bonding with the brand, and ultimately a "prize" that feels like a fun reward.
Ritual Method #4 - Displays Of Support & Pride - getting people to wear your tee-shirt, carry your bag, or wear your button is a powerful community building device. Simply having "Merch" available and offering it as an option is a fantastic way to not only make a sale, but extend the reach of your brand.
Putting it all together: So the 4 attributes of a Powerful E-Commerce Brand are:
- The Invisible Aspects Of The Brand
- The Visible Aspects Of The Brand
- The Brand Legal & Ownership Issues
- The Brand Rituals
Each of these works together to create a powerful, engaging, customer friendly brand. As you build each part - you're putting together the pieces of a masterwork - your mona lisa - your life's work - that you can look back on for years to come. I realize it can feel like slow going. But don't give up - keep building - you've got the roadmap - now it's time to be determined and stubborn about seeing your vision come to pass - to take a step forward today!
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