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The Importance and Impact of a Branding that is Positioned Right - Amazon Marketing Tips with Zahra Cruzan - Part 2
November 22, 2021
The Importance and Impact of a Branding that is Positioned Right - Amazon Marketing Tips with Zahra Cruzan - Part 2
Things we discussed in this session:

A. Part 1

B. Part 2

Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:

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Transcription in this episode:
[00:00:01] spk_2: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce [00:00:04] spk_0: coaching and business [00:00:05] spk_2: strategies with and er [00:00:06] spk_1: not and amy [00:00:07] spk_0: we's so we've got we've talked a lot of concept here but I would love to know like step by step, like if you're going to launch a new product kind of what you know what are maybe some 3-5 Simple steps that maybe people should go down on that on that path to hopefully, you know, get a successful product launch and on the branding standpoint. [00:00:29] spk_1: Yes, so assuming that the product launches is a brand new brand launch, they don't have any other products, we're not doing a sub brand or anything like that. The first thing you want to do is you want to create your identity and your structure, so that is creating your framework. Um there is nothing more important than that now when you're first starting out, don't try and get to details, so keep it simple, you're going to have a general idea of who you know and your frameworks gonna defined for you, who you are, what you do, who you do it for. Um why it matters to you. Those are your frameworks, they're all going to be educated guess is the first time around, right? You do the best you can with what you've got because it's all in theory it's all a hypothesis, you gotta throw it out there. Um the second thing you want to work on it, but you want to have a framework for that. The second thing you want to work on is going to be your experience mapping. So map out some of your relations. So some of your customer interactions and some of your customer journeys. So where so look at some of the places that your your campaigns are going out. So let's just say they go to your amazon listing, What do they do? Do they have, are your F. A. Q. S robust enough? Are your photos giving them a 3 60 view? Do they see if do you have a sizing chart? Do you have you know like what are you doing from an experienced mapping standpoint? That's going to give them what they need, mapping it out point by point. So whether you are on the digital experience or you are in an in person experience, you map it out, open the doors. What do I smell? What do I see? Do I get greeted? How much space is between me and the first rack? Do I feel like this or do I have room to breathe? Right. Um Everything is laid out. So even if you think about a retail store, right? Um when you walk in, what's right in front of you, like a ton of stuff that you can't get through, it's all racks. Why? Because they are pushing you to the outer edges because they don't want you to go straight to the counter to pay your credit card or to return something, You want you to walk all the way around the store, find something else that you like before you get to that cashier desk. So you've got to purchase in hand before you leave and that's all done intuitively that there's no yellow arrows that are like you must go this way, but they set up the experience in such a way that you're just kind of, you follow, you follow their intention and you create that and you do that in a digital experience to with your listing with your website. Um and so the second part of that is defining and again, keep it simple. You don't have to define every single experience, pick the top two or three that are going to get you the most traction, you know before purchase and immediately after purchase. How do you nurture that that sale, you know? And then the third part is the culture and that is getting engagement, engagement with the branch, your marketing campaigns, how you're going, you know to message yourself in position yourself and so if you can if you can tap into those three areas in that first year in a very, you know, simplistic. Keep it simple. Less is more the less you do, the more you can measure the more time you have to measure and track what your what your data is so that you can optimize it for the next year. Um I would those, those would be my my first three places to go. [00:03:45] spk_0: Yeah, that's great advice and I absolutely hate the uh I call him the Upsell corral, You know like that you have to go through to get to the checkout and especially if you have kids, you're just like, you want to ring people's next because they're just like, can I get the gun? Can I get [00:03:59] spk_1: that? You're like, no, just like we're leaving. Yes. And it was super cool about that. So like when you're doing that, you can measure. So, so for instance, I say you're on it. So you're doing it like a trip, like a phone wire, right? Like you're doing that trip wire where you go in. And so you get this like super awesome book for 97 cents plus shipping. Right? And so you click on it. Like, yeah, I'm getting this book and then you get that upset. Hey, did you want to take the