Ecommerce

Is 2024 the Year You Should Create Your Own Brand?

  • Written by Kaleigh Moore
Is 2024 the Year You Should Create Your Own Brand?

If you’re a seller on an online marketplace, you’re all too familiar with your consumers’ needs and problems. You know where market gaps exist, why it’s bursting with potential, and that tapping into it might be the best way to set yourself up for success.

But creating your own brand can be scary in the digital age. Consumers expect high quality, transparency, and agility from the brands they choose to buy from.

In fact, data shows 81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand before they can even consider buying from it. But when they do trust you, they reward you with positive feedback, repeat purchases, and word-of-mouth referrals.

This makes 2024 the year to go from reselling to starting your own brand. If you’re looking to find a new way to grow your business, expand your reach, and what it entails, this is the guide to read.

By the end, we’ll discuss ways to create and scale your brand, outperform the competitors without sacrificing your customer experience or quality, and prep for challenges you’re likely to face along the way.

Good branding is essential, not optional

With so much salesy content on the internet today, trust is quickly becoming consumers’ highest priority. Today, 89% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) rather than brands.

In a nutshell, good branding is essential in an economy where trust is the currency of choice.

Love them or hate them, everyone from Elon Musk to Gary Vaynerchuk is living proof that successful and strategic branding can translate into millions of dollars in business revenue. Infusing your creativity into your brand’s persona—with authentic storytelling, interactive consumer experiences, and engaging content—helps create an irreplaceable brand image.

The good news is that turning influence into income is a matter of strategy, not luck. A powerful example is Rent the Runway, a fashion technology company that Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss started.

Today, the company is a huge success with a market cap of over $95 million. “What you really need in order to build something is influence. Influential leadership, especially when it’s positive, is the most powerful thing you can do,” Hyman said in an interview.

It’s 2024, and consumers prioritize transparency, so being trustworthy and likable as a brand is the cornerstone that ensures volatile markets don’t deter your brand’s growth. 

Scaling for the future, without sacrificing the present

Every decision-maker knows one simple truth: customers are the backbone of your brand. Looking at this survey, it’s easy to see just how important positive customer experiences are, with 82% recommending a company based on customer service and 80% forgiving mistakes after receiving excellent service.

So scaling for the future should never happen at the cost of customer experience.

But, keeping operations at the same efficiency while growing your brand can feel like a mammoth task as you grow. Overselling, lost time, and inventory mismanagement are all too common if you don’t have a way of keeping track of every brand element 24/7.

The solution? Think AI.

For backend operations, automated software can now take care of a ton of tasks without needing human input. This way, you can focus your efforts on the customer-facing branding and set up systems that take care of everything else for you.

Further reading: Inventory tracking system for e-commerce retail

3 examples of leveling up without manual work:

  1. Automated inventory system, so always have an updated spreadsheet of your inventory levels across marketplaces, track sales, create best-selling bundles, and update prices effortlessly.

  2. Analytics forecasting, so you can rely on first-party data to make better decisions and fine-tune your demand forecast with profitability reports for all your marketplaces.

  3. Multi-channel fulfillment, so you can integrate seamlessly with enterprise shipping software like Veeqo and manage logistics operations like warehouse management, distribution, and fulfillment technology.

The goal of setting up the systems that work for your business is to save you countless hours of admin work (and potential human mistakes) in the long term.

Now, you have the time and resources you need to outperform the competitors.

Further reading: Guide to private label e-commerce products

Counter competition with authenticity

Traditional social media advertising, especially on platforms like Facebook, is starting to see diminishing returns. Branding tactics like ‘suggested posts’ can potentially increase the density of ads on the app to the point of resentment.

Combine that with rising concerns about data privacy and excessive influencer marketing, and you know why brands are finding it difficult to establish trust with consumers.

In such an overcrowded, saturated market, standing out is not a luxury. Consumers today have too many choices to stay loyal to your brand unless you give them a reason to.

That reason is your authenticity.

