August 05, 2015 | Shares:

4 eCommerce Marketing & Branding Masters
3 min.

ecommerce branding

There are some eCommerce stores that really hit home runs – they seem to have cracked the formula that makes an average brand an eCommerce marketing and branding master.

These stores do have a big advantage, they know the secret to driving long-term success:

Gain a following of customers who don’t just become shoppers, but brand ambassadors.

Yeah, we know, easier said than done, right? And is that really all it takes to play in the big leagues? Surprisingly, yes.

Brand fans can be more valuable than customers who convert.

Not only are they emotionally connected and loyal to brands they love, but they’re also spreading the word to all their friends.

Great branding builds a strong fan base, and there’s a few shops who are showing how to stand out in the crowded eCommerce world.

Here’s how these relatively new-to-the-scene shops have absolutely dominated above the competition through smart branding and a strong commitment to using brand fans and UGC to grow their customer base.

Chubbies: Millennial eCommerce Marketing Masters

Chubbies sells shorts, but they have become the shorts because of how well they tune in to their audience.

They take the cake when it comes to impeccable Millennial branding – to start with, they really know how to use microcopy and never lose an opportunity to show personality in their content. Take their product names, for one.

With shorts sporting names like “The Last Call,” “The Rambos,” “The Legends,” and “The Grizzlies,” it’s clear Chubbies knows how to create products for their beer-pong loving fratboy demographic. Even reading their product descriptions is fun! ecommerce marketing Additionally, they break standard voice rules.

They know to attract their audience, they need to talk like them, whether that means using all caps, grabbing attention with unique “sent from” names, or using slang.

ecommerce branding

To put it simply, Chubbies isn’t scared to do whatever it takes to appeal to their audience.

Their shoppers aren’t looking for another stuffy, impersonal clothing store, they want to buy shorts from bros just like them. And Chubbies gives them exactly what they want.

UGC Brownie Points:

Chubbies has become a must-have item on college campuses because of their supremely awesome newsletter that takes user-generated photos from their Instagram and sends out their favorites each week.

Customers participate for a chance to be seen on the newsletter, and Chubbies gets the benefit of having UGC that does their marketing for them.

Warby Parker: The Classiest Glasses on the Block

There’s a reason that Warby Parker has survived tons of copycats that try to piggyback off their awesome company: impeccable branding.

Warby Parker is a great example of a brand who takes their product – glasses – and seeks to create a lifestyle around it.

An average brand would just think about how they could brand their glasses – affordable, luxury, hip, modern…But Warby Parker thinks about how they can build a brand from their glasses.

Take a look at their about page: ecommerce branding

They don’t just sell glasses. They sell social consciousness, revolution, supreme ideals, a sense of rebellion.

Warby Parker sells a lifestyle, not a product.

Warby Parker’s killer branding strategy starts with attention to detail.

They explain that every aspect of their branding is deliberate – from their blog, which has a literary focus – to their physical stores.

UGC Brownie Points:

Warby Parker rose to prominence because of their smart customer content marketing strategy.

They allowed customers to order multiple pairs of glasses to try on at home and then encouraged them to share photos on social media (and even ask friends to vote on the best) so they could raise brand awareness through social sharing.

This user-generated content marketing strategy spread the Warby Parker brand like wildfire, earning them a huge share of the marketplace before their competition even had a chance to see what was coming.

Beardbrand: Beardcare Products Built for the Urban Beardsman

The popular beard oil and beard grooming store Beardbrand makes facial hair a lifestyle statement. By appealing to rugged men who want to take care of their beards, Beardbrand enforces their branding with product names like Tree Ranger, Lumber Yard Beard Oil, and Urban Garden. ecommerce branding Beardbrand also excels at content marketing. As founder Eric Bandholz said in an interview with Yotpo, “We don’t just sell stuff: We provide style inspiration alongside beard care products.”

And it’s true – their Urban Beardsman magazine is a true example of content marketing gold.

Packed with tips on fashion, style, haircare, and the intersection of manliness and refinement, it speaks directly to their target audience.

UGC Brownie Points:

Beardbrand uses customer reviews and testimonials to increase loyalty and engagement among their current customer base while increasing trust among new customers.

Beardbrand also has a strong brand community of dedicated enthusiasts, and they harness this to bring new traffic through word-of-mouth marketing.

Pura Vida: Bracelets For a Cause

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out just what it is that has taken Pura Vida from another bracelet brand to the bracelet brand.

Their product is simple, but their branding is strong.

Bracelets branded as Yoga Girl Pack, Beach Life, Coral Reefin’ and Baja Blast, conjure up images of free-spirited, tanned and toned, California beach bohemians.

Who wouldn’t love to spend in the free, easy, and breezy surfer life, slung up with their yoga mat and surfboard?

But, unlike Beardbrand, Pura Vida doesn’t necessarily seek to appeal to people who are already living this lifestyle.

It’s not just made for California beach bums slung up on the beach with their coconut water, yoga mat, and surfboard: it’s made for people who want to be them (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?)

To re-inforce this aspirational image and appeal to their customer community, they use language in microcontent like “Join the movement.” ecommerce branding

Phrases like this make people feel like they are a part of something – and they are, since a portion of all the purchases goes to give full-time jobs to Costa Rican artisans.

UGC Brownie Points:

Pura Vida relies heaving on using their customer’s content in marketing – and it’s paying off. In just one year, they have already generated over 25,000 reviews.

But the real magic for Pura Vida has been incorporating this user-generated content into their marketing strategy.

Pura Vida offers a discount to customers who share reviews on social and started generating thousands of new orders a month.

They average 17 customers a day sharing reviews to social and get 6,000 visits a month that come directly from reviews customers have shared on Twitter  — talk about word-of-mouth marketing!

Additionally, they use reviews in their Facebook ads, resulting in a 35% decrease in CPA. Their most successful ad gets a click-to-conversion rate of 17% with 255% ROI.

Conclusions

Awesome, so these brands rock – how can you replicate their success? First, let’s take a look at what they all have in common.

  • While in different verticals, all use UGC on social media. This has the impact of bringing new traffic through word-of-mouth marketing, enforcing trust, building sales off social proof, and engaging current customers.
  • They all idealize the lifestyle surrounding their brand. Rather than trying to sell by showing off their products, they create branding around an idea. This builds community as a specific niche of people will be attracted to the brand for what it represents, not necessarily for the items they are selling.
  • Each of these brands takes advantage of microcontent, like product names, to stay in line with their branding. They never miss an opportunity to make every word count.
Aimee Millwood
Aimee Millwood, Director of Content at Yotpo
Aimee loves hummus and hates misplaced commas.

@aimeemillwood – Follow me

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