How To Build A Brand For Amazon – Branding Basics Explained [2023 FULL GUIDE]

Picture of Author: Martyn N.

Author: Martyn N.

Hi! I’m Martyn, a full-time Amazon E-Commerce Manager with over 5 years of experience selling and managing a wide range of products for various small businesses on Amazon.

#01 – Why brand on Amazon?


You probably haven’t heard of branding on Amazon as being a critical aspect of making sales.

After all, don’t people just buy the cheapest item with the most good reviews?

Well, what if I told you that if you are a small-scale seller – or want to become one – the most important thing you can do to make as much money as possible on Amazon right now is to build your own strong brand?

 Sure, pricing and reviews are very important.

But every seller knows that.

And almost every single one has both optimized.

However, the power of branding is still largely ignored, and yet it will only keep becoming more and more important as time passes.

In this guide, we’re going to explore why creating a strong brand can not only increase your sales, but will most likely make the difference between you being squeezed out of business and making enough money to live a comfortable life from your Amazon sales alone.

Now I’m not one of these gurus promising you millions of dollars in “one secret hack”. Anyone with a brain will know that making a good living takes hard work and dedication.

But it also requires a good understanding how a successful business works, and this is exactly what I aim to provide with my courses, articles and videos.

Are you ready to learn how great brands are made, and how you can start designing your own successful Amazon brand right now?

Let’s jump in!

Table Of Contents
  1. #01 – Why brand on Amazon?
  2. #02 – Branding Basics
  3. #03 – Product Differentiation
  4. #04 – Value
  5. #05 – Information
  6. #06 – Consistency
  7. #07 – Branding Structures
  8. #08 – Market Research
  9. #09 – Positioning
  10. #10 – Defining Your Brand
  11. #11 – Naming Your Brand
  12. #12 – Designing Your Logo
  13. #13 – Creating Your Tagline
  14. #14 – Choosing Your Brand Colours



Competition 101 – What you need to know


First of all, as more and more sellers join any market, there is a natural increase in competition.

This makes sense – imagine you’re on a sunny beach in the middle of summer, and you want to buy an ice cream. If there’s only one seller, that ice cream seller is almost guaranteed to get a sale.

However, if there are two or three sellers, you can be sure that at least two of them will not make a sale from you.

This means that each seller is going to have to appear more appealing than the others in order to get you to buy the ice cream from them, which can be through offering more value or most commonly, offering a cheaper price.

This is particularly true for Amazon. As more sellers enter the market looking to get a share of the pie, there’s going to be more pressure on each one to reduce their prices to the point where the profit margins get so thin that it’s not even worth selling anymore.

Can your business offer the cheapest price?

If you are a small-scale seller who wants to earn a decent income, most likely not.

Why?

Because you’re not going to benefit from the same cost-savings as big businesses do. They can accept thinner margins because they are established and benefit from economies of scale.



How branding solves this problem


Having a strong brand means that you can more easily escape these price wars as you differentiate yourself from other sellers and offer some unique value that’s communicated through your very own brand.

Basically, you’re no longer trying to offer the same thing as all the other sellers.

You make yourself different, which means that you get to have a lot more power over the price and as such, the margins that you make. Your ice creams are not the same as all the other ice cream sellers, and that’s why you can ask for a price that’s going to give you the income that you desire.



Consumer values are changing – and it has huge implications


Secondly, there is a growing trend for brands that align with the consumers’ values and beliefs rather than just providing what’s on the tin.

A large survey conducted by the renowned consulting company Accenture found that today, 62 percent of consumers have their purchasing decisions heavily dependent on how ethical and authentic a brand is and 74 percent want more transparency about how a company sources their products, their contents and how they have them produced.

Kevin Quiring, managing director at Accenture Strategy, states that:

“In this era of radical transparency, consumers are voicing their opinions, values and beliefs, scrutinizing the actions of organizations and their leadership, and holding them accountable. They can see through inauthenticity and won’t tolerate it,”

“Consumers’ voices can change the financial trajectory of companies. They are more than buyers – they are active stakeholders who are investing their time and attention and want to feel a sense of shared purpose. The winners in this era will not be passive bystanders.”

Majority of Consumers Buying From Companies That Take A Stand on Issues They Care About and Ditching Those That Don’t, Accenture Study Finds | Business Wire

Generic products sold on Amazon without clear branding cannot leverage this growing trend, as all they do is sell a product and list their features.

Sure, they may write that they are “respectful of the environment” and “are produced ethically” but how can they really gain the trust of customers when there’s no brand story, no promise, no personality behind the products?

By building your own brand on Amazon, you enable yourself to give your customers what they are after – even if you aren’t the cheapest seller around.



Why Amazon is becoming more brand-centric


Amazon is very aware of this growing trend as well as the importance of maintaining customer trust.

This is why they have not only been cracking down on fake reviews on low-quality generic products that customers rightfully have been disappointed by, but also started selling their own brands in an attempt to leverage Amazon’s reputation as a customer-centric brand to keep customers coming to their platform and remove the growing negative reputation that came from these low-quality brandless products and their waves of fake reviews.



What does this mean for you?


Amazon is looking for quality brands that can truly deliver quality products that will satisfy their customers and keep them coming to their platform.

By building your own brand, you not only increase your perceived value in the eyes of your customers, but you also play the game the way Amazon wants you to play it, which means that the platform will have every reason to promote you and give you exclusive benefits.

In a nutshell, there has never been a better time to build strong brands on Amazon and create massive revenues from them while most sellers catch up with this opportunity.


Are you ready to learn more about branding and how to create a strong brand? Then let’s move on to the first lesson of this guide on branding for Amazon!