More than just a logo, it means your:

  • Mission. Every brand starts with a dream and communicating this is the key to connecting with your consumers. Your mission can inspire them to support your business with not just sales, but also referrals.

  • Social initiatives. The reason brands like Rent the Runway attract massive attention is their commitment to environmental responsibility. Contributing to a social initiative your brand can have an impact on will immediately improve your brand’s reputation.

  • Feedback loops. Your brand’s responsiveness to consumer input decides how engaged they remain with you. Accepting both positive and negative reviews as an opportunity for improvement is how you get ahead and stay there.

  • Core values. Rather than aiming to be perfectly polished, the aim with authenticity is to remain true to your core values. Having a defined set of core values you stick to can nurture a positive relationship with your consumers and bolster trust.

Through seasonal trends, failed ideas, and internet backlash, authenticity is what will drive your consumers to defend you and vouch for you.

For example, maintaining communication channels with your consumers can help you handle logistics during seasonal delays and tackle inevitable natural disasters.

Prepping for challenges as you begin

Starting a brand is not for the faint of heart. On one hand, you don’t want to miss out on new and upcoming growth opportunities as technology and social media evolve. On the other hand, any new venture poses risks and challenges you have not faced before.

What you can do is be prepared for them.

Here are five challenges you can expect and what to do:

1. Visibility

With every brand competing for the limited space in your consumers’ favorites list, low visibility can hamper your brand’s launch, no matter how good your business idea is.

Solve it by: Understanding your audience’s needs and leveraging your expertise to differentiate yourself from the get-go.

Example: Data-driven decision-making, like white label vs private label, to know what is best for your brand.

2. Managing resources

Initially, you will have to invest both time and resources to build your brand. Balancing all your commitments and keeping your brand afloat can quickly become challenging.

Solve it by: Creating realistic goals and a budget so you can streamline your workflows and using automation to help you maximize your productivity.

Example: Researching which shipping software is the best and gives you the most bang for your buck as you begin expanding your business across the country and abroad.

Further reading: 5 best shipping software for enterprise businesses

3. Building credibility

Newly established brands don’t have tons of positive reviews or customer testimonials to back up claims. Without this credibility, it can be difficult to build a rapport with your audience and gain their trust.

Solve it by: Making an effort to engage with them regularly, taking their feedback into practical consideration, and showing that you care about them by maintaining transparency.

Example: Setting up a TikTok shop so your audience can become paying consumers with one click.

4. Facing criticism

Negative reviews and backlash online can damage your reputation on social media. Both constructive criticism and public scrutiny can hurt your image and morale.

Solve it by: Responding to helpful criticism with grace and showcasing improvement, and continuing to execute sales strategies that are tried and tested.

Example: Make sure you have insurance cover for your e-commerce business as a safety net for you in case of a sudden accident.

5. Changing marketplace

Brands that don’t keep up with the latest trends and digital marketing strategies are quick to become irrelevant today. Ever-changing marketplaces and unpredictable search algorithms are growing unpredictable by the day.

Solve it by: Staying informed about the landscape, learning about emerging technologies, and embracing experimentation to show your audience that you can adapt and evolve with them.

Example: Reading your demand forecast data and fulfilling global consumer needs by expanding your brand internationally.

There is no doubt about the fact that starting a brand today can be the way for you to become a part of the pie that is worth more than $4,000 billion. Yes, that’s a billion with a B.

But carving out a thick slice of the pie is no easy feat, whether it’s designing your Shopify store or researching third-party logistics.

As an e-commerce brand seller, your first-hand experience can only help as you create your brand. While there will always be challenges as you grow, putting your consumers first and being authentic with every success and every failure will help you set yourself up for success. The rest is a matter of funding your business growth as you scale.

Sign-up to Veeqo to manage your multichannel inventory and shipping across integrations including Amazon, Walmart, eBay and Shopify.

About the author

K

Written by Kaleigh Moore

Ecommerce Writer

Kaleigh is an expert on ecommerce, retail, and SaaS. She previously owned an ecommerce business, and now writes for the likes of Shopify, Forbes, and Vogue Business.

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