Ecommerce brands face the Herculean task of convincing shoppers to visit their stores and make purchases – without the opportunity to interact face-to-face. Further, even though an increasing amount of our collective shopping takes place online, consumers still expect personalized service.
Brands therefore connect with shoppers by exuding a distinct personality and a unique selling proposition (USP). In other words, they communicate to shoppers what they sell and why they’re the best vendor to provide those products or services.
According to Investopedia, there are five different types of ecommerce brand personalities to explore before setting up an online store. The personality helps develop consistent messaging across channels to connect with the target audience.
- Exciting: free-spirited, youthful, enthusiastic
- Sincere: value-oriented, kindness, conscientiousness
- Rugged: durable, outdoorsy, resilient
- Competent: ambitious, authoritative, leadership-driven
- Sophisticated: classy, elegant, luxurious
Before automatically brand a cosmetics line as sophisticated or a t-shirt store as the epitome of excitement, remember branding often chooses the store, as opposed to the store choosing the branding.
Because brand personalities typically rely on what their target audience wants and needs from a website. Thinking too far outside the box can alienate the natural customer base, even while failure to carve out a niche means competing in an oversaturated market.
Brand personality may boil down to whatever the main competitors are not doing. For example, that same cosmetics store would compete against dozens of other “sophisticated” stores, but could find success as an eco-conscious store with environmental values.
There may be a hundred graphic t-shirt stores featuring cartoons and clever sayings, but perhaps there’s a need for rugged hiking tees or tailored tees for business casual events.
The first step would be to identify the target audience and determine how to serve them while distinguishing the brand from the pack.
Part of exploring a brand personality is matching messaging to the brand’s core principles. Once the USP and personality are determined, it’s time to figure out how to best convey them to the world. Create a logo befitting the brand personality – thinking carefully about everything from font to imagery, shape and color. Then design the website with a similar look, feel and usability in mind. The end result should be a cohesive package of visuals conveying priorities and branding at a glance.
A less physical (but still crucially important) aspect of branding is voice. How does the store talk to customers on social media? What personality does website copy convey? How does the company blog influence readers’ perceptions of the online store?
Any space with written or spoken content provides a chance to connect with the target audience using the brand personality. Make sure everyone working with the store – from content creators to customer service specialists – has a solid understanding of the overall goal so they can reflect it in their work.
No matter which of the five different types of ecommerce brand personalities chosen (or how it is personalized), it’s important to avoid inconsistency across channels and platforms.
Inconsistency confuses customers and dilutes brand effectiveness. In other words, all of marketing messaging and design principles should embody the unique brand in tone, appearance, content and feeling. Only then will the brand make a splash within its industry by developing a reputation and giving shoppers a reason to become loyal.