#02 – Branding Basics


So what is a brand, what is branding, and why should you care?



If I had to summarize this lesson into three quick bullet points, these would be:


– Brands are promises that consumers believe in.

– Brand building involves creating trust in who you are, what you stand for and what you will provide.

– Brand strengthening involves repeating and keeping your promises.

A brand, in essence, is a promise about who you are and what benefits you deliver that gets reinforced every single time people come in contact with any facet of you or your business.

Branding, as such, is the process of building this positive collection of perceptions in your customers’ minds. It is effectively defining the promised benefits that your customers will enjoy from experiencing your brand and keeping these promised benefits over and over again.

Think about some big brands like Nike or Coca-Cola – whenever you see or are considering buying a pair of Nike shoes, you have certain expectations from them – a certain level of quality and a certain representation of what it would mean to buy Nike shoes.

You don’t inspect the quality of Nike shoes the same way you’d inspect a brand you’ve never heard of, simply because the years of branding have instilled certain expectations regarding what the product will deliver.

Similarly for Coca-Cola, you have certain expectations that you are certain will be met – the biggest one being that every bottle of Coca-Cola will have the same taste.

It seems obvious to us now, but imagine a cola brand you’ve never heard of – how can you accurately judge whether the flavour will be pleasant or not before purchasing it?

Of course you can’t!

But with a solid brand which makes the promise that the flavour will always be as expected no matter where the bottle is produced or sold, you don’t hesitate as much – you know what to expect, and this expectation is reinforced every time it is met and eroded every time it isn’t.

The reason why Coca-Cola and Nike are such powerful brands is because they have excelled at maintaining their promises and as such, build a solid promise over years of branding.



Core Benefits of Branding on Amazon


A brand is constructed around four core pillars: Product differentiation, value, information and consistency.

Brands create trust and emotional attachment with the goal to create a long-term competitive advantage that can weather price wars, poor communication, exceptional customer dissatisfaction and similar troubles often experienced by businesses.

Let’s look at a practical example on Amazon – water filters.


Right away on page 1, you can see that the results page is dominated by a single brand – BRITA.

Now, water filters aren’t complex electronics that no-one can reproduce – however, BRITA has been working on establishing itself as the best brand for water filters since 1966.

Decades of branding have resulted in it being the leading choice for water filters, despite fierce competition on Amazon, especially since water filters can easily be sourced from China and retailed at a similar quality level but a much lower price.

When you search for a water filter and you see BRITA, not only are you more likely to purchase if you’ve heard of BRITA before – which increases sales velocity, which increases review velocity, which in turn increases appeal due to a higher number of reviews, and so you’ve got a positive reinforcement circle – but you’re also much more likely to purchase the same brand again if you ever need another water filter.

In the context of this product, branding is actually very useful, as water cartridges are staple goods aka goods that are repurchased regularly.

As long as your initial experience of the branded product meets or exceeds your expectations, you are very likely to stick to that brand. Once again, this highlights the importance of keeping the promises that your brand makes.

This water filter example shows just how important branding is when it comes to selling products that you can expect your customer to want to repurchase again at some point – think of products like candles, supplements, golf balls, incense sticks, teabags, fertilizer, underwear, marker pens, and so on.

If you’re 100% happy with the product that you bought, why wouldn’t you buy it again?


Let’s go even further – if you’re 100% happy with a brand’s product, why wouldn’t you assume that their other products won’t satisfy you as well?

Imagine you’re looking for marker pens because you like to keep physical notes. If you see a listing with a brand that has a professional look and promises that its pens will last 50% longer than the generic ones, have a more comfortable grip so you can use it for hours without discomfort and doesn’t squeak, you might go for it.

That’s the promise here.

If your experience confirms this promise, you will most likely look to buy the same ones next round.

Now what if this brand also promises you a whiteboard that’s super easy to install and doesn’t get dirty?

Wouldn’t you be more likely to trust this promise compared to some unknown competitor who makes the exact same promise?


How Branding on Amazon Increases Your Profits


Now you can start to see the huge benefits of having a brand.

It’s hard enough to find new customers on Amazon, and it can be quite costly too.

Imagine spending 3 dollars on PPC to get a sale on a 10 dollar item.

If your margin was around 50% – which is already quite high – you’ve reduced your profits by more than half.

Now imagine that customer buys, but since there’s no brand perception, the next time round they just buy whatever they happen to see, and never interact with your business again. With this customer, you made a profit of two dollars.

Let’s take the same scenario, but with a strong brand this time.

You still spend the initial 3 dollars on PPC to get the customer’s attention, but instead of going for whatever they find after that, they are much more likely to buy from your brand again – except this time, you don’t have to spend a single cent!

You don’t just double your profits there – you go from 2 dollars in profits to 7 (2+5).

That’s 3,5x the profit!

And that’s not even taking into account upsells or the customer trusting your brand enough to purchase different products of yours on which you can make even more profit per item.

This was a very simple example, but it illustrates well the power of branding. If you’ve ever wondered why some big companies in very competitive industries like Coca-Cola or McDonalds can spend billions on brand marketing, you’ve got it right there – customer lifetime value.


What branding isn’t – and why it’s a common trap


Here’s an important thing to keep in mind – your brand isn’t your logo or the word you put in your title in front of your product name. You see a lot of listings with some strange so-called brands nowadays – but as we’ve explained, branding is much more than this.

“glendan”, “DUCLUS”, “Travor”…all words aimed at creating empty brands that have no personality, no benefit or promise.


Your brand is the perception of your customers of what you offer.

It’s what people believe you stand for.

