Branding Your Ecommerce Business – A Beginner’s Guide

When you are just starting out with your ecommerce business, one of the things you want to get in place from the very beginning is your branding because everything else is basically going to be built from this.

But what is involved when it comes to branding your online store?

Well there are actually quite a few different elements when it comes to branding and many business overlook at least on of these, so let’s take a look at what you need to do…

1: Define Your Target Audience and Create a Brand Persona

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One of the first things to do when it comes to branding your online store is to define who your target audience is and to create a brand persona, this is done by understanding who your ideal customers are, by identifying:

  • Their demographics
  • Interests
  • Pain points 

You can the begin to craft a detailed persona representing your ideal customer, this helps your branding resonate with the your target audience, which can create a connection from the outset.

Research Your Competition

If you aren’t sure who your target audience is, one of the best ways to find you is by researching your competitors and industry as a whole. 

Start by identifying your main competitors and analyzing their: 

  • Branding strategies
  • Product offerings
  • Customer engagement tactics

By paying attention to their strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to find opportunities for how to make your brand stand out.

This will also allow you to identify any gaps in the market or areas where competitors are undeserving customers and can help you position your ecommerce business effectively.

But it is important to remember that the goal isn’t to replicate what others are doing, instead, use this knowledge to innovate and create a distinct brand identity that sets you apart in the marketplace.

Identifying Your Ideal Customer

Next up is to start crafting who your ideal customer is and a simple way to start is to picture what that person is in your mind, this will help you to identify:

Basic Demographics, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Location

Deeper Insights, such as:

  • Values
  • Interests
  • Lifestyle
  • Purchasing behaviors

You can also do market research by conducting surveys, interviews or use analytics tools to gather insights into your audience’s preferences, pain points, and aspirations. 

This information will help you tailor your branding messages and product offerings to resonate with their specific needs and desires.

You can also consider creating customer personas that represent different segments of your target audience and these personas will serve as a guide for developing marketing strategies and crafting content that speaks directly to your customers’ motivations and challenges.

Create A Detailed Brand Persona

Once you have identified your target market, you want to create a brand persona that matches your brand values but also resonates with your target audience as this can help to humanize your business and stop it from being another faceless one!

Consider aspects such as: 

  • Your brand’s tone of voice, style preferences and communication style
  • What does your brand care about? 
  • What are its goals and aspirations? 

Understanding these elements will help you craft a consistent and authentic brand as you aren’t pretending to be something in order to generate a sale.

Also, think about how your brand persona would interact with your target customers across different touchpoints, from social media to customer support as this persona should embody the essence of your brand and serve as a reference point for all branding decisions.

2: Choose Your Business and Domain Name

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The next and very important step is to come up with a name for your business.

Your name is one of the core elements of your business and something that you build your business, products and marketing around but it is also something that is becoming more and more challenging for the reasons that are covered below.

Brainstorm To Find A Memorable, Brandable Business Name

You may already have a business name in mind but there may be circumstances where you aren’t able to go with your desired name or you may just be struggling to come up with any ideas, this is where brainstorming can be very helpful.

Start by gathering inspiration from your brand values, products and target audience, aim for a name that is:

  • Short – good brand names are usually 1 to 2 words
  • Unique – something that makes your name stand out from the crowd
  • Easy to Remember – so that people not only remember your name but also how it is spelled

You can also consider wordplay, alliteration or combining relevant keywords to create a distinct identity but also think about how the name will sound when spoken aloud, how it will look visually as a logo or on packaging and how the domain name looks (more on that later).

You ideally want your business name to resonate with your target audience and align with your brand positioning, which is why it can be very helpful to test potential names with friends, family or focus groups to get feedback as what you think is great, might not be what others do.

Once you’ve generated a list of options, narrow it down to a few top choices and then move on to the next stage.

Check Domain Availability

Before you dive head-first into your branding efforts, you want to make sure your ideal domain name is available and you want it to be available as what is known as a TLD or Top Level Domain, which is the suffix at the end of the domain name such as .com.

Which TLD you opt for can depend on where you are selling to, for example:

  • If you are selling to the US or internationally, then you ideally want to go for a .com
  • If you are just selling to a single country, then you can opt for the country-specific TLD such as .ca for Canada, for the UK or for Australia

But getting TLDs is becoming more difficult and you may find that your ideal domain is already in use or someone has bought it and is trying to resell it for a profit (sometimes a very large profit!) and this is where you might have to look at alternatives, such as:

  • Other TLD including .co, .net and .org
  • Modifications such as hyphens or additional words

And while these can be appealing and a quick fix to getting your store up and running, could going for one of these options cause potential problems in the future? Such as people going to the .com for example only to find your site isn’t there.

Sometimes it is better to think again and set up a solid foundation for your brand, rather than going for a quick fix. 

