In the final episode of the e-commerce mini-series, our CEO Nicole Webb speaks to IMPACT’s Group Account Director Katie Eastment to explore brand building from a communications agency perspective.
When working with a new client, the first question that e-commerce businesses will ask an agency is: how will you help us drive sales or return on investment? While this is a loaded question, one of the ways agencies can help is brand building.
So, what is brand building/marketing?
Katie defines brand building as the long-term investment or strategy used to build or maintain a business’s reputation and, in many cases, establish an emotional connection with customers.
Building a brand effectively helps establish it as an industry leader and authority, fosters credibility and trust, which leads to loyal customers who are less price sensitive, linking back to ROI.
“It is a long-term strategy; it is not going to happen overnight and needs to be running all the time,” Katie states.
How does PR support brand building?
Katie shares the starting point for building a brand, e-commerce or not, is an audit. This looks at where a brand’s reputation currently sits and how it compares to its competitors.
“We then run a workshop to uncover any sticking points that might not be visible… build content pillars to give a framework for messaging across all channels (and) craft a compelling narrative that will resonate with your audiences.”
Nicole adds messaging needs to be consistent, transparent, and genuine to line up with business objectives. It is up to the agency to help shape these perceptions and foster trust to gain loyal customers, who then become brand advocates.
PR also holds immense value in brand marketing because it helps businesses build credibility and visibility through third parties i.e., media, partnerships, and influencer collaborations.
How to measure successful brand building
Katie explains there are several metrics that can be used to determine whether brand building has been successful, including:
- Brand awareness or recognition
- Brand perception
- Brand associations
- Brand consideration or purchase intent
- Share of voice presence vs competitors.
Nicole recommends setting these measures at the beginning of a campaign to provide a benchmark to determine how a campaign or project has shifted the dial.
What’s more important: brand building or performance marketing?
Katie believes that both are vital for e-commerce businesses.
“You need brand building to be turned on at all times. The focus of the brand building activity might change, but it needs to be there, it needs to be there ticking along so that it continues to build.”
In the end, both link back to business objectives and audiences. There may be a time when businesses may need to invest more in performance marketing or vice versa. Both are vital for long-term success.
You can read Katie’s recent piece on build branding, published on Mumbrella here!
Are you an e-commerce brand owner? To learn more about how we can help your business with brand building and marketing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org