workshop with the video workshop for an extra 100 bucks? And you're like, okay, maybe the first one. Either you take it or you don't, but you're not annoyed. It's expected. But seven up cells later. You're like, oh my God, forget it. I'm just xing out of this. And so that's what this first year is, is a testing like where does your customer fall where their boundaries? At what point is it? Oh, that's really helpful. This is a great accessory for what I bought and where does it turn into? Oh my God, leave me alone. You've already like, I just want to get out of here, I've been trying, I've been trying to pay you and give you my money for 10 minutes now and you won't let me do it until I agree to give you all of it. And so there is kind of like figuring that sequencing out and and measuring it. [00:05:02] spk_0: That was the genius though of, of russell Bronson and click funnels, right, is he charges you on each step? So step one, you get charged like people don't realize this, you put your credit card info, you get charged then the up sell, they've already got your credit card info saying, [00:05:15] spk_1: oh yeah, that's cool, [00:05:16] spk_0: boom, you're already charged like each [00:05:19] spk_1: one of those steps, right? Right, like [00:05:21] spk_0: it's genius. It's, I mean that's why click funnels so many people, you know, started using it. I mean it's not as you know, great of a concept now that everybody's kind of copied it and iterated on it, but um yeah, it's crazy how how they mastered that, that, you know, step by step up cell, which was very simple, but one of those things that nobody really thought of before that. [00:05:42] spk_1: So yeah, great, yeah, [00:05:47] spk_0: I love his book, you know, he talks about selling and he was like a potato gun or something that he like his first product and and that's kind of how they got the idea for click funnels. If you haven't read his books, they're, they're on a marketing standpoint, I would say untouchable. [00:06:00] spk_1: So [00:06:01] spk_0: yeah, so one of the things I, I really, um, this is one of the biggest mistakes I see, I see people make on a branding standpoint is naming, it's one of the most basic things is naming your company or your products, right? I mean you'll get people number one, they'll either get too specific, um, you know, they'll, they'll say like, you know, organic dog biscuits or something being a pet brand. But then like all of a sudden people buying the dog biscuits are like, hey, I would love if you have dog, you know, uh, little treats that like freshen their breath or like all these kind of offshoots and you kind of already started by painting yourself into this box. You know, my tell me if I'm on the, on the right track here because for me, when I go to brand, one of the, one of the most important things I look for is short, right? Is it short? Is it like one word or a couple of words, you know, as short as possible, You know, can I get the domain is another one that people don't think of? And then also it's like, is it too specific, you know, like Nike Nike can sell anything because there's, it's not like, you know, it's not, [00:07:07] spk_1: it's [00:07:08] spk_0: not, it's not that they call [00:07:09] spk_1: themselves, like, [00:07:10] spk_0: like northern Washington Oregon, sports accessory network or what do you know? It's like then people are like well wait a minute what what you know what does this company do? It's just like super easy to remember. Super simple and a lot of room to grow and and and pivot because there's a new brand, you want the ability to be nimble at least. That's how I think. Am I on the right track there or what can you you know how should people navigate that? [00:07:36] spk_1: Yeah absolutely. So one of the things that we do when we're especially when working with new brands and startup brands right? Because most of the people who are who are entrepreneurs these days um our creative in a way that we have not seen in decades past, right? These are true creative true makers. And so we know that that one item that they've invented is not the end there's gonna be more. And so they may not know what it is yet, We may not know what it is yet, but what we always do in the beginning is we have a visioning strategy session. So we said okay let's look at and explore the brand scope. So you're not committing, you're not signing anything in blood, we're just exploring your brand scope, where could this go? And if it were to go here, you know just kind of mapping, mapping out what the scenarios would be so that we know okay um what we need to consider when we think of a brand then it's just like you said you want you you do your domain search of course you want to do a U. S. T. P. Uh Search to just to make sure general trademark search you can do it for free um Jessica uh eliminate maybe some ideas that you have that are already taken um Before you finalize not with your with your designer. You're gonna want to make sure your attorney has a look at it and clears it. But um but generally just a precursor look you can do is research for yourself very relatively quickly. Um But yeah the things that you want to think about our, do you want to have plans to expand or will I always just sell cat collars, you know, am I committing to buy