For example, Apple may sell electronic devices, but its brand stands for thinking differently, which is then reflected in product benefits through revolutionary user experience and design. With each new product launch that successfully conveys this idea, Apple further reinforces its brand in the minds of its customers.

Brands make selling easier: In a world where there are more and more products and sellers, it can be overwhelming to know who to choose. Through branding, you distinguish yourself by creating a profile in your customer’s mind – and critically, a positive one – that automatically pushes them to choose you over your competitors.

Let’s imagine you’re selling water bottles now– how many other sellers do you think are selling this on Amazon.com right now?

More than a single page’s worth, I can assure you.

So as a customer, which one do you choose?

They are all somewhat similar, it’s tough to tell the difference…in fact, you might not even choose any due to analysis paralysis or make the wrong choice due to decision fatigue…and vow never to buy your filters from Amazon again!

N.B: Analysis paralysis: Analysis paralysis is an inability to make a decision due to considering too many factors or choices to weigh in the decision-making process. The result is an endless comparison of the pros and cons of each option without a final decision being taken.

N.B: Decision fatigue: decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.

This makes branding particularly important for E-commerce and especially Amazon, because as more and more competitors come in but customers’ browsing time or options-weighing time doesn’t increase proportionally, any kind of preconception about the features and benefits of a product becomes an important shortcut for the customer – and thus a critical asset for your business.


Alright, now we know what branding is and why branding for Amazon is essential for our businesses to thrive – let’s go and explore our first core aspect of branding – product differentiation.

#03 – Product Differentiation


What is product differentiation?


Simply put, product differentiation is the process of making your product stand out to your target audience from your competition.

Product differentiation is critical for branding, as being perceived as providing a unique offer is what will give you a business advantage.

If there isn’t anything different – or rather, no perceived difference from the customer’s point of view – about what you offer compared to what other sellers might offer, then there is only one single factor that matters: Price.

As we’ve seen previously, competing on price is most often to the advantage of large companies that benefit from economies of scale, meaning they have a reduced cost per unit and can sustain smaller margins and as such, offer lower prices than other sellers.

As a small-scale seller, differentiation is going to be critical for long-term success.



Product differentiation on Amazon – What does it look like?


Let’s take an extreme example – bottled water.

Water is just water, right? How can you brand or differentiate that?

Let’s take a look at the first page results for “bottled water” on amazon.com:




As you can see, all results show branded products, each with a particular kind of product differentiation.

The first result, Essentia, differentiates itself by offering water infused with electrolytes.

Poland Spring puts itself forward as natural, 100% spring water.

Acqua Panna brands itself as exotic Italian water with historical roots which is a perfect accompaniment to fine food and wines.

Crystal Geyser focuses on a better price point for bulk purchase, somewhat similarly to Nestle’s Pure Life, which however differentiates itself by being “purified” through “reverse osmosis” (apparently you need to be a scientist to choose your water nowadays).

Finally, Fiji differentiates itself with being “Natural Artesian Water” and having twice as many “natural” electrolytes through volcanic rock filtering.

Now, the actual health difference between each of those might be minimal and the difference in taste almost imperceptible – but this goes to show the importance and impact of product differentiation.

Here, even with a product that one might think at first glance to be impossible to differentiate, clever marketers and brand managers have managed to position their products to have different features and so appeal to different kinds of customers.

Perhaps some want the most natural water there is. Maybe some exercise often and heard that they need as many electrolytes as they can swallow. Maybe they like their water to be exotic and come from the other side of the globe.

In any case, they fall in different categories, which allows for different kinds of products to be a better choice in the eyes of some customers compared to their alternatives.



Want to succeed? Start to differentiate.


You will want your brand to follow a similar structure, where your brand and its product are differentiated to be the best choice for a specific group of customers.

That way, you can be sure that you will make sales, regardless of the price or ratings of other listings.


So, that’s the basics of product differentiation explained. Next, let’s look at another absolutely critical aspect to branding, and in fact, any business that wants to survive, online or not: Value.

#04 – Value

What is “Value”?


Ah, value.

Arguably the most important word in business. Everything about business can be linked to value. Or more precisely, perceived value.

In this lesson, we will first define value and summarize its importance in creating successful brands.

Firstly, let’s look at its raw definition.

According to Investopedia.com, value is “the monetary, material, or assessed worth of an asset, good, or service.”



But what is value in real human terms, really?


Let’s take a simple example.

Let’s say you want to buy a pencil.

The value of this pencil to you will be equal to how much this pencil can contribute to a better or happier life in your eyes.

Yes, it’s probably not much, which is why you will most likely be willing to give an equally small amount of your own valuable property – money – in exchange for a pencil.

 Here, a critical thing to remember is that value is not something fixed. It completely depends on the person’s perception of what the product can bring them.

Let’s take another simple example that perfectly illustrates this – a bottle of water (again).

How valuable would a bottle of water be to you right now, in the comfort of your home, with large amounts of water being (hopefully) easily available?

Probably not much.

Now imagine you were flying over a desert and disaster strikes and you find yourself stranded in a scorching hot desert, hundreds of miles away from the nearest town.

You walk for days in the blazing heat, your mouth is dry, your thirst is unbearable…

How valuable would a bottle of water be to you then?

Would you be willing to give all the money you’re carrying with you to get one?

feeling thirsty yet?



(I hope you never have to go through this, but this is a pretty good example).



Value is subjective – so what do your customers value?


Understanding that just like beauty, value is in the eye of the beholder is a critical concept to ensure the long-term success of your brand and by extension, your business.

You might offer a product that you personally see as valuable – but if no one else does, it just won’t sell.

In the context of branding, you will want your brand to showcase this value the best way it can.

“Eco-friendly and zero waste” can be a great value point for a specific niche of customers who want to live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.


