Amazon has redefined the term “brand” in a way that differentiates between sellers with their own lines of products (applicable to both vendors and sellers who own their trademarks) and sellers who resell products for which they do not hold trademark. But is there really a difference when it comes to building your brand on Amazon?
For those that hold their own trademarks, Amazon offers protections and perks to incentivize joining Amazon Brand Registry (ABR). If you are eligible for ABR, you should absolutely register for it and read our tips on using Amazon’s Brand Registry.
For resellers who don’t hold their own trademarks and are not eligible for Amazon Brand Registry, the barriers to entry for selling on Amazon are lower. It’s more about setting yourself up in good standing and delivering the resold item than it is about a registered, protected business and what it offers the market. The barriers to entry are indeed lower, but the benefits that Amazon provides these resellers are also fewer.
Trademark or No Trademark: Think with Your Brand Brain
So what of the resellers that Amazon doesn’t consider to be brands per se but who still must build their names and reputations and deliver a full customer experience? Isn’t that still building and maintaining a brand?
I think so. In fact, I believe that regardless of what you sell, or if you hold the trademark, building a brand — your brand (and you and your wares are a brand) — is critical to the success of your business. Building a brand is what keeps customers coming back and inspires reviewers and advocates.
So what is the secret to brand building? Your customers. It’s the market you serve, current and potential buyers and their perception of you as a seller is the key. There are a few components of this and getting it right:
- Understanding your customers.
- Delighting them consistently.
- Go where your customers are.
This month, I want to help you better know your customers and show you how Seller Labs tools can give you a glimpse into their mindset.
Building Your Brand on Amazon (for Resellers and Brand Owners Alike)
1. Start by Understanding Customer Demographics
Understanding your customers starts with knowing who your buyers are, at least from a demographics perspective. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t reveal much about your customers unless you are part of their Brand Registry. Amazon’s fairly new customer demographics reveal a few details about customers, such as age, gender identity, and income. But you can get this other places too. Your social media accounts will provide such info, and possibly more comprehensively.
2. Build Your Brand by Planning Activities Around Buying Cycles
Once you understand who your customers are, you should start to dive into their behavior. In Jennifer’s blog this month, she had some great ideas to help you discover more about buying behavior through Amazon buyer cycles using Quantify. The customer buying cycle is a consumption pattern that can take place over a week, a month, or even longer. Because Quantify gives you access to up to two years of Amazon data, you can get a much bigger, clearer picture of the span that your customers are most active, both in sessions (just browsing) and orders (actual buying). This can help you time promotions and advertising for when customers are most likely to buy.
3. Know (and Meet) Your Customers’ Needs
Why should you take time to understand customer needs? So you can better craft your product listings and advertising with the words that customers use to search and the words that resonate with them. In a previous blog, I wrote about using Scope for Amazon keyword research and searching customer reviews for keyword ideas. I love this tactic because the information that appears in product reviews taps directly into the minds of buyers. It can tell you why they purchased a product in the first place or where their expectations weren’t met. Pay careful attention to the words in the review, there could be keyword gold for your listings or awesome ideas for your overall business messaging.
The Bottom Line on Starting to Build Your Brand on Amazon
Knowing your customers is an important first step to building a brand, and fortunately, it’s one that’s easier than ever thanks to our digital world. Want more insight about your Amazon business and building your brand? Check out Seller Labs Pro, which includes Quantify, Scope, Feedback Genius, and Ignite, the complete Amazon seller’s success stack.