For anyone interested in the business of selling physical products online. How to build a brand on Amazon should be the first question to ask.
There is no doubt that you can build your brand of physical products on your own website.
However, it will take a lot of work to set up the website to make it e-commerce ready.
Even after setting up the website. You will have to do a very good job of promoting or marketing your product.
Why start with Amazon?
Amazon has customers ready to buy.
Amazon Prime (Buyers) and Amazon FBA (Sellers) in my opinion is what set Amazon apart from other marketplaces.
Amazon has raving fans who are part of their Prime membership.
This huge database of customers on Amazon has had their credit or debit card details ready to buy products on Amazon.
Amazon customers love them because Amazon is customer-centric.
By building your brand on Amazon. You will be benefiting from the trust Amazon has earned from its customers.
Amazon Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
Obviously, there are now a lot of eCommerce ready websites like Shopify.
What set amazon apart from eBay, Etsy, Shopify and other platforms is their FBA program.
Amazon allows sellers to keep their products in their warehouse.
When customers buy, Amazon will pick, pack and ship the products to customers.
This is great leverage and it saves a lot of brand owners time.
How to build a brand
Find a product
This is the most challenging bit. You must find a winning product if you do not already have one.
Without having a product there is no point building a brand.
Selling on Amazon is very competitive so you will need a unique product which you can use to start your brand.
One of the keys to success on Amazon is to have a high-quality product. Without a quality product, your brand will not succeed on Amazon.
I wrote an article about how to find a product to sell on Amazon. If you do not already have a product in mind, I will recommend you read the article after you finish with this one.
Amazon will not allow you to sell every product if you are new on their platform.
Check that you are allowed to sell the product you want to build a brand on before placing order.
There are procedures to follow to lift some of the restrictions.
You don’t want to order a product before you find out you are not allowed to sell it on Amazon.
It makes a lot of sense to first create a selling account on Amazon. By creating an account, you will be able to follow the process of getting approved to sell in the category your product belong if it is a restricted category.
Test your product or idea
Test the product before bulk order from a supplier.
This is very important for people that do not already have a product they want to build brand around.
Sadly, a lot of people jump this stage and usually fail. The risk of starting a business has been reduced to almost zero because of the internet.
It is important to test the product. It’s actually very simple to test. All you need to do is to buy a similar product to what you want to sell from retailers.
Send it to Amazon fulfilment centre. Run advert for a few days and see if people are interested in the product.
You will be able to know the price customer is willing to pay, how much interest there is in that type of product.
You only need between 5 and 10 units to do the testing.
This is the exact process I follow to launch products on Amazon.
Come up with a good brand name. I have two brands, I use one in homes and kitchen category. The other one I use in health and personal care category.
If you are confident about dominating a particular niche of product. There is nothing wrong with having a brand name that has the name of the niche in it.
For example, if you want to build a brand around men’s grooming kit. You could have something like ‘Groom Man’ or ‘Beardly’. These are just example, you have to research and brainstorm your brand name.
My favourite format of a brand name is a brand name that is generic. Think about ‘Apple’ or ‘Amazon’. These are brand names that do not reflect the types of products they sell.
I think a generic name is better because you can use it for any type of product. However, it is isn’t a bad thing to be specific.
Anyway, I am not a brand expert so I won’t be able to say much about the brand name.
Whatever brand name you choose, you need to check online that someone is not already using it.
It is important to trademark the brand name.
There are many reasons for this. The main one is that Amazon will not allow you to register your brand on their platform without a trademark number.
As well, they will require your product to have the brand name on it.
Before you apply for a trademark of your brand name. You need to first check that no one has already trademarked the name.
You can check on the government trademark register by clicking here.
After you have checked and the name is available. You can then proceed to apply for the trademark.
Find a supplier
Alibaba is the major market place where people find suppliers who will manufacture your product.
However, you can also find a manufacturer in your home country. There are manufacturers in every country. It just depends on the type of products you are branding.
There are products that have some regulations to them which you need to pay attention to. Examples are kids toys, health and personal care, beauty.
Basically, any product that people will consumer through the mouth or put on their skin. You need to make sure all the regulations are considered.
This is the reason why grocery, nutrition, supplement and beauty products are better manufactured in your home country.