What value does your brand promise?

Let’s look again at the water bottle examples from the previous lesson – each brand is portraying certain features that can be viewed as valuable by specific customers.

For example, athletes might value the branded water with extra electrolytes. If the brand communicates that it provides beverages specifically made for athletes, this brand has successfully created extra value in the eyes of athletes, while it will have created little for say, seniors or pregnant mothers.

So what kind of value will your brand look to bring? And will it indeed be perceived as valuable by your target customers?

Make sure to keep your mind focused on value – as long as you do, you can rest assured that you are always offering something that will be demanded.


Next, let’s look at the catalyst for your value to reach your customers, the pillar of branding which is critical to ensure that your customers can perceive the value that you have to offer: Information.

#05 – Information


What is meant by “Information”?


I think everybody understands the word “information” – but what does it mean in the context of branding?

In the previous lesson, we looked at value and its importance for building a successful business and brand. If value is what will make customers buy, information is the way that value can be perceived by your customers.

If no one knows about your value points because they are not properly communicated throughout your listings, these value propositions are useless.

Here’s a good example of strong value points that aren’t being brought forward to the customer:



As you can see from these two images, this brand has strong value points – makes me want to look at their backpacks!

Now imagine you didn’t see any of this, and instead, your first interaction with the brand looked like this:



A can’t-be-simpler title, basic description, product pictures with zero information besides what the bag looks like…we have a product video, sure, but where’s all the value goodness that they speak of?

Customers on Amazon don’t have the patience nor the will to dig into your listings to try to find out what you can bring to them.

This is why having all the information about your brand’s promises and values clearly visible is critical to make it successful.

A treasure is worthless if no one remembers where it is buried!


How can improving “Information” benefit your Amazon business?


One of the big advantages of branding is that any brand-level information is naturally transferred onto other products under the same brand.

Let’s take one of the water brands we saw in an earlier example, Essentia.

A good brand store example for the Essentia brand itself that conveys the value behind the brand – straight to the point, no beating-around-the-bush.

Once the information that this brand is about providing the necessary minerals to athletes is properly communicated to a customer, this piece of information will not only display the brand’s value in the eyes of their customers – if that is a feature that they indeed value – but it will also stick to their minds if they browse any other branded product without needing to be directly exposed to this piece of information again.

In the example above, they might offer an Essentia amino drink or special powder and a customer who has just been exposed to the brand’s information from the water bottle listing will most likely assume straight away that these products will share the same value points even if they haven’t read it on these products’ listings.



Why is this such a great advantage on Amazon?


The amount of information you can communicate on Amazon versus your own website is really restricted.

You only really have a title, a few pictures, some bullet points and an EBC to communicate what your product is about.

On top of that, you have to compete with dozens or hundreds of other listings, and spare for expensive ads, you don’t have a way to get more screen space.

This means that any method to communicate as much information as possible with as little as possible is a critical factor for success on Amazon.

It’s easy for customers to get into information overload and simply ignore a lot of what’s on the screen. Through branding, you can create a “bank of information” which shortcuts everything else.

And pulling information from this mental “bank” is automatic and requires much less mental effort than painstakingly going through blocks of text – our brains are made for seeking shortcuts and saving energy.

If you have a preconceived idea of what a product is about AND you can be somewhat sure that this idea is correct, then you’re much more likely to purchase it if it fits your needs.



Up next: The last (but not least) core pillar of branding. The one that makes the difference between a fickle brand that burns out like a match and a brand lasts through the ages like an Olympic torch: Consistency.

#06 – Consistency


Consistency – why is it a core pillar of branding?


Let’s start with an example.

Let’s say you’re looking to buy some sport shoes online.

You see a pair that catches your eye, let’s call the brand “Sporterz”. They have an athletic design and seem rather comfortable. You read the brand description and get told that the brand is:


“Sporterz reimagining sportswear for the modern athlete”.


Why not, fair enough.

Now you go on their website and look to browse more models – maybe you’ll find one that’s even better!

As you scroll down their shop page, you start to see some casual leather shoes with a large fit.

You’re intrigued – these don’t look very sporty!

Out of curiosity, you check the description, and this time the brand description reads:


“Sporterz – for maximum everyday comfort”.



At this point, you’re probably confused about what the brand stands for and your trust into the initial statement has dropped like a stone from a cliff.

What is this brand actually about? Do they just make any shoes they can and slap a slogan on it?

If you’re like most customers, you would now go back to your initial search and avoid this brand altogether.

This is a example of the importance of consistency.

Maybe both pairs of shoes are of excellent quality and would be of great value to their respective target markets.

However, because the brand is inconsistent in its message, it completely destroys any sense of trust.

There’s an old proverb that I feel is very relevant in this case:

“If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both”.

Consistency is about sending the same message and offering the same promise regardless of the sales channel, platform and time. There’s a reason why Nike has had the same slogan “Just Do It” since 1988.

A repeated message is one that sticks.

To make this happen, it must not conflict with other messages.

This applies fully to brands on Amazon, especially since it’s so easy to browse products from the same brand through the brand store, “people also buy”, Comparison tables in the EBC and sponsored ads.

A good example of consistent branding on Amazon – similar design and naming systems build trust in a consistent brand whose promise can be expected throughout all products.


Giving the same consistent brand information throughout your listings will further reinforce the conviction in your customers that you actually are about what you say you’re about, which will lead to greatest trust and as such, more sales.


With this last core pillar of branding explained, we are ready to move on to next part, where we will explore the different ways in which all brands – and hopefully, your brand! – can be structured.

Next stop: Types of branding structures.

