Getting Started: Products and Branding
I’ve met a few people who have decided to embark on the eCommerce journey and when I’ve asked the question "What is your product?", I get a blank stare back or a vague ‘oh, I don’t know yet’ response.
You’ll waste a lot of time and even more money if you don’t fine tune your product offering first.
Either you've decided to sell something made by someone else, or you’re going to sell something you make. Either way, my number one pro-tip is that you shouldn’t start on this amazing journey if your product isn’t marketable.
You're probably thinking 'what does she mean'? It's simple, really. Think about it, if you have no information about your product, you won’t sound very convincing to potential buyers. Let's give you an example. Say you're attending a local craft market on a sunny Sunday as a buyer, and you're interested in buying someone's product. If they can't answer your questions, such as 'what’s it made of?', 'how much is it?', 'how long will it last?', etc, would you buy their product? Probably not. You're left feeling disappointed and unsure, might be a very unreliable product and the salesperson seems like they'd rather be at the Prosecco stand drinking bubbly than standing at their stall making money. Let's take it further now. After walking around a bit, you meet someone who engages immediately with you by saying hello, inviting you over to try their product, having a really well presented stall and product, answering your questions and being generally confident and engaging about the product they’re selling. I know which product I’d buy and I'm sure you do too.
Almost the same rules apply to the eCommerce world, except you have to step your efforts up to the next level because the bulk of your customers aren’t in front of you. You have to describe each element of your product. You have to make sure your images show the products in the best light. You need to make sure the customer can experience each product to a certain level without ever having touched it. Consider what other products could compliment each other to add even more value to the customer's basket size.
Then we come to photos. The best approach is to have two types of photographs, product and lifestyle images.
Product photography emphasises the details of each product and is usually quite neat and simple, perhaps close up with nothing else around it. In packaging of sorts to help the customer see the product the way it'll look when it's delivered.
Lifestyle images show the product in a setting. Let’s use soap as an example. For our lifestyle shoot we’d have the soap in a dish with some of the natural ingredients next to it, maybe some mint twigs and lemongrass blades and maybe even some bubbles. You could add a soap dish that matches the branding of the product, etc. and EVERYTHING has to tie into your branding.
Branding is the personality of your product and needs to be recognisable to customers for good reasons. Branding is the way you want customers and even competitors to see your product, the design and style of it. Your branding need to make the product look enticing enough for people to want to give you money for it!
The condensed version? To get a product and branding together (in its basic sense), you’ll need a product that you really believe in, product and lifestyle images, product descriptions (the marketing pitch) and technical information (the sales pitch) and an idea of whether you're going to have stock to sell or will it be made to order. Here's a link to The Marketing Designer & Co's Branding Do's and Dont's. It really helps to clear the air on what's right and what to rethink.
There are a lot of small elements to consider when building a product range and this is what weeds out the chancers from the serious business people because making a product perfect takes a lot of time and heaps of effort. Once you've completed this process, it all becomes worth it. You’ll have a beautifully presented product and branding which can be marketed online, offline and on social media.
If you would like to get in touch with us to pick our brains about how to build your brand or what next steps to take, please call or WhatsApp Jenn on +27 74 674 3194 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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