Top Tip – avoid using companies that offer a free or 99¢ domain name as the renewal fees can be very high and you may need to pay in order to transfer it to another company. One of our favorite domain name providers is Namecheap as they are reasonably priced, transparent and have good customer service.

Check Social Media Handles

Before clicking the buy button on a domain name, you want to check the availability of social media handles as you want brand continuity across your domain name and social media channels.

Ideally, you want to secure your brand name across all social platforms, even ones you aren’t planning on using, including:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

And any other social media platform you can think of but as with domain names, you may find that your desired social handle isn’t available on one, multiple or all the social media platforms, if this is the case, you may want to check for variations, such as:

  • Using hyphens or underscores
  • Adding additional words

If you find that all but one account is available, then you are more than likely on to a winner and in this situation, it is fine to go for a slight modification such as an underscore in the name but always keep checking to see if your desired one becomes available. 

Top Tip – If your desired domain name and social media accounts are available, get them ASAP as leaving them could result in someone else getting them and putting you back to square one.

3: Design Your Brand Identity and Visual Assets

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Once you have got all of your names and accounts sorted, you want to start creating the visual branding assets for your business and there are a few things to consider:

Create A Logo & Choose A Color Scheme and Fonts that Reflect Your Brand

These are some of the most important design elements for your brand and when it comes to your logo, some key things you want to think about:

  • Will it be text only, a design or a combination of both?
  • What font are you going to use?
  • What colors will you use?
  • Will the design work on your website, socials, products and packaging?

When it comes to creating your logo, you can use tools like Canva that offer lots of design elements or you can outsource this process to a graphic designer who specializes in creating logos.

Brand Example – Nike

While there were many examples of logo branding that we could have chosen, we think Nike is one of the best as their logo is instantly recognizable.

And if you see just the tick on its own, whether on a piece of clothing or a pair of sneakers, you just know that they a Nike, they also replicated this with the Nike Jordan brand they created.

The next thing is your brand colors and they can make a big impact, so much so that some brands are instantly recognizable (and sometimes trademark their colors) and a great example of this is Tiffany with their Tiffany Blue and yes, it is trademarked. 

When it comes to your brand colors, you want to decide if they are going to be used:

  • In your logo
  • On your website
  • On your packaging

And when it comes to colors, different types of colors can work for different types of businesses, for example:

  • Luxury Brands often use deep rich colors
  • Tech brands often use bright and vibrant colors
  • Health and Wellness often use pastel colors

You may already have a color in mind but checking out what your competition, especially what the established brands are using can give you a good indication of the type of color you should be using as they have probably spent a lot of money researching it. 

Brand Example: Tiffany & Co

You know you have nailed a color when it is named after your brand, which is exactly what Tiffany & Co has done as the greeny-blue color that appears on their logo and packages is known as Tiffany Blue.

Tiffany Branded Packaging
Tiffany Branded Packaging – Img Credit Tiffany & Co

After this is choosing your fonts and as with colors, they are very important as fonts can help convey your companies message and tone, for example:

  • Serif fonts can give your brand a sophisticated look
  • Sans Serif fonts are often very modern and sleek-looking
  • Decorative fonts can be used if you want a look that is a little out of the ordinary
  • Script fonts are based on handwriting and can give a more casual appearance

But when choosing fonts for your business, make sure that they are easy to read!

Create Branded Templates For Your Online Store, Emails & Ads

Once you have decided on your brands colors and fonts, it is time to start putting them to use in your business and one of the best ways to do this is by creating branded templates for your online store, emails and ads

By designing templates that incorporate your brand colors, fonts and imagery, you can create a cohesive look and feel that enables you to maintain consistency and reinforce your brand identity across different mediums and platforms.

For your online store, design templates for product pages, category pages and checkout processes that reflect your brand aesthetic and messaging as consistent branding throughout the shopping experience can help to build trust and credibility with customers.

Taking this a step further, you want to add your brand elements into email templates for newsletters, promotional offers and order confirmations.

You also want to design branded templates for digital ads to ensure they align with your overall brand image and messaging and consistency in ad design can increase brand recognition and improve ad performance.

4: Create Search Engine Optimized Brand Messaging

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In today’s digital landscape, creating search engine optimized (SEO) brand messaging is vital for ecommerce success as the process of creating compelling content can not only build trust and a connection with your audience but it can also help you drive organic traffic to your website.

Create An About Page Sharing Your Brand Story & Mission

Creating an engaging about page is one of the best ways to convey your brand’s story and mission to potential customers.

You can start by sharing the inspiration behind your ecommerce business, including what inspired you to start, the challenges you’ve faced and overcome and your vision for the future. Make sure to communicate your brand’s mission statement clearly, highlighting the values that drive your company’s decisions and actions.