#07 – Branding Structures


Deciding on your branding structure


You have three types of brand structures in relation to your business: Monolithic, Endorsed and Pluralistic.


Monolithic Brands

Monolithic are brands that rely on a single overarching brand as the main brand with smaller sub-brands branching off.

For example, Google’s products are all using Google’s overarching brand as leverage – Google search, Google Maps, Google books, Google translate and so on.

Imagine how much more difficult it would have been to build trust in a maps or translation software if you didn’t even know if was from Google!


Endorsed Brands

Endorsed brands are brands that stand on their own, but still have the visible endorsement of a larger parent brand.

For instance, Kellogg’s cereal brands often have a little “Kellogg’s” above the brand’s logo to further reinforce confidence into the “child brand”.

This is particularly potent when you have an existing brand that is already established in your market and you want to fast-track the development of a secondary brand – often a more specialized brand – by leveraging the existing reputation of the parent brand.

The difference between monolithic and endorsed structures is that endorsed brands do not fully associate their identity with the parent brand – for instance, while Nestle might be the endorsing brand for sub-brands like the cereals Nesquik or Cheerios, it lets these brand be the major focus point instead of branding itself as the main brand.

So in this case, you’d still hear someone say that they are buying “Cheerios” and not “Nestle Cheerios” whereas you wouldn’t have someone refer to “Google Maps” as just “Maps”.

Endorsed brands are not very common on Amazon, especially for small sellers, as the parent brand often needs to reach a high level of development before child brands can make use of this endorsement – else it might be confusing for the customer, as instead of being faced with one unknown brand, they are faced with two.


Pluralistic/Parent-silent Brands

Pluralistic brands, or parent-silent brands, are brands that are not actively presented as being part of a main group.

A famous example is the conglomerate Procter and Gamble, who have brands like Pampers, Pringles, Gillette and Ariel, but which no customer directly associates with P&G.

So why would you want to separate your brands? Why not link them all together so each can benefit from the development of the others?

This kind of brand architecture is useful when a company wants to enter markets with similar product categories – or product categories that fit the company’s business type – but which require a different brand personality and promise.

Remember our example with BRITA in lesson 1? Well, the parent company for BRITA happens to be the Clorox Company.

You might have heard of the brand Clorox – in case you haven’t, it is a brand that offers chemical drain cleaning products.

Not really a great name for a water purifier, though, is it?

While Clorox might be a great brand to promise powerful chemical cleaning, no one wants to associate drinking water with potentially harmful chemicals.

However, the parent company benefits from its expertise and operational setups to provide solutions in the general domain of water management systems – both drainage and purification. This is why it made complete sense to tap into both markets and create two separate, unrelated brands to appeal to the different customer segments.

For your business on Amazon, you might find yourself in a similar situation, where your business can also tap into somewhat similar product categories with different customer expectations, in which case you would want to separate your brands to ensure that each one is specialized for its target market.


So which brand structure is right for you?

If you’re a small-scale seller, then I highly recommend to go for a single brand first and as you look to explore more markets, adopt a pluralistic approach – the other two are only particularly good once you have developed a famous and strong reputation within your industry.

By having a separate brand for each market, you can focus your brands on their respective customers without the hassle of potential mismatch or drawbacks from conflicting brand identities.

This is especially the case if you have a business advantage which you can leverage across a range of different markets.

As mentioned before, this is the case for Clorox, where their expertise in all sorts of water purification allows them to compete in vastly different markets with completely different requirements and thus, require completely different brands and identities.


Alright, so we know about branding structures. What’s next?

Let’s get into the meaty bit – a part that if you already are an Amazon seller and followed any seller’s advice out there, you most definitely have heard of.

A part so important that it has to be done even if you want to sell one product and have no interest in building a brand (but trust me, it’s essential.)

Market research.

#08 – Market Research


Market Research 101


Once you know how you will approach branding, you can move on to researching your markets.

As you can imagine, it’s hard to create a successful brand that appeals to your customers if you don’t even know who they are and what they see as valuable.


What unmet needs do your customers have?

What makes them want to purchase your products?

What experience are they looking for?

How do they like to be talked to?

What are their values?

Even one review can give many hints about who your customers are – here, we can tell we have an adult male, played games from an early age, preference for mechanical keyboards.


Once you have gathered enough data to fully answer these questions, you will want to create a customer persona that summarizes well your target customers.

In case you do not know what a customer persona is, this is basically like creating the profile of a fake person who would be as close as possible to the perfect representation of your customers – like if you had to merge all your target customers into a single person, this would be them.

Often this persona is created using a sort of CV or resume which highlights the persona’s demographics, social status, personality traits, likes and dislikes and so on.

source: https://xtensio.com/how-to-create-a-persona/ – good website to create your own personas for free!


This is particularly useful as it’s a lot easier to remember a person whenever you’re busy building your brand rather than remembering a long list of bullet points.



Researching Competitors


Besides finding out who your customers are, you will want to research your competitors.

What products are already being provided to meet the needs of your customers?

What are they lacking?

And from this: what is it that your business – and then by extension, your brand – can provide that’s of value to your customers that your competitors cannot?

This step is extremely important for the welfare of your brand, as being misinformed about any of these points can break it.

You may sell scented candles and decide to start a brand focusing on Mediterranean flowers because you saw demand but no competitors…only to find out months of hard work later that the demand you saw was actually inexistent, or actually there was a massive competitor who actually just went temporarily out of stock and sucks up all the traffic.

Don’t forget to vary your sources of information – don’t rely on just a single keyword tool or the opinions of a few friends who could be biased.

Search the Web, ask on forums, create online surveys, ask a wide range of friends and family, conduct individual interviews with potential customers if necessary.

