Know Thyself – An Exercise in Authentic Brand Identity for eCommerce
“Know Thyself” – Ancient Greek aphorism
What was first held true by the ancient Greeks is no less relevant in today’s technologically advanced marketplace. When you are trying to expand the reach of your brand in the internet age, it is easy to get mired down in keywords, SEO strategy, link-building, and the like. Of course, these tools are crucial to any successful ecommerce marketing strategy. It is important to note, however, that what is really needed to take your ecommerce business’s success to the next level is a clear brand identity.
Try this: Grab a notebook or open up a new text document. Take 10 minutes (or longer) to write out what defines your business. Just let your writing flow without too much thought or analysis. Try using these questions to help guide your brainstorming session:
- What is the purpose of your business?
- What are its core values and goals?
- What sets your business apart from others like it?
- What is the story behind its creation?
- Where will your business be in 5 years?
- In 15 years?
- How has your business changed over time?
- How do you forsee your business changing to adapt to new developments in technology, trends, advances in your field etc.?
It is likely that you already have a written mission statement for your business. That’s okay. Do this exercise anyway. Chances are, you will discover fresh elements to your business’s identity that may surprise even you.
Once you have a fleshed out view of exactly what your ecommerce business is about, you absolutely must take this knowledge and run with it! Do not hold back. Utilize your brand identity to create blog posts, social media conversations, and branded videos. When it comes to marketing content in ecommerce, consumers absolutely will respond more frequently and more favorably to authentic messages, especially in today’s keyword spam and click-bait driven marketplace.
The best part is that having an authentic message will make all the traditional tools of ecommerce marketing all the more effective. If your content rings true to consumers, it will be shared, blogged about, and passed around organically, generating more brand awareness and revenue for your ecommerce business.
As an ecommerce business owner, you know that your brand identity is not static, and can often bend and change shape over time, based on factors like the changing online marketplace, advances in technology, changes in your industry, or changes in your personal vision. For this reason, you should repeat the above brainstorming exercise often, always keeping your finger on the pulse of your brand and what it’s all about.
If you have any tips on branding or authenticity that have worked for your ecommerce business, please feel free to share them in the comments section.