The Importance of Brand Presence Off Amazon
Amazon has created a platform that makes it easier for small businesses to create their own private label and have access to millions of customers worldwide from day one. This is no secret and more businesses and individuals in search of a "passive income" are creating their own brands exclusively on Amazon. But is only being present on one channel, in other words having all your eggs in one basket, a wise decision?
Launching a new brand on Amazon requires minimal investment, which is why it is so attractive. However, private labels that want to be there for the long haul and to become significant players in their product industry need to be thinking about building a sustainable brand on and off of Amazon.
It is a Competitive Landscape
Private labels are competing with the big brands in their industry that have the economies of scale to hit very attractive price points and a marketing budget to allow them to be more aggressive than others in PPC and other advertising initiatives. These larger brands are established, they have probably been trading for at least 10 years and will have gained customer trust and brand loyalty. The private labels, by contrast, are typically at the start of their journey. And that road is dominated by social media, reviews and online shopping.
Amazon is Not the Hub for Brand Awareness
While Amazon is the world’s leading online shopping destination, it is not the only destination. Its strength is getting customers from the point of consideration to purchase. It is not a platform known for being expert at creating brand awareness; building an audience, engaging potential customers and sharing content. Yes, they have tools to do this, but in no way is this their specialty: they are transaction focused.
This highlights the importance for brands to be present off Amazon. Customers do their homework. Yes, they read the customer reviews and compare prices on Amazon. They also research the credibility of newly evolving brands off Amazon. This includes searching for the brand on social media; checking out its following and content. It also includes seeing if they are on any review sites and whether they have a legit website. This is a way to make sure it's not some fly-by-night brand that has no visible trading address.
Gain Brand Exposure External to Amazon
Brands that want to be known outside of Amazon and boost their credibility to help increase sales and long-term growth should consider:
- being present on social media
- having a website
- working with influencers
- recruiting brand ambassadors
All of these are low-cost solutions to increase brand exposure. Let's take a closer look.
1. Social Media
Be present on all the major channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Regularly post content, but make sure that it is meaningful content that will engage your audience. Don’t go in for the hard sell. Social media is about creating awareness and growing an audience engaged in your product. Once they are engaged they might then consider making a purchase. If you have a brand store on Amazon you can share this link occasionally with your audience. Be sure to add a source tag to the link so you know where the traffic is coming from.
2. Maintain Your Own Website
Showcase your full product portfolio on your own website. This doesn’t have to require a huge investment. There are reasonably priced templates and software you can use to bring down costs, such as Shopify and WooCommerce. You might even want to consider not having a transactional site and instead direct the traffic from your website to your Amazon product listings. Start a newsletter and generate a list of customers that you can email when special offers and new products launch on Amazon.
Nothing beats a review when it comes to helping you make your buying decision. Amazon has proven this with the success of their customer review program. There are influencers out there with their own blogs and social media channels that regularly review products relevant to their industry and share their experience with their audience. Some have thousands and even millions of followers that are engaged in their content and trust their opinion. Consider reaching out to influencers in your niche and asking for them to review and share their experience with your product among their audience. You might even find a great candidate as an ambassador for your products.
Keep Growing Your Brand
While you can be successful on Amazon without brand presence, you are missing out on opportunity to grow your brand further. External presence creates greater security and a sense of community among new customers, helping improve conversion and increase sales. It is also important for any business to spread risk and not solely be reliant on one channel.
Originally published on September 10, 2019, updated September 10, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.