A/B Testing is a common way to check in advance how, say, a product picture with one branding approach might appeal to your target audience vs. that of a direct competitor.

Do what you need to be as certain as possible that your research is correct.


Once you have your customer persona completed and you have a good idea of what opportunities might lie ahead of you, it’s time to put it all together and position your brand on your market.

#09 – Positioning


Positioning your product


Brand positioning refers to establishing where your brand fits in your target market, how it’s different from existing brands, and what unique value you are offering to your customers.

In today’s world where consumers are easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice there is, their mind is most focused on contrast – what makes a product or a brand stand out from others, which makes positioning extremely important.

If you sell bottled water on Amazon and it looks exactly like a generic water bottle that doesn’t distinguish itself in any way to any other bottle of water, why would anyone want to buy your product except for one thing – if it was the cheapest of them all?

As we’ve explained in lesson 3 which covered product differentiation, this is not a viable strategy for small sellers.

Let’s say you’re on the other side and looking for a bottle of water on Amazon.

Almost all bottles will have a standardized design – plastic, transparent, with a label wrapped along the center line.

Now imagine if between all of these, you saw a black, fully metallic bottle, priced at twice the average market price with a premium font saying just “H2O.”

 How striking would that be?

…I noticed this after writing and recording this article – looks like someone had the same idea! All designs are nice, but repetitive – white and blue, nature-themed, none of them stand out to the eye…then suddenly, a mould-breaker, the eye-catcher: Sleek, all-black design.

Makes you want to click on it, right?


Now I’m not talking about whether this would be a good idea or not – that’s irrelevant for this point.

The point is, that you would most likely remember this particular design and brand much more than the others.

And getting your customers to remember your product or brand is critical to establish a memory base of that product’s brand, which you can then build every time your customers are exposed to your brand.

There are many strategies to position your brand. Here are a some of the most common ones:


There are many more strategies that you can adopt – which is part of the fun of building your brand, as there’s limitless potential for creativity here.

Each strategy has its own pros and cons, and which strategy is best for your brand is completely dependent on your customers, their needs and your products.

You can also combine different positioning strategies together to create a unique feel to your brand – in fact, many brands adopt a mix of these different strategies to further differentiate themselves from competing brands which may already have gone full-throttle into a single positioning strategy, effectively “filling that spot” in the customer’s mind.

In the case of the premium black water bottle for instance, this would most likely be a combination of quality-based positioning strategy and innovation leader strategy.

You will want your strategy to follow your business advantages – for instance, for the sale of premium water bottles, you will want to ensure that you have some form of valuable advantage in terms of providing premium water bottles between the very first steps of design and the final listing which your competitors would have a tough time reproducing.

Basically, you want to position yourself somewhere where you know you’re going to be secure in the long term and be able to maintain strong sales through competitive advantages, and not somewhere where you do not have any advantages, just like you wouldn’t build a house in a middle of a lake if you didn’t know how to swim.

Here’s a classic Price/Quality positioning matrix. Price and quality are the two major axis used for positioning, but you can change them to whatever is appropriate to your business.

Creating a matrix can help you visualize where your competitors stand (following your market research) and as such, let you see where you can position yourself.



Pitfalls to avoid when positioning your brand


One thing to keep in mind though – be careful about not trying to cover too many positions.

Remember the saying: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Trying to position yourself on too many aspects will most likely result in your brand not being positioned at all, and instead of increased success, it will most likely end up feeling generic and uninspiring.

Would you trust a restaurant who offered you: “The worlds’ best tastiest biggest healthiest cheapest environmentally-friendliest meat-tasting vegan burger”?

Like most people, you’d end up believing they are exaggerating and are untrustworthy, and might believe they don’t meet any of these criteria at all!

Furthermore, having an unclear position or shifting position can create a lot of confusion for your customers.

Imagine you see a product with a premium-looking design which tries to position itself as the cheapest option in the market – let’s say, if Rollex suddenly started selling watches under 100 dollars with “70% off! Best value!” signs all over the products.

Wouldn’t that put you off?

In fact, you probably would think that these must be fake, which is a great example of branding from Rollex, who managed to position and brand themselves so well in the luxury watch market that it became impossible to believe that they have made a high price point a literal point of value.


Alright, so after doing your market research and finding out who your customers are, what your competitors are lacking and where you can position your brand, it’s time to take the first step into making your brand a reality.

It’s time to define your brand!

#10 – Defining Your Brand


Brand Front- and Back-End – What are they?

Once you know your customer, their needs, the product you will offer and how you will position yourself in the market, it’s time to define your brand based on all of these factors.

It will entail defining your offer, why you offer it and why your customers should trust you.

It will also detail how you plan to hold your promise – so for example, your company culture (yes, even if you’re selling alone for now), your operations, your sourcing methods, and so on.


As such, your brand will have two facets: The front-end of your brand (or what your customers will actively experience from your brand), which englobes your brand’s name, logo, tagline, overall design, marketing content, packaging and so on, and the back-end or base of your brand – which contains your company culture, mission, values and work processes – which ensures that the front-end is correctly applied.



Defining the Back-End


Let’s create a mock version using our previous example, still based on water bottles.

Let’s say you find an opportunity to enter the water bottle market and position yourself as a premium brand with water that’s 100% certain to be free from modern pollutants.

How are you going to define your brand from this?

Let’s first look at your mission and promise – in this case, it would be something along the lines of “Providing beverages that are completely free of any modern pollutants”.

From this, you would want to define your brand values around something like “absolute purity” and “natural lifestyle”.

I won’t explain how each and every single aspect of your business is going to be affected by your mission, promise and resulting values. As a rule of thumb, you will want everyone in your business to not only know your mission, promise and values, but live them out as well.