say cat colors of it? Um That's what I do. Um And then something that is phonetically easy. So there are weird words out there like yahoo or google or Nike that like maybe they sound natural and normal to us now but back when when they were first coming out not so like what the heck You know? And so but they were all phonetically easy. So when you look at brand consistency, one of the things that can harm you is if everybody's pronouncing a different way, you don't really know you're talking about the same thing or people will hesitate to pronounce it because they're afraid of mispronouncing it. And so they're not speaking or talking about it and bringing it up. So you want to make sure that genetically, um even if if it's a weird a word that doesn't, isn't commonly known genetically, we would all general, we would know how to say it if you feel comfortable sounding it up, right. Um, you also want to look at um different things like, you know, obviously the length of it where you would want to put it. So you know, whenever we're testing out, whenever we're testing out names and logos, we do a lot of mock ups and we do a lot of like live mock ups and stagnant mock up. So like what would it look like if you, if you have a clothing line and it's a 12 to 15 letter, you know, brand name and you're trying to squeeze it on a clothing tag, like that ain't gonna work. So just kind of, so we do a lot of mock ups if you know, if, you know, well trial to sign a logo and like what does it look like if we're going 60 miles an hour, like what does that look like before we commit to something, if we know that this is, you know, where are we going to put it in the real world and doesn't make sense? Does it look good? Does it, you know what's readability on it, all of those kinds of things. Um, and then of course, you know, um, you want to have your attorney, make sure that you're good to go before you pay a fortune in design, right? Um, and then, um, and that's a good start. Now. Later as your brand grows, you'll, you'll come to a point, some brands where they'll, they'll stretch out, you know, they'll, they'll get to their limits. And that's when you start having the conversation with your brand model. And so that is, how do we organizationally structure this? Is this a new line or is this a is this a sub brand or how are we going to organize this? So that it makes sense because the worst thing we can do is overcomplicated for our customers. If it's, you know, you've got a few seconds for them to get it, otherwise you're moving on. And so, um, really understanding from a forward facing standpoint, how do we organize our products together? How to organize our lines? How do we organize our offers in a way that they get it and they get it quick. There's no confusion. There's not a lot of what's the difference between this and this. You know, there's very clear distinctions. That's something I wish I would've known to like earlier because I picked and I think Andy's talking about this to like, you know, we both picked that brand names in the beginning. Mine could be spelled so many different ways. And so I always have to spell it when I, whenever I give people my brand name, I always have to spell it because they're not, it's a word that I made up, right? So it is just like, oh man. Or sometimes what we see is a lot of times people wanted me and they wanted it real bad, but it was taken and so then they intentionally replaced continents that have double sounds so that it worked. But then like technically it was open. But then like my response is always, well there's a reason it's open that makes you can't really hard to read and you might not. And now everybody's going to the competitors website. Yeah, they're doing it the right way. Yeah. So yeah, you can kind of backfire on you. So be flexible with your names. Be flexible. There's [00:13:01] spk_0: yeah. Yeah. And then the other thing to think about is, you know, a couple 100 bucks for a domain name in the grand scheme of things is not that big a deal. If somebody already owns the domain, but it's for sale and it's a little, you know, little extra money. It might, might be worth it. The other thing you have to check to which a lot of people miss this step is your local uh, business registry, right? Because then you might register name a trademark nationally might be fine. You might have the domain, but then locally there might be somebody who's using something similar. Um, you know, that could get you in trouble. I just started watching um, uh, Silicon Valley and like the, I think it's like the second or third episode, like the, the app name or the company name is like pied piper or something like that and everybody in the show hates it. They make fun of it. Uh, one of the episodes he like ghost list farmer who owns the name and like tries to buy it from him, then he finds out that you know, he's, he thinks he's this like rich Silicon Valley billionaire so that he says screw you, you tried to pull one over on me. Anyway, it was very relevant to this conversation. Um, in terms of branding. So uh, anyway, that just top of moms, I just saw it. Um, one of the other things that we love to discuss on the show is, you know, we do a lot of e commerce and amazon but you know because Amy and I have grown businesses and