How to use Differentiation Marketing to Grow your Ecommerce Business?
One of our favorite questions to ask to our potential clients, when they contact us for consulting is about ‘differentiation marketing’. We ask them questions such as:
- What’s the most unique thing about your brand?
- Why should customers buy from you rather than your customers?
- What makes you stand out among your competitors?
- What’s your competitive edge?
The answers we often get are something like:
- I don’t know, we’re still working on it.
- Let’s first build this thing… we will figure out later
- Let’s get some traffic in and get some sales; we will see later.
As a consulting company, we are always on a lookout to partner with exciting startup brands; but responses like above suggest us that there is a lack of clarity, and it makes us nervous because we know that ‘later’ will never come. If you as a brand don’t have a cutting edge, you will eventually lose your business to your competitors who do.
And this is not just about differentiation marketing. It’s also about you as the leader of your business having clarity about your path and knowing the mission of your brand. As someone who has been in the fashion ecommerce industry for long enough and having worked with many successful and unsuccessful fashion startups, I can tell you that the business environment outside is just not conducive for ‘me too’ businesses.
The fashion ecommerce market today is just too saturated for a ‘me too’ brands, and there is endless space and opportunities to grow for brands with unique value proposition.
But for now let’s just assume that you know what makes your brand unique. Maybe you’re a brand which sells luxury designer clothing with no mark-up price. Let’s say you’re the Everlane of designer clothing segment.
Now, what do you do with this information?
We have seen so many fashion ecommerce brands having exceptional ways of differentiating their business and deliver incredible value to their customers in a very unique way. But when it comes to communicating that uniqueness of their business, they fail…miserably, mostly because they fail to communicate these points effectively on their website.
Let’s talk about how you can reinforce your brand’s uniqueness to your customers on your website and win your customer’s mindshare. Let’s talk about some the touch points of your ecommerce business, which give you opportunities to position your brand uniquely for your customers.
On your website, take every opportunity you have to communicate the mission of your brand and its uniqueness to your customers. Some of the touchpoints which give you the best opportunity to talk about your brand and reinforce your brand’s message to your customers are: Homepage, category pages, about us, registration, pop-ups & welcome emails.
Not only will it help you position your brand clearly in the minds of your customers, but also make your business PR & media worthy.
BRAND REINFORCEMENT EXAMPLES
Home page tagline of trunk club
Registration pop-up of One Kings Lane
Post Registration pop-up of One Kings Lane
Brand Philosophy on the about page of Ledbury.
Huckleberry’s welcome email which users receive on signing-up on their website.
About message in the footer of True&Co
A good way to start your brand’s differentiation marketing is to create a solid elevator pitch. Yes, it’s not meant for your customers but it’s an excellent tool to get clarity about your business. Once you have a solid elevator pitch, you just need to ensure that all your brand communication aligns with your elevator pitch.
Elevator pitch: An elevator pitch, elevator speech, or elevator statement is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a profession, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition. The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes and is widely credited to Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso (while he was Editor for Vanity Fair) for its origin. The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will either continue after the elevator ride, or end in exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting. Source: Wikipedia
You see it’s not just about marketing but also about having clarity in life. You can accomplish things in life and be happy only when you have clarity about the purpose of your life. Same thing applies to every business. To build a successful ecommerce brand, you not only should have clarity about the mission of your brand, you also have to do a great job of communicating that to your customers.
I am the Founder at ILoveFashionRetail, where we design & develop e-commerce websites & mobile apps for fashion retailers. We also help fashion brands grow their online sales & traffic. My essays are featured at Forbes, Moz, Fairchild, FIT and more. Contact me.