Now more than ever, customers care about brands. It's not enough to deliver quality service and a quality product. Customers want to feel connected to a brand.
They want to share in its narrative. Its values. It's history.
They want a brand story.
Why Your Brand Story Matters
Communication is one of the oldest and most pervasive drives we have as humans. It's an essential part of our makeup. The human brain is simply hardwired to react to it. And communication is ultimately as relevant for a brand as it is for... well, for all of us.
There's a reason why a brand's story is valuable. It's the same reason why any story is valuable.
Stories establish listeners. They establish an audience. They establish empathy. And They fulfill needs. People crave a story just as much as they crave any other form of interaction.
But not just any story. Customers want a brand story they can relate to. A brand story that speaks to their life. A brand story that is as engaging as it is reflective of their shopping habits.
A good story compels. It doesn't tell, it shows. Words and images are fundamental to good storytelling. But words and images are simply two halves of the brand storytelling formula in advertising.
Visuals are critical to creating a compelling story. And they're one of the most essential ways of grabbing an audience's attention. But there's more to a brand story than simply attractive images.
Brand storytelling should convince people about the value of a brand without persuading. A great brand story should speak directly to their lives in such a way that they have no choice but to directly relate to a product. And sadly?
Not every brand is capable of creating a cohesive story.
How Valuable Is Your Brand Story?
A 2018 survey from public relations analysts Havas Group found that brands which consumers could forge a meaningful connection with regularly outperformed marketplace competitors by well over 200 percent.
A recent case study from the Harvard Business Review found that retailers were able to increase the number of active customers by 15 percent by launching marketing strategies based on emotional connections.
According to recent data from analytics firm Headstream, 15 percent of customers would purchase a brand's products immediately after a search if they could connect with a marketing narrative.
Amazon and Your Brand Story
It might seem like Amazon would be the least likely platform to develop your brand narrative. It might be a great place to launch a new brand. But when it comes to establishing relatability with a customer?
No matter how popular it may be, one of the world's largest retailers isn't exactly viewed sympathetically by many.
But according to Feed visor's 2019 Amazon Consumer Behavior Report, some 74 percent of Amazon customers surveyed indicated that a brand's name alone was one of the more significant factors in influencing their purchasing decisions.
If a name alone can elicit that sort of loyalty, what sort of loyalty would your brand's story bring to your audience—potential or existing?
Stores on Amazon and Your Brand Story
Content, as the old adage goes, truly is king in marketing. But content marketing is altogether useless if it doesn't ultimately weave together a narrative which reflects your brand.
Its value ideally should be greater than the sum total of its parts. But for the most part, businesses tend to see content marketing as simply a promotional platform.
It's not. And Amazon Stores are more than just promotional tools. They're a platform which can create a cohesive narrative that speaks directly to your audience, allowing them to become as inspired as they are well-informed.
Amazon, Marketing and the Brand Narrative Disconnect
Marketing campaigns may come and go, but there's frequently a certain disconnect between a brand's marketing and their Amazon presence.
On the one hand, both social media and a brand's own website can often work together to help present a clear and altogether human message which speaks directly to customers. But on the other, there's Amazon—which is often viewed as little more than a digital storefront.
It doesn't have to be.
By integrating customized imagery, streaming video, display ads and other rich content, Amazon Stores can help drive incremental sales by creating a customer experience that's more warm and immersive.
Amazon Stores don't just boost sales. They give your brand a depth and dimension that a static listing alone simply can't achieve. They help your brand achieve an in store experience in an increasingly digital world.
Getting Started with Stores on Amazon
While Amazon Stores are entirely free, they're only available for sellers and vendors who have been pre-approved through Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon is known to be selective in approval requirements for registered sellers. You will need to provide full business documentation including federal tax identification, an active registered trademark and brand serial number as well as adhering to seller communication guidelines and protocol.
If you've already been approved, simply log in to your Seller Central account and click on Manage Stores from the Stores tab. You'll be prompted to choose a template which best highlights your brand, or you can simply choose from a drag and drop tile option. You'll also be provided with a list of four themes which are best suited for you.
You can add up to three additional levels for your store with various pages, but they are limited. Try only to highlight your best-selling products and ensure that each page has a content title including:
From there, simply upload your product listing and content to the product grid. Submit your Store for approval and Amazon will notify you within 72 hours if you meet their guidelines.
In addition, Amazon Stores also feature a basic analytic dashboard with metrics which can help you measure your performance, including daily visitors, sales and page views—all for free
Creativity, Amazon and Your Brand Story
Creativity is critical in weaving together any sort of narrative whatsoever. Consumers want a brand story that captures their imagination. They don't just want a brand story that follows the status quo. And physical marketing is teeming with brand story examples that are fresh, vital and compelling.
But the physical world doesn't always translate to digital retail seamlessly. The in store experience relies on the value of tactility to sell products. Online sellers don't have that advantage.
Or do they?
If you're hoping to sell on Amazon successfully, you'll ultimately need to achieve a harmony between your brand's physical presence and your digital marketing. And your brand story is the key to that harmony. But not every brand has the time, experience or understanding of Amazon's peculiarities to achieve that harmony.
That's largely because a brand story is only as strong as a brand itself. Marketing is as much about understanding your brand and your audience as it is about creativity and imagination. Because at the end of the day?
The only thing more important than your brand story is your brand.
Are you ready to optimize your brand's story? Our business is helping other businesses create compelling narratives on Amazon and beyond. Find out more at Color More Lines.