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How to build an e-commerce brand in a noisy world 

Ralph Rijks
Ralph Rijks
Guest contributor
5 min read
3 October 2023

DEPT®’s 2023 Commerce Week featured experts in tech and marketing discussing the future of e-commerce. The talk below includes takeaways from How to Build an e-commerce Brand in a Noisy World by Ralph Rijks, VP of Marketing for multiple large commerce brands. 

In today’s e-commerce landscape, where thousands of brand messages bombard consumers daily, building an e-commerce brand that stands out can be a daunting task. However, by embracing simplicity, focusing on one pivotal problem, and forging emotional connections, you can create a brand that resonates, endures, and succeeds in the digital age. 

By following these strategies, you can cut through the noise and build a brand that builds a loyal community. 

How to build an e-commerce brand in a noisy world

Cut through the noise
In the digital age, the challenge for e-commerce marketers is to cut through the noise. With an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 brand messages bombarding individuals daily, the competition for eyeballs is fierce.

To stand out, your brand must be bold, unique, and instantly captivating. Crafting attention-grabbing content and messaging that resonates with your target audience is essential. In this noisy e-commerce landscape, creativity and innovation become your allies in building brand recognition and recall.

Simplify your message
Keep your text simple. Today’s consumers have limited patience for convoluted e-commerce brand messaging. You risk losing your audience if you cannot distill your e-commerce brand’s essence into a clear, concise message.

Think of TED Talks – they convey complex ideas in just ten minutes. Your brand should aim for a similarly straightforward and compelling narrative to engage time-pressed consumers.

Identify one key problem to solve 
Staying focused is key in a world full of data, market insights, and endless opportunities.

Find that one crucial business problem your brand can solve effectively. It should be a pain point that resonates deeply with your target audience. By concentrating your efforts on solving this single issue, you channel your resources and messaging towards making a tangible impact. Simplicity in your objectives will resonate with consumers and create a compelling narrative around your brand’s mission.

Embrace boredom
Embracing the concept of “boring” can be a strategic advantage. The digital age caters to short attention spans, but mastering consistency in doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to breaking through the noise.

Even in a world where novelty is highly valued, there’s a place for e-commerce brands that consistently deliver quality and reliability. Passionate audiences can be notoriously fickle, but staying the course can earn their loyalty.

Create unique or emotional connections
Your brand’s success depends on creating meaningful bonds with customers. Building unique associations and emotional connections is crucial.

Your brand shouldn’t just be a product; it should be a trusted friend, a source of inspiration, or a symbol of identity. By nurturing these connections, you can stand out and gain loyal customers.

Be there when needed
Recognize that not all consumer demand is immediate. Invest upfront in creating brand presence and recognition so that when consumers are ready to make a purchase, your brand is top of mind.

This presence should extend across various digital and physical platforms to ensure that you are there at the right moment. The key is to be present and provide a seamless buying experience when consumers are ready to engage with your brand.

Balance short-term growth with long-term branding 
The delicate balance between short-term growth and long-term brand building is crucial.

While focusing solely on immediate results is tempting, successful brands consider future cash streams and cash generation. Strive to strike a balance between investments that yield immediate returns and those that fortify your brand’s long-term health. Remember that building a strong brand presence and customer loyalty often requires sustained efforts.

Avoid discounting early
Resist the temptation to start your brand journey with discounts and promotions.

Starting with such tactics can inadvertently convey a perception of desperation. Building a solid brand foundation, emphasizing your unique value proposition, and nurturing brand loyalty are crucial steps before resorting to discounts. Communicating value beyond price is essential to create a strong brand identity and command premium pricing.

ROI equation
Educate your team about ROI. Beyond merely spending on advertising, the heart of the equation lies in having a compelling idea that resonates with your audience.

A creative and impactful campaign can yield substantial returns, provided that it aligns with your brand’s core message and values. Encourage your team to focus on generating ideas that are not only cost-effective but also deeply resonate with your target audience, maximizing your return on investment.

Invest wisely
Invest your resources wisely by understanding what truly works for your brand. This knowledge will be invaluable when navigating times of crisis. You can make informed decisions about your commercial investments by analyzing past successes and failures.

This approach allows you to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, ensuring your brand remains resilient and competitive in the face of challenges.

In the sea of digital marketing, building an e-commerce brand is no small feat.

Our journey has revealed key insights: the power of simplicity, the impact of focusing on one pivotal problem, the potential to embrace the “boring,” and the necessity of forging emotional connections. By weaving these strategies into your brand, you’re not just cutting through the noise; you’re crafting a brand that resonates, endures, and succeeds in the digital age. 

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