you're growing your business. I love to hear that journey because there's so many mistakes that we've made and you've probably made that we can share with others to skip to, to skip over that those mistakes or at least have a little better understanding on how to navigate them. So as your business grows kind of what are, you know, what tips or what things are you learning? Um, as you scale your business that you can maybe share with others. [00:14:35] spk_1: Um, it's, this is probably something that everybody says but I think that it's so important, you can't hear it enough is understanding your value as a ceo a lot of times like small business owners it's like a badge of honor to deal with everything. And it is actually the worst idea and I speak from you know because I've done it and you know there's no judgment there, it's all experience speaking. Um The there are a lot of things that will cost you more to do it yourself than it would just pay someone else to do it. I. E. Trademark attorney. E. Bookkeeper and C. P. A business attorney. There are some things you just don't want to be responsible for if it goes south right, you just want to know that you pay somebody who has a license who has you know the credentials to do it. Um that will assume liability for a mistake that especially starting out when everything. So you do, you could you figure out bookkeeping. Sure. Could you figure it out in the next three days that you'll need to have it figured out so that you can properly invoice and pay your sales tax and no if you need to charge sales tax because they bought it in another country or another state. And how does that work? Um Yeah, probably not. And and those are the things that in fines and time and audits and you know anything that you do. Um You know even trademark attorney, what we've been using it, the domain was clear. It was like, well you have, but the trademark was it? And what now you've invested in a logo or you know, or you've got a cease and desist or they're coming after you for damages. You know, is so much worse. Then like the $500 attorney meeting where they just ran it, You know, like the couple of 1000 is, you know, it ends up. Um, so I guess for me that's, that is the, the big lesson and you know, it's written on post, its everywhere. Like don't cheap out. Like just don't shoot out. You know, if, if there's somebody like there's a reason that these people get paid so much to do it and it's because it's important and they need to be doing those things. Um, and, and even little things that you don't think about, you know, so, um, social media is one of them, I don't know because technically canvas so easy to work, but I never looked as good as the social media managers. Yeah. Minutes what when you think about that? Like what's your time worth? So you know, whatever your hourly, whatever you pay yourself in our, times three hours versus, you know, 15 $20 you're paying someone else to do it, times 15 minutes. It took them to do it also probably keeping you from scaling faster. So sometimes we don't want to reach deeper into our pockets, we want to really, and there's nothing wrong with bootstrapping, right? Because we don't want to reach deeper into our pockets, we want to stay super lean, but that actually keeps us from growing faster, where if we had invested in hiring that social media person and spent a little bit more money, but then put that out, I do that a lot with private label on coaching calls, we'll look at, they won't want to spend money on inventory, but they keep running out of stock and it's actually costing them more than if they put that money down on that inventory, you know, and we'll project it out and it's just like, okay guys, you know, sometimes it's good to saline but other times it's like it's actually costing you what your scalability, it's great. That's great advice. Yeah. One of the things that we always do, it's a rule now in the office, anytime we have a big spend questions come up, we sit down all together and we make a list of the questions that we ask ourselves or to is this an expense or is this an investment, is there an R Y. On this? And then the second question we ask is um as far as like, you know, like should we do it, or should we not do it is what's the cost of action versus the cost of inaction because sometimes like we see the cost like we know, you know to do these this S. E. O. S. And we're going to be spending you know three grand and we see that number and it hurts but then we never really look at the other side of that which is what's the cost of inaction? How much am I losing and fails because I'm not putting myself out there marketing and so like sometimes it's just that kind of more balance perspective instead of that fear based like letting go of money um mentality that you know is a small business owner who's bootstrapping you know it's a kind of a human reaction that you sometimes just kind of have to shake yourself out of or get help shaping yourself out of it. I love that you're bringing your team into it too and you're helping them understand that hey these are our resources and we need to use them wisely. Let's make this decision together based on that criteria. That's awesome. So the other question that we love to ask is what are you reading or listening to that is