Build a Strong Brand!

· 4 min read

Let’s say you have been in business for the past 30 years wholesaling your product to large retailers and online marketplaces. Then one day the online marketplace where you make 90% of your revenue, decides to copy your product and rank it higher in their search results. Amazon and Wayfair white label the best selling products on their platforms to increase their margins. This is not something new for large retailers. Walgreens and CVS have been creating CVS/Walgreens branded products for years. The only way around this is to build a strong brand that the consumer loves and trusts.

This same rule applies for online products. FarmVille created the majority of their traffic from being an application built off Facebook. As Facebook changes their algorithms, FarmVille needs to maintain it’s user acquisition channels to be independent of Facebook.

How to build a strong brand? What powers do you have as a new brand that large, more established brands do not have?

Here are 5 things to focus on to build a strong brand for your product online and offline.

1. Find a niche market

I love niches. I have spent the past few years working within the interior design niche. Niches are powerful because they have a customer who is so obsessed with that niche. The niche can be a lifestyle choice such as; being vegan. They love veganism so much and the fact that your brand helps them with what they believe in and love, which brings them even closer. They will build trust in you because you have the same values as them and this, in turn, creates loyalty.

“Your brand is formed primarily, not by what your company says about itself, but what the company does.”

Jeff Bezos

2. Have a strong brand story

Do you ever notice how many brands have the mom and pop story. Why? Because we can empathize with this story. It hits out hearts to buy products that are made Mom’s way. This story resonates with the customer, it is personal and makes the customer excited to try the product.

See’s Candy Case Study:

3. Be personal cause you can be

Do you follow Amazon on Instagram? Maybe you do — I sure don’t as I don’t know what they would say. They don’t really have a voice that I relate to or give me a reason to follow them. I would follow Jeff Bezos because I am curious as to what he says. This is where the opportunity lies when you are starting — you can be human.

4. Use marketplaces and retailers as marketing channels but not your main revenue source

Create your own website, communication with customers and your own voice and personality on social media. Joybird a furniture manufacturer and retailer created a strong brand and presence online with building their own site at in addition to selling their products on Amazon. Kassatex, a textile manufacturer based in New York was in the wholesale industry for over 15 years and realized the need to sell directly to there customers. In 2010 they launched their site at and social media channels to illustrate their brand to customers.

5. Show what you care about

You can illustrate how you resonate with your customers. Whereas, large retailers have to be more generic in their voice.

In the end, you will build a strong brand that is attractive to a corporation in terms of acquisition because they know they cannot authentically create what you have built. And, yes you might be thinking niches are small but Amazon started with one niche, books, and added on different verticals for massive success.

Tiff Willson

Tiff Willson is a technology entrepreneur, investor and keynote speaker. Today she is the founder of the #1 platform for sustainable interior design

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