Hello and welcome to another blog where I share insights into how and why we do what we do here at Plant Vitamins. Since I talked last time about Influencer marketing, I wanted to follow up with something very closely related and arguably one of the most important parts of running an online business, which is branding! Regardless of if you own a business or not, I think you will find the information below to still be interesting and help you better understand the different stores you make purchases from and choose to support.
First off let’s take a brief look at the different types of stores that exist in the online space.
Marketplaces – Think of kijiji, Faire, Facebook marketplace and other websites that allow people to sell products on the marketplace. These sites typically make money on seller or buyer fees, add revenue, or by promoting product listings.
Drop Shipping Stores – Drop shipping stores are very common and most likely without even knowing it you have purchased from a drop shipping site at some point if you like to shop online. These stores find manufactures and wholesalers that are willing to ship products directly to the customers they bring in through their site. Drop shipping sites make money by charging a higher price than they receive from the supplier leaving them a percentage as profit.
Brand Stores – These are the stores that create and sell their own branded products, think Plant Vitamins, Magic Spoon, Nike, Etc. There is often a lot more work in the beginning of starting a brand as you are starting from scratch and selling a product under a name no one has ever heard of or maybe even working on creating a product that is not even on the market! In any case brands take time to build, to grow their community, and to become a trusted name that people recognize. Branded products often carry a higher margin as the brand adds value to the product.
So why does any of this matter? Well, it really doesn’t but I wanted to differentiate the types of businesses that we come across every day online because branding can look so different based on the industry and type of business. Regardless of the type of online business, branding is crucial to the longevity and growth of the business.
Now that we have established some different types of online businesses, I want to dive into what branding means to me. If you look at a typical brand board, what you will usually see is a logo, logo variations, colours, fonts, and maybe some guiding values, and words around the brands look and feel. What this brand board really is is a guide for marketing and content creation. It is an amazing tool to save time, stay consistent, and create cohesive content for a business. So with this explanation you might come to the conclusion that a brand is simply the sum of its branding. This may even be true for some brands but definitely not for great brands! Great brands understand that their brand is the sum of their branding and the people that make up the brand. There is no branding document no matter how well prepared that can stand on its own without the proper people to make it a reality. This means that as a solopreneur you are really your brand more than your logo or brand colours, embrace that and never be afraid to show who you are. Then as a business grows and you are hiring employees consider not only their skills and abilities but how they fit with your branding. I think so often with business we can become focused on the technical side, the flashy marketing, and assume that these big brands have figured out some secret formula for their brand and success.
What I know to be true from my experience is that these things are important but there is no secret, what it comes down to is great people create great brands. So if you don’t have a brand board and you are running a business go make one! There are lots of great templates and tools that can assist you with this and it will save you time and create more cohesive branding but at the end of the day what the brand is and will become is up to the people that are a part of it.
At Plant Vitamins I am so lucky to have a great team that has allowed the brand to grow into more than I ever imagined and it is very clear to me that without the people involved the brand and business would be far less than it has already become. We look forward to continuing to grow this brand with you and if you have read this far thank you so much. I would love to hear your thoughts on branding, your favourite brands, or anything that may have come up when reading this!