The chances are that reputable manufacturer in your home country is likely to have all the certifications required to manufacture the product.
Use Amazon FBA program
Even your orders from other marketplaces like eBay, Shopify etc can be fulfilled by Amazon.
Fulfilment by Amazon program is a great opportunity to safe time and energy.
I have been using Amazon FBA to fulfil my orders since I started selling on Amazon.
Not having to worry about contacting courier or going to post office to fulfil orders is very important to me.
And you will be able to spend your time on promoting and expanding your brand. I will highly recommend you leverage Amazon FBA.
We all know about the phrase ‘picture speaks a thousand words.
This phrase is really true in eCommerce.
It’s not compulsory to use a professional camera to capture the images of your product. You can use your mobile phone camera.
However, if you are thinking about a proper brand, it worth budgeting for a product photographer to come up with quality photos including lifestyle images.
Amazon also has a service for photos.
I once used them, their images were really good. However, it didn’t include lifestyle images.
Amazon is also a search engine.
For people to find your product, it must be fully optimised with the right keywords.
Just the way bloggers learn Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You need to also learn how Amazon search engine works.
The basic of it is that the keywords you want to rank for need to be in your title.
The order of importance are title, bullet points and product description.
Example of product title can be seen in the image below. The product is ‘garlic press’.
You will notice they do not only have garlic press in the title, but they also have ‘garlic crusher’.
This tells you that you need to consider other words customers might be using top search for your product.
You could also have your brand name in the title. As your brand begins to grow, some customers might be using your brand name to search for your product.
Amazon listing template provides you with 5 bullet points where you can describe the product.
The bullet points are also an opportunity to include more keywords. I must say that you need to be clever with this so you don’t want to have keywords that make the writing read terribly.
In fact, the bullets points provide you with the opportunity to describe the problem the product solves.
Finally, there is the product description part, which you can use to describe the product in great detail.
With Amazon brand registry approval, you will have access to Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC).
This is only available to brand owners. You can write a story about your brand.
The review is important. It’s social proof.
When a customer sees a review someone else wrote on your product. They are likely to buy than if there is no review or a bad review.
If a product is of high quality, customers will leave reviews.
I don’t think its wrong to ask family and friends to review your product if you are confident it’s a good product.
Alternatively, Amazon has reviewer service, which you can pay for. The downside is that they are not going to guarantee the reviews to be five stars.
My experience of using their service wasn’t bad. 5 reviews from their reviewer, four of them 5 stars and the other one, 4 star.
If your product is good, there is no need to be scared of using Amazon reviewer service.
Market your product
You can drive traffic from your audience or other influencer audience to your Amazon product on Amazon website.
Alternatively, you can use Amazon PPC which can be expensive if you are in a very competitive niche. I have spent a lot of money on Amazon PPC.
As a brand owner, you are in business. It is important to budget for advertisement.
When you launch the product initially, the cost of advertising can be high.
One they product start to do well, the cost of advertising will reduce.
Advertising is a fundamental part of brand building on Amazon marketplace.
One of the benefits of Amazon PPC is that its the only way to know the keywords customers are using to search for products.
You can then include these keywords in your product description. You might be wrong if you assume the keywords customers use.
If your brand is registered on Amazon, they will allow you to have access to they Brand Analytics.
Brand Analytics is a very useful report to see keywords and products that are popular on Amazon.
As a brand owner on Amazon, I have access to Amazon Brand Analytics and its been very useful for my business.
Aim for page one
If your product is not on page 1 on most of the keywords you want to rank for, you will struggle to sell.
Marketing, listing optimisation and review are the key ingredients you need to get your product to page one of the keywords you want your product to rank for.
Majority of the customers do not go beyond pay one when they are buying a product on Amazon.
This is the reason why you want your products to come up high in the search.
Amazon is a great marketplace for building a brand.
Selling on Amazon is becoming more and more competitive. However, the number of people who are shopping online is increasing year on year.
Shopping online is still at its infancy so they best time to build your brand is now if you are interested in eCommerce.
When you have a successful brand on Amazon. You should consider selling your product in other marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.
You could also try your own website or a Shopify store.
Taking note of all the points I listed above, there is nothing stopping you in succeeding on Amazon.