That way, it’s not some text on a piece of paper that you have to refer to every single time you do anything related to branding – but instead, these are natural habits that everyone in your business live out every day and get reflected in all activities without any extra effort.

If you do not believe in what you make your business say it stands for, how can you expect your customers to?



Keeping the promise (or defining the work processes)


Alright, that’s your company culture, mission, values and promise defined.

Next, how are you planning to keep this promise?

It’s one thing to promise great benefits – but of course, you need to ensure that you can physically deliver in your day-to-day activities.

A example that would fit our mock brand would be, for instance, finding a supplier who sources water made out 1km-deep Antarctic ice deposits which date back to the Prehistoric Era, untouched by man.

Why not, huh.

Of course, you would have to go beyond just sourcing that “pure” water – you would have to ensure that the whole process from start to finish is consistent with this philosophy – from sourcing to bottling to shelving.

If you profess that your brand is about complete purity and then have your pure water bottled in cheap leaky plastic, you risk losing all credibility.

Remember, consistency is key.

Alright, that’s the “work process” part taken care of.

Through all of the above, you will have effectively defined your back-end.



Defining the Front-End


Great! With your back-end defined, we can move on to the fun, creative part of building your very own brand on Amazon: Creating your brand name.

#11 – Naming Your Brand


Types of Brand Names


This is the creating part that’s exciting – you get to finally make your brand a reality!

This process will require quite a bit of creativity and brain-storming, however there are some rules for best-practice which we will leverage in order to create a logo that can communicate your mission, values and offer as easily and effectively as possible.

Firstly, your brand name – there are seven main types of brand names that you’ll want to choose from:

Descriptive: The brand name simply describes what the business is about, for example Bank of America.

Evocative: Evocative brand names are real words used as metaphors to suggest a particular experience to the customer

Let’s look at some examples – Nike. Not only it is short and unmistakably unique, it is also the name of the roman goddess of victory.

Courtesy of Hi-Rez Studios Inc.

Or let’s actually take Amazon – initially chosen because it starts with the first letter of the alphabet, but also because it represents the largest river in the world – not a bad metaphor for a company that wants to be the largest flow of goods in the world!

Invented: Names like Google or Sony are good examples of invented names that serve a good purpose.

For instance, the name Sony was chosen for the Western market as it resembled the word “sound” coming from the latin “sonus”, making it a great, simple and unique name that still conveyed its core industry very well.


Lexical: Lexical names are wordplays, rhymes or funny combinations of words or letters.

For example, Coca-Cola is a great lexical brand name, being not only unique and descriptive, but also rhyming in a jingle-like fashion. These features make lexical names particularly easy to remember.


Acronyms: Brands like BP and KFC are good examples of acronyms.

These are particularly useful when an established descriptive brand with a long name wants to find an easy way to stick more easily in their customer’s minds.

Geographic: Brands that rely on their geographical status as a value point often tend to adopt a geographic brand name.

KFC is a good example of this, leveraging the stereotypical image of Kentucky as a farming state to create increased value in the eyes of their customers through farming expertise and as such, higher food quality.


Founder: This was the most common kind of branding for much of history. Before large cities were a thing and most people were strangers to the goods they were exposed to on a daily basis, people knew who was producing what in their local area, and as such relied on the reputation of the individual founder as a basis for quality and trust.

Founder brand names are still used nowadays of course, like McDonald’s or Ralph Lauren.



Which naming type is best for you?


As you can imagine, this will completely depend on your brand strategy and your customer’s profile.

For instance, if your research shows that your opportunity lies in providing products that customers will value because of their local heritage, you might want to make it a geographic name.

This is a creative process where there isn’t a single path or golden rule to follow – but make sure to get a lot of input from different perspectives.

Remember, it’s not about what YOU think sounds good, but what brand name will best embody the ideas, values and messages that you want your customers to understand.


Ready for my absolute favorite part?

That’s right – designing your logo!

#12 – Designing Your Logo




Creating your logo is arguably one of the most fun parts in the branding process – at least for artistic people, which I consider myself to be.

It is also quite important. As the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words” and it is absolutely true when it comes to brands, and even more so on Amazon where sellers have to pack as much information about their brand values and promises in as little space as possible.

Designing a logo requires choosing a type of logo, font and colours.

Firstly, let’s deconstruct a logo. A logo can be made of one of two elements of a combination of both.

The first element is the logomark, which consists of an image or combination of shapes.

The second element is a wordmark, which is a text element, almost always the brand name.

A combination of both is called a combination mark.

Easy, right?

Within these core elements, one can design different types of logos.



Types of Logos


Monogram logo or lettermark logo: This kind of logo contains only the initials of the brand, sometimes put together into a stylized fashion to create a unique design.

You may have it in a more sober style like the brand HP, where the letters are clear and distinct, or very stylized, like LG or Sony’s Playstation brand. 

Wordmark logos: As you can probably tell from the name, these logos are made from a single or multiple words, most often the brand name itself.

Brands like Sony use a wordmark logo.


Pictorial logo: This is a simplified logomark which often is used as a minimalistic symbol to convey brand presence without being too in-your-face.

Think of Apple’s minimalistic design as a good example of a pictorial logo.


Combination Logo: As the name suggests, this kind of logo is a combination mark, meaning it has both symbols or shapes along with text content.

Brands like Burger King and Starbucks feature a combination logo.


If you decide to have a lettermark or a wordmark in your logo, you will want to think about the font that you will be using.



Which kind of logo should you choose?


There’s no easy answer here – but it all depends on how you want your brand to be perceived.

Has your research shown that your opportunities lies in creating a high-end, minimalistic brand?