keeping you motivated? Did you read a book recently that you're just like yes this really stuck with me or any podcast that you're listening to? Um what is it right now that's motivating you? Yeah okay so I love to me so I'm gonna give you two but two of them I've read before that I like to re read them because it's just kind of you know, I feel like you always get new stuff. One of the distraction by genome, like his last name. Do you know what? Yeah, yeah. I love that book. I can read that book all the time. I think there's always Nuggets um in there and it's crazy because every time I go right now, inaudible in it, but you know, every time you read it um you find like you think you implement it and then you just find ways to better implement it or ways that you weren't executing it and and just quite the right way. So it's a great book. Any small business owner needs to read that one, another one that we just finished reading as a team. So we do we have like a team book club. And so the other one that we're working as a team is uh never split. The difference by chris voss is a great negotiating, but that is a great book that was a distant different chris voss Yeah, it was great and it's such an easy read to um and you know, he has these great hostage negotiator um examples to give me, so you're just like riveted at the edge of your seat the whole time. So you're getting good business negotiating tactics and you should negotiate everything in business. So that's, you know, no matter what it is. So that's it's a really good a really good skill to have in business. So it looks like you're looking for another one. I'm trying to remember the name of it. It's a story of ford. So it talks about, it's the story of how Ford did their rebounded after 2000 and eight. So they talk about Malawi, the guy, even the guy who got going back after 9 11 and help them, you know, Save your skin. So this is the same guy comes in and does the same thing for Ford. I'm back in 2008 and that's when I'm leaving now. But I can't remember for the life of me, it's the fourth book, I think we'll be able to see if I can grab the name of it. But yeah, those are, those are the three that I, that we just did. Amazing. I love those are to the first two that you were really just great things and I'm going to go back and finish traction because I got it started and I'm gonna go finish it. So we've come to the last question and most important question of the entire show and that's all of the people who have been riveted and want to reach out to you. I know Marsha. I was asking like, hey, do you do packaging, What do you do? You know? Um, so all of people that want to reach out to you for help with their branding. Um, how did they get in contact with you, what's the best way to reach you? Yes, so I'll I can stick it in the chat at that couple, but you can go to brand dr dot com, which is our website and you can just book a discovery call. We do uh free consultations for people just, you know, to see what your what your needs might be with your scope might be maybe give you a few pointers. Um you can also email me at Zara dot Suzanne at brand author dot com. I'm happy to answer questions or or um you can point you in the right direction um for somebody that we might know that might be a really good match. Um and then of course there's instagram um you can always dm me there if that if emails to old school. Um well I will put everything in the chat for everyone and we'll also have that in the show notes and yeah, just thank you so much Sarah for being on today and uh you know, branding is such an impactful thing for us to understand and I love the way that you make it simple or simpler. It's a lot of work, but it's it's pretty simple one together down [00:23:51] spk_0: well, thank you so much for being here. And as usual folks, thank you for joining us live, all of you who are in here in the zoom meeting, you're going to get to ask questions after the fact if you stick around uh for those of you who haven't joined us every Tuesday, one PM pacific time. So a round table dot com forward slash live, make sure your rate, review, subscribe all that good stuff. Um I think I might uh you know, I might have to do some kind of contest where you know, maybe I'll shave my head or my beard or something like that. If we get an X number of reviews in a certain month or something, I don't know. What do you think? Amy, we're gonna have to brainstorm on that. But anyway, anyway, make sure you do that. [00:24:25] spk_1: I think we let the let the listeners pick the, you know, do a poll. All right. He has to get a tattoo or something. All [00:24:37] spk_0: right. It has to get the approval from the wife to you know, I don't want to upset upset the villagers here. That would not be a good thing for me. All right, everyone, thanks for joining us live on the seller roundtable. We'll see you next time. Thank you. [00:24:53] spk_1: Hi, thanks. [00:24:55] spk_0: Thanks for tuning in, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and a and bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com sponsored by the ultimate software tool [00:25:07] spk_2: for amazon sales [00:25:08] spk_0: and growth seller. [00:25:10] spk_2: S C. O dot com and [00:25:11] spk_1: amazing at [00:25:12] spk_0: home dot com