When it comes to e-commerce, just having a product is not enough anymore. That’s because the e-commerce space is currently crowded with lots of competition and it’s still constantly growing. There’ll always be another business that can offer the same product with cheaper prices or ‘added extras’ like faster shipping. 

But with new players coming in, as well as competition from larger already established brands, how do you stand out in this ecosystem? 

The key to winning attention in an oversaturated market is to create a value exchange with your audience. It is your story combined with a clear mission and values that you deliver to consumers. This is what we mean when we say you need to be more than a replaceable product.

Instead, you need to become a brand that stands for something, and that means something to your audience…

What is a brand?

At its core, your brand is the sum of all experiences a person has with your business. These experiences are imbued with emotion and create a larger story. But, beware, because these experiences could be positive or negative. 

How do you stand out and actually build something that lasts?

A study by Binet & Field from the IPA in the UK revealed that the brands with the highest long-term sales growth came from a combination of short-term, sales-activated campaigns and broader brand-building campaigns.

As a result, these brands enjoyed greater protection against market conditions and bounced back quicker than others after times of market adversity.

At Dawn Media Productions, we help business owners and YouTubers with more than just editing videos. We optimise, strategise, and help to build brands where communities can grow and thrive. 

Here’s how you can build a successful brand from scratch: 

1. Know what you stand for

Ask yourself, “what is my mission?” Understanding what is important to you as a business and why you exist outside of your product is the most solid foundation you can build your brand on. And once you figure that out, that becomes the lens that you look through for every other business decision you make. 

Why? Because if a new competitor comes in with a new cheaper product or someone creates a smarter solution, your entire business won’t fall to the ground. The relationship you would have built with your audience and customers will be deeper than just your product. And this relationship will protect you against more tactical and seasonal changes that may get thrown your way. 

2. Build a story-driven brand

You should also always be asking: 

  • How is your business unique?
  • How is your story ownable?
  • Is it motivating?
  • Is it going to last you for the years to come?
  • Is it going to survive changes in styles and cultural fads?
  • Is it something that you, as the brand owner and business owner, will be inspired to keep growing and building on, year after year?

Because whatever the campaign, and whatever the product you’re selling, you need to draw on your story and build on it for years to come. So make sure it’s something that truly excites you and even excites your team to continue to grow. That’s how you have a business that will survive. 

Oprah’s as a Case Study:

At Dawn Media Productions we often talk about making you the Oprah of your industry or your trade, and this all comes down to figuring out: what is your platform, or your story. We know that Oprah stands for inspiration. She stands for motivation. She stands for creating and living your best life. In fact, that’s her tagline and it really allows you to know what her mission is. Then, everything else falls into place around her. 

Oprah’s TV network is all about finding shows or programs and telling the stories of people living their best life. Her books are tools that help others to build the life that they want. Everything connects to that larger brand story.

And that’s what we want to help you to do. To find your mission, and your story so you can become the hero of your industry. It’s not actually about making a big splash by spending lots of money. I wish we all had the $10 million budget that Facebook thinks we have.

It’s not about creating a big takeover and being talked about for two days and then forgotten about. It’s consistently building on that story, adding value and building that relationship with your customers. Growing along with your customers and carrying that story through the years. That’s how you maintain sales. 

3. Create a unified voice for your marketing & content 

As a brand, be very careful. If you don’t curate it, your customer will curate your brand for you. When it comes to negative experiences, poor customer service, or even a bad product promise, these can form part of your brand.

As a business and as an organisation, knowing your brand, knowing your story and making sure that comes to life in every single decision, and every single customer touchpoint that you create is absolutely key.

Whether a customer is looking at your website, a brand video, or an Instagram Story on your feed, it must all sound, look and feel like the same story coming from the same communicator. Every touchpoint builds your brand personality – so make sure they are all in harmony with each other.

The same is true when you are doing social media content for your brand. It has to have the same voice and values as your story. That’s how you maintain growth, year after year with the small touches – consistent and unified touches that build on each other.

4. Know Who You Are

Typically, we like to know who we’re talking to, what makes them tick, what channels they use, what they care about, and what their values are. Then you map your business values and your story to this audience in order to sell to them. 

But the most important thing here is to start from the truth of who you are and be informed by your audience. What we found is that, depending on your business, your story needs to be motivating and have the longevity to last at least 10 years. 

This won’t happen if you start your brand from someone else’s promise or values. There’s no longevity in building your business around fads and the latest trends because what was popular 5 years ago is likely dead and buried now. The world changes and so do people’s preferences and way of life. 

That’s why it’s more important to start with who you are, and what you stand for. Because that’s really something that you can continuously draw on and continue to find new inspiration and ideas to be able to continue to tell that story. Understanding who you are, what it is that you as a business are trying to address, and what problem you’re trying to solve is truly the key to building an authentic brand. 

How do you do this in practice?

Get yourself out of your business, even just for the afternoon, and think back to why you started your business. What are the things that motivated you to get started? What do you enjoy putting your attention to and developing new solutions for? 

This is a really great starting place for you to understand what truly makes you tick. From there, you start developing the mission, which is the foundation of what it is you’re trying to build. This is what your current and future customers will rally behind and become the reason to choose you!

Bringing it all together

In the end, building a brand is not the same as choosing colours and fonts or choosing the hottest products to sell. It is actually knowing and owning your story. The real foundation of your business, and then building your philosophy around it.

This is the secret of a lasting business that doesn’t fizzle, no matter what the condition of the market is. Of course, you may see uptrends and downtrends, that’s just the reality of doing business, but you will also see steady growth and continuous sales. 

It may be hard to find out what your story or your voice really is because starting is always the hardest. 

But, we have experts with years of branding experience who can sit down with you and help guide you from start to finish if you need help. Get started and learn more here: 

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