People often have difficulty creating a brand for their FBA business. It’s not something we’re taught at school, and it doesn’t come naturally, nor does it lend itself to ‘ten steps’ or flowchart processes. But there are ways to think about brands that can be very helpful when you’re starting up.
For instance, looked at one way, a brand is simply a story. Everybody loves a story, so make it an interesting one.
• “When my sister had chemotherapy and lost her hair, I started knitting her hats. Then my friends wanted me to knit hats for them too. Now, that’s my business.”
• “I travel a million miles a year and most luggage just doesn’t last me long. That’s why I created The Indestructible.”
Problems, conflicts, dreams, desires, obstacles and emotions – these are the things great stories are made out of!
Think about your brand voice. Who is your brand? The authority? The mad professor? Super cuddly cat dad? Zany fashionista or elegant not-a-hair-out-of-place fashionista? Are you Al Pacino or John Wayne?
You don’t actually have to be Al Pacino, obviously. But if you had an Al Pacino brand it would be edgy and full of energy and ambition. If you had a John Wayne brand it would be trustworthy, solid and tough – in fact it would fit The Indestructible luggage.
Another way you might think about your brand is in terms of film directors or TV series. Is your brand directed by Wes Anderson, Robert de Niro, Woody Allen or Quentin Tarantino? Is your brand more Bridgerton, or Breaking Bad? That will give you some interesting cues for your graphic content, too – are things presented in soft focus, with closeups, in bright color or in monotone?
If your brand inhabits a specific domain, you want to know that domain like an expert. Even if your brand voice is zany and kooky, you need to have the playlist, know the designers, and curate all the best references. One stylish French brand has videos on the latest stylish ways to tie your scarf or wear a belt. And if you sell stuff for cats, become a cat psychologist; all your customers will have problems from hissy fits and choosy eating to curtain scratching and bad toileting habits that they need advice on.
Think about what your customer success stories will look like. Will your customers be happy to have saved money, or delighted to have looked their very best for a special event? Will your brand transform their lives, fulfill dreams, or be something they can depend on?
You might also want to think about your brand customer. For instance, if you sold paint, you might sell to house flippers (who want cheap, reliable, easy to use paint), to creative moms (who want a range of colors and lots of stories about how to makeover a dresser or a bedroom), to fashionable types who want the very latest color. You couldn’t do all those with the same brand.
Two other ways of brainstorming a brand that are helpful are building a brand playlist on Youtube or Spotify, and building a board on Pinterest. You’re not looking for pictures of your product, but pictures that show your brand values and customer lifestyles. You’re looking for soundtracks that would fit your product videos.
None of these activities will actually give you a ready-made brand. But they will help you refine your ideas and feelings about the right branding, and at the end of the process, actually creating the brand will be much, much easier for you.