Maybe a pictorial logo like Apple’s would suit it best.

But perhaps initial surveys have shown that a simple logomark doesn’t convey what your brand stands for well enough?

Then perhaps a combination logo would be more appropriate.

Looks too classic?

Let’s try a monogram logo then.

As with anything else, you will want to keep testing over and over again. Don’t settle for the first draft! Keep improving your logo with time – but avoid making large, regular changes else you risk losing too much consistency.



Fonts: Serifs vs Sans-Serifs


You have two main categories of fonts: Serifs and sans-serifs.


Serifs are small lines that are added to letters and are often used to make the font look more professional, authoritative and old-fashioned, which means that they work well for brands that want to convey these feelings.

The classic font Times New Roman, which was a classic default on Microsoft Word until the more recent version, is an example of a serif font.

On the other side, you have sans-serif fonts, or without serifs.

These fonts look cleaner and modern, and are most used by brands that want to show that they are in-the-times and progressive.

Most websites and apps nowadays use sans-serif fonts for this reason. Popular sans-serif fonts include Helvetica, Calibri and Futura.

Whether you should choose a serifs or sans-serifs font depends on your brand personality – if you want it to feel more old-fashioned or professional, serifs is often a preferred choice, whereas sans-serifs would be more fitting for a modern or casual brand.


Next up: Your tagline.

#13 – Creating Your Tagline




Just like your brand name and logo, your tagline – should you decide to make one, as this is optional – will aim to communicate your brand’s promises and values in a short sentence.

Examples of known taglines are “Think Different” from Apple and Nike’s “Just Do It”.


Both taglines exemplify perfectly what the brand stands for in three words or less.

For Apple, it’s tagline shows that its core value lies in innovation and differentiation from its competitors, a promise which is then reflected through its unique products.

In Nike’s case, the tagline suggests effort and achievement, which lines up perfectly with its core brand identity which is centered around stirring the desire to achieve athletic success, while also gently suggesting that this is possible to achieve using their products.


What makes a great tagline for your brand?


A tagline should be short and concise. As we saw in the previous two examples, it can consist of as little as two words.

It should also properly convey the mission and values behind your brand. Naturally, it will be very hard to do so in as few as three words – but even managing to encapsulate say, 80% of what your brand is about in a tagline will be very impactful.

Furthermore, your tagline should focus on stirring emotions in the reader.

“Just do it.” is a great example of this, giving a sense of courage and action.

A great tagline also doesn’t just communicate a single message, it is still open enough to interpretation to allow for multiple ideas to strike the reader.

For instance, “Just Do It” can be interpreted as “achieve your goals” as well as “just buy our products”. It is a literal call to action, a suppressor of hesitation.

“Hm let’s check the football shoes section. I’m thinking of trying this sport, but I’m not sure…”

“Just do it.”

“Alright, well the shoes are good, but expensive…”

“Just do it.”

You get the idea. Walk into a Nike store, and all of these taglines spread around the store subconsciously prime you for increased purchase behaviour.

Taglines are particularly useful on Amazon – as mentioned before, the structure on Amazon doesn’t allow you to create pages after pages of content to slowly convey what your brand is about, and as such, the more you can communicate in the least amount of content possible, the more likely you are to be successful.

“Smells like heaven, works like hell”. Simple, playful and conveys the right ideas. Fits very well with a brand named “angry orange”, which also plays beautifully with our preconceptions: oranges are known to have a pleasant smell, while the “angry” signifies action, power, and dedication.

Speaking of orange – how about we go over the final part of our branding adventure?

Yes – choosing your brand colours.

#14 – Choosing Your Brand Colours


Choosing the right colours for your brand is just as important as designing a good logo or tagline.

While colours can easily be dismissed as being just for the sake of visual appeal, they are in fact extremely useful in communicating particular emotions that are in line with your desired brand image.

Let’s take a simple example – you’ve no doubt heard of “red light districts” before. Ever wondered why red is a prevalent colour when it comes to seduction and arousal?

Well it turns out that just seeing the colour red triggers a biological response that makes us perceive the coloured object or person differently. For instance, several studies have shown that pictures of men and women wearing red clothes, re lipstick or just had a red hue added to the picture were considered more attractive and appealing, which is thought to stem from the perceived increased blow flow to the skin surface indicating both intensity and arousal.

Similarly, green and blue have been shown to have a relaxing effect on most people, signifying nature, water, blue skies and such.

As sellers of a product with relatively few variables to play with, coffee beans retailers often rely on strong visual branding to position themselves for specific niche targeting.



So how can you leverage this for your Amazon business?


Let’s go back to your desired brand identity – what concepts do you want to prime your customers with?

Similarly, what emotions do you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand and its products?

Do you want them to feel aroused, excited, happy, relaxed, trusting?

Courtesy of First Design Studios


For instance, for a brand that wants to brand itself as environmentally friendly, green would be a natural choice in terms of primary brand colours, while another brand that wants to position itself as luxurious could go with black and gold as primary colours.

Once you’ve established this, you can create a colour palette and look to apply those to your logo and your products.

Don’t choose too many colours – you want to have a maximum of three colours in your palette.

Just like trying to cover too many positions in your market, choosing too many colours will make your brand look like a messy bag of Skittles without any specific identity.

The meaning and emotions behind colours is however quite dependant on the region of the world.

For instance, while yellow is associated with happiness, sunshine and excitement in Western cultures, it is the colour of death and mourning in many Latin cultures, which is why doing a holistic analysis of your customer’s profile, including culture, is vital.


This is the last lesson of our minicourse on Branding for Amazon – I hope it will help you design or re-design your brands for maximum success.

On that note, let’s get selling!


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