Product Customizations and Branding

Once you have an idea of the general process of mass production, and you understand how to address quality issues, you’re positioned to focus on customizing products and further establishing your brand.

What We Are Going to Cover

  • How to think about branding for real
  • Before you get into actual customizations
  • Guide to branding and customizations

How to Think about Branding for Real

Honestly, most folks in the ecommerce industry think about branding in an incomplete way.

  • Branding  is NOT just your logo, your domain name, or packaging
  • It’s really the culmination of everything you do, and how your customers perceive your values, and connect with them accordingly
    • As an ecommerce brand, the most important part of establishing your brand is going to be the product. Not just branding the product, also improving and changing your product to meet the demands and expectations of your customers
  • Won’t go into too much detail, watch this youtube video first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cIb_gVpwbA 

Considerations Before You Begin Customizations

Aside from your front-end site and general marketing, you won’t spend a lot of time or money on product customizations or branding when you first begin to sell your product

  • Before customizations or in-depth branding, your product should be truly validated. It should already be selling well with great, long-term potential (potentially scaled to 6-7 figures)
  • It’s typically a mistake to dive straight into customizations with a new product with which you have no experience
    • You don’t know if your marketing will even work
    • You don’t fully understand what your market values
    • You don’t know exactly what should be improved
  • There are instances where you could jump straight into customizations (though these scenarios are uncommon). If you feel extremely confident about your customers’ values and needs, and you are relatively certain about how the customizations should be done in order to meet those values and needs
    • For example, you’ve scaled a very similar product before and fully understand your market and their needs
    • Or, you’ve done a ton of upfront consumer research (which can be time consuming and expensive)
    • Check out this video on how we first developed and launched Codi if you’re interested on starting from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVWA04XLY1c&t 
  • When you are ready to move forward with customizations, start with understanding your customers:
    • What are their values, and why they are purchasing the product
      • This will help you define everything from your logo, marketing messages, to how you want to design your packaging
    • What feedback do they have about your product (with a specific focus on negative feedback and the wishlist of improvements)
      • Don’t fix (or improve) what is not broken. Focus on the specific things that your customers really want to see in their ideal product
    • In order to collect customer feedback, you can use the following strategies:
      • Collect email and social media feedback
      • Call them directly!
      • Other novel avenues in getting information directly from them. 
        • Remember, it is crucial to not get lazy with collecting feedback
  • Only invest in major customizations if you think it will help you beat out your competition
    • Don’t just customize for the sake of customization (it could be a huge waste of resources)
    • Invest in major customization if:
      • There are obvious improvements (given customer feedback) over the generic version so you can make your product the best in the market
      • The product is good enough, but every other option has poorly perceived value in their packaging (e.g. all just generic or Chinese branding, very cheap boxes, etc.)
      • Rule of thumb: if you can’t confidently raise your perceived value (and therefore price), then really consider if it’s worth it to invest in the change
    • Simpler customizations and branding might be worth doing if the cost is negligible, but little changes often don’t have the impact you may think they do
      • For example, just putting your logo on something doesn’t change much if your product is mediocre or noticeably poor. No one is going to buy an obviously bad product just because there’s a logo on it
  • Customizations can be a sizable investment, so make sure you have solid foundations to your product and supply chain. Otherwise, you could be held back by fundamental issues. Make sure that:
    • Major product quality issues are resolved
    • Supply chain partner is solid
    • Fulfillment and shipping system is optimized
  • Be aware that product customizations can incur new costs or delays
    • Depending on what your specific product customizations are, there will likely be new costs, adjusted MOQs, and longer lead times associated. Make sure that you communicate in advance with your supply chain partner so that expectations are clear

Guide to Branding and Customizations

You should think about customizations in a holistic way. The goal is not to just “brand” but to improve your overall product experience

  • Custom branding only goes so far if the underlying product is still the same as everyone else’s
  • Customization should and can be cost effective (so focus on real customer feedback)
    • Do’s:
      • Try to improve everything at once 
      • Make every improvement perfect
      • Order huge quantities before improvements are tested
    • Do’s:
      • Choose what to improve based on constant customer feedback
      • Work with agents/factory to decide on a reasonable option
      • Test out smaller batches first to confirm if improvements worked and also for QC
      • Give your customers what they actually care about and keep product costs in check 
  • Examples of custom branding:
  • Case study where we followed these steps

Product Customization and Branding with EcommOps

If you have an ecommerce product and you’re ready for customization and branding, EcommOps is here to help! We’ve helped dozens of businesses take generic products with poor branding and turn them into something exciting that scales their business. To get in touch, fill out our online form, and we’ll get started!