Use storytelling techniques to make your brand relatable and memorable, focusing on what sets you apart from competitors and use visuals, such as photos or videos, to bring your brand to life and create a more immersive experience for visitors.

You can also use this page to show the benefits your products or services offer to customers and how they align with your brand’s mission.

Creating A Tagline, Slogan and Value Proposition

This is something that not all brands do and you might not need to do all of them for your brand but they can be helpful in building as they can help you communicate who you are as a brand and your unique selling point (USP).

  • Your tagline should encapsulates your brand’s personality and resonates with your target audience, emphasizing what sets you apart
  • Your slogan should be catchy, memorable and reinforce your brand’s mission or key benefits.
  • A clear value proposition should subtly show the value your products or services provide to customers and why they should choose you over competitors

But it is important to ensure consistency across all messaging channels to reinforce your brand’s identity and increase brand recognition.

Setting The Tone For Your Brand

Setting the tone for your brand is like establishing its personality as it is basically the way it speaks and interacts with customers.

Consider your brand’s character: Is it friendly and approachable, or serious and authoritative?

This tone should be consistent across all communication channels, from website content to social media posts to customer service interactions.

Deciding the tone of your ecommerce business comes down to many factors, including:

  • How you want your business to communicate
  • Who your target audience is
  • Industry norms (unless you are looking to disrupt the industry)
  • Your brand values

You also want your brands tone to help tell your customers about your:

  • Brand values
  • Benefits
  • Unique selling points

Remember, the tone you set will influence how customers perceive your brand and can impact their overall experience and make sure to regularly review and refine your brand’s tone and key messages to reflect changes in your brand, market trends and customer feedback.

5: Build Brand Awareness and Trust

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You can build the best brand on paper but without building awareness and trust, you won’t get anywhere and while much of this falls under marketing your ecommerce business, it is still worth covering here so that you can create a plan for how to do this.

Leverage Content Marketing, Email Marketing & Social Media

There are many ways to build trust in an ecommerce brand, with some of the most important being:

  • Content marketing – this involves creating valuable and relevant content that educates, entertains, or inspires your audience while subtly promoting your products or services, this can include blog posts, videos, infographics or user-generated content
  • Email marketing – this allows you to communicate directly with your audience, delivering personalized messages, promotions, and updates. Segment your email list based on customer behavior and preferences to ensure relevance and maximize engagement
  • Social media – these platforms offer a powerful way to connect with your audience, build relationships, and amplify your brand message by sharing engaging content, interacting with followers and leveraging paid advertising to reach new customers and drive traffic to your ecommerce store

By strategically leveraging these marketing channels, you can increase brand visibility, attract and retain customers and ultimately grow your ecommerce business.

Spotlight Your Brand Story, Values and Purpose

Spotlighting your brand story, values, and purpose is a powerful way to connect with your audience on a deeper level and differentiate your ecommerce business from your competition and this can be done by:

  • Sharing the story behind your brand’s inception, highlighting the challenges you’ve overcome and the passion that drives your mission
  • Communicating your brand values clearly and emphasizing what matters most to your company and how those values guide your decisions and actions, this authenticity helps to build trust and resonates with customers who share similar values
  • Communicate your brand’s purpose, what is its reason for existing beyond making a profit? Whether it’s to empower individuals, support sustainability or foster community, aligning your brand with a meaningful purpose can inspire loyalty and attract like-minded customers

There are many people who will buy from a company or brand just because their values align with their own and this is why it is so important to communicate this clearly to potential customers, it can also encourage existing customers to share and recommend your business to their like-minded family and friends.

Promote UGC, Testimonials & Reviews To Gain Trust

Promoting user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and reviews is a powerful strategy for building trust and credibility with potential customers as it is a form of social proof and people are more likely to buy from a business if they see that other people have had good experiences in the past.

This is done by encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences with your products or services through reviews, testimonials or social media posts.

UGC provides authentic, unbiased perspectives that resonate with other shoppers, helping to alleviate doubts and build confidence in your brand. Showcase UGC prominently on your website, social media channels, and marketing materials to demonstrate the positive experiences of real customers.

Additionally, actively collect and display customer testimonials and reviews on your online store, showing feedback from satisfied customers reassures potential buyers and can significantly influence their purchasing decisions, this can also work for negative reviews as well (people find seeing all positive reviews strange).

By displaying negative reviews, you can show customers how you politely communicate and look to resolve issues, which can make people feel more comfortable dealing with you, should anything go wrong.


Branding is a very important part of building a business and in some cases can be the difference-maker as to which business a customer buys from as many people are more likely to buy from a brand whose ideals are the same as theirs.

For some businesses, their brand is also part of their USP (Unique Selling Point) and your branding should come through in all parts of your business, including your website, social media and marketing as you want people to know who you are and a strong brand is important for this.

Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!