We’ve talked in the past how to source products that you sell on Amazon FBA and elsewhere. Today, we’d like to talk about how to build your brand with those products.
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The problem many online sellers have is they’re looking for a quick buck. They have dollar signs in their eyes, and nothing can make them think of anything other than money. This is only the right approach if you want to make money today while forgetting about tomorrow. It’s kind of like sitting down to a meal of candy bars. Sure, you’re going to enjoy eating meals such as that right now. If you keep it up, one of these days you’re seriously going to regret it.
How to source your private label products?
We’re going to assume that you know how to source private label products. If you don’t know how then read some of our other articles. We cover this in great detail, and there’s no need for us to regurgitate what’s already been said. Basically, a private label product is something that you have a company make for you. The label the product is yours, and the customer doesn’t know that you don’t own the factory. There’s a large number of products being sold at Amazon and elsewhere that use this same method of production.
Now let’s turn our attention to helping you build a reputable brand that people will feel safe encouraging their friends and family to buy from you.
The cost of your product should reflect its quality:
You’re going to have to do a little market research for this. You will want to buy the items that you’re going to be competing against. Why? It’s vital that you know the quality of the products that sell for about the same price as yours. Customers have a reasonable expectation for products within different price ranges.
You expect cheap or mid-range priced products to be of lesser quality than those that are costlier. The only way you know the quality of the products you’re competing with is by testing them out. You can rest assured the big wigs at Burger King are eating at McDonald’s. There’s no other way to know what you’re competition is up to without testing their product.
The description of your product needs to be based on reality:
So, you think your yoga pants are better than anything out there? Well, it’s best that you don’t go overboard and describe them as such. You will end up causing yourself a whole lot of grief if they aren’t the best yoga pants in the entire world. Instead of trying to lure people in with false promises, create a product that gets rave reviews. Let the customers do the talking for you. If they feel that your yoga pants are the best, they will let everyone know with a glowing review.
Work with a factory that delivers consistent quality:
The world of online marketing is filled with people who are too lazy to do much of anything. That sounds bad, but it’s the truth. You are going to be competing against people who are product quality is all over the map. Take a half hour and read the reviews of your competitor’s products. You’ll immediately spot at least one that has quality control issues.
You will want to do some online research about the factory who makes your products. It’s also essential that you have the product in your hands when you order new batches. If you go the route of having the manufacturer send the item directly to Amazon, then you’ll want to order a few from there. You may be able to ask the factory to send a few your way without having to go the Amazon route. This is one of the reasons why we think it’s best for you to have the factory to send all your products to you.
It’s essential that you’re able to touch and feel the products to make sure they are of consistent quality. If you’ve bought merchandise from the same factory in the past, then you’ll want to hold onto a few samples so that you can compare them with other batches. Quality does matter, and you’ve got to keep your eye on it because the customers will. You don’t want to drop the ball and end up receiving tons of unnecessary negative reviews of your product.
Understand that some products have a high rate of returns:
Items such as clothing will always have a high rate of product returns. Why? How many pairs of pants do you try on at the store before buying the perfect pair? Customers on Amazon do the same thing, and they’re actually encouraged to do so. You’ll also find the same problems to a varying degree with food items and cosmetics.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that someone might buy a food item and not like the way it tastes. If you’re worried about returns, then don’t go into these areas. It’s a part of doing business in a sector where people feel comfortable to return a product that’s not 100% to their liking.
How much effort should you put into building your private label brand away from Amazon?
Let’s assume that you’re selling primarily on Amazon. How much time and energy should you put into building brand awareness away from Amazon?
This in itself is a difficult question to answer. The problem is, you could be wasting your time with social media. Studies are showing that social media as a whole isn’t as good at creating sales as people might like to believe. You can end up spending way too much time at a place like Facebook and see minimal monetary gains from it.
Your best bet is to advertise on the site where you’re selling stuff. So, if you’re selling on Amazon, put your resources into advertising there. People are already at the site, and they want to buy. They only need a slight nudge to put them over the edge. Plus, you also get a bump in Amazon’s algorithm if they buy. If you spend all your time on social media or with SEO, it’s entirely possible you will build a following that won’t buy anything from you. Retweets and reposts are a great free form of advertising, but it’s only worth something if it drives customers. If it doesn’t, then you’ve just wasted a whole lot of time.
Keep a close eye on ROI when building brand awareness on outside platforms:
You hear a lot of people talking about paying Instagram influencers for shoutouts. You’ve probably also heard of people paying YouTubers to promote their product. If you go this route, you’re going to want to observe the return of your investment. Many of the people who sell such forms of advertisements are shady.
They are people who have built up their account using some pretty devious methods. Not only that, but their way of promotion may not do your product any good. Those of you who give this a try should consider yourselves lucky if you can break even on such forms of advertisements. Don’t pay the first person you stumble upon to advertise your product. You’ll want to do plenty of research to make sure the influencer is legitimate with active followers who interact with their content.
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It’s going to take a long time to build your brand:
How long will it take for you to build a private label brand from the ground up? Years. That’s not the answer many of you were hoping for. We could lie and say that you’ll build your brand within weeks or a few months. It takes time for people to get your product in their hand.
Your private label products will have to be on the market for several years before they gain traction. How many people will you have to sell your item to before one single word of mouth sale? It depends on your product, but it’s not going to be your first sale. It probably won’t be your tenth. You may get a sale from word of mouth after selling a hundred items.
This isn’t an area of business for those who are seeking fly by night success. If you plan on sticking around and building a loyal following, then private label products may be a good fit for you. Though, you’re going to have to do a lot of trial and error. Anyone who has ever said this form of business is easy is a liar. It’s anything but easy and you’ll more than likely burn through thousands of dollars before finding a scalable product. You can’t expect to hit a home run every time you’re at-bat.
It takes a certain level of business and marketing savvy to be successful in selling private label products. If you can do it, then the sky is the limit. But, the path to success is paved with plenty of failures. You will fail, and sometimes it’ll make you feel like giving up. Always look back to your past actions to seek out where you failed. If you’re honest with yourself and can point out your shortcomings, success may be a little easier. Learning from your mistakes means you’re growing and being in denial about them means you’re not ready for success.