You can tell a lot about a brand by looking at their products on the Amazon marketplace. The platform is a good reflection of its retail relationships, knowledge, use of consumer data, and how well a brand is adapting to a constantly changing e-commerce environment. While we’ve seen plenty of brands struggle to engage on Amazon (and walk away frustrated), we’ve noted 5 key things that successful brands do well.
1) THEY TAKE CONTROL
You can’t dip your toe into Amazon’s waters and expect results. It’s a platform that requires total immersion, focus, and goal-oriented thinking. Giving up is far easier than learning how to control your brand’s image and more costly in the long run. But getting those things right will require an investment of your time – or finding the right partner who can do it with you. Brands that understand how to represent their image and guide the consumer experience reap the long-term benefits.
2) THEY ADAPT TO CHANGE
Change is a constant force that drives every digital-consumer ecosystem. Part of maintaining a successful brand is responding to consumer migration, which happens in spikes and waves. Brand managers with a mindset that constantly challenges and evaluates the marketplace, watching for trends and opportunities, are able to adapt effectively. This attitude has to encompass all aspects of how your brand is managed through Amazon, from logistics to marketing.
3) THEY BELIEVE IN THEIR BRAND
Every great brand starts with a story. This story will feature a need, a consumer, and the product that links these together. Brands who’ve found and captured an audience have done so by crafting a smart narrative around their company that speaks to their consumers and connects with them on more than a surface level. Brands that retell their story with confidence in their authenticity can build a strategy around this. The value that any brand ascribes to their own products through their story is what consumers will end up buying or rejecting.
4) THEY KNOW THEIR CONSUMERS
Curiosity is key. Successful and healthy brands are invested in understanding what content, CTAs (Calls To Action), messages, and images tell their story in a way that resonates with consumers – and compels them to interact with the brand. Knowing your consumers also means knowing who could be shopping for them. Changes in the season bring different consumers to Amazon for different reasons (from Father’s Day to Halloween to ski season), giving brands the opportunity to reach a variety of demographics. By starting with a clear idea of your ideal consumer, the data generated through marketing trial-and-error allows you to create a 360-degree image of that person, and then build better content around them.
5) THEY DEVELOP STRONG RETAIL ALLIANCES
Knowing your consumers means knowing where they are shopping, and making sure your brand is represented correctly on those channels. Brands that excel have dedicated point people in every retail channel, who know the brand’s story, understand the product, and can deliver this to their consumers. When you position your brand with retail partners who deliver the same message, it creates a seamless, harmonious experience that consumers can rely on.
Amazon is a massive, growing, and evolving channel. With 294 million user accounts registered as of the third quarter in 2015, nearly the entire US population, Amazon is not your brand’s enemy. This channel can be used to grow your consumer base in a way that creates harmony among your retailers and adds value to your brand.