It’s not difficult to break into the world of eCommerce, but it has become increasingly challenging to stand out amongst other brands by offering visitors a memorable experience and incentives to return to your site.
We’ve rounded up a few of our client sites who know how to connect and engage with their visitors - they’re not just selling their products, they’re selling an experience through storytelling and personalisation. A content-rich site, full of insights, history, and stimulating visuals can turn just a brand into a brand with substance, whose core message and values hit home with their target audience.
Each brand below utilises a few key components to resonate with their target market and thereby build their brand image.
The Jack Daniel's website talks about the company's rich history and roots, thereby giving authenticity to the brand.
“Thankfully Lem worked hard to reopen the distillery, and when it did he insisted the whiskey be made just as his uncle Jack had made it. We appreciate Mr Lem’s dedication, we’re sure he’d be proud to know we’ve remained true to Jack’s recipe and mellowing methods.”
They shine a spotlight on the brand’s values throughout the site that connect them to their target audience and emphasise their brand image. Jack Daniel’s uses videos heavily on their site to create an engaging experience for their website visitors.
Jack Daniel's also focuses on their production consistency - their world-famous whiskey achieved its status for a reason, and the brand promises to stick to their original brewing methods.
“Here at Jack Daniel’s we still hand raise all of our own barrels. We still mellow every drop of our whiskey through ten feet of hard sugar maple charcoal of our own making. And we still ensure our whiskey is ready the same way Jack did, with a sip.”
Which brings us to the connecting factor - Jack Daniel’s uses rich media to engage with their target audience. The brand uses shots of old photographs, documents, and vintage footage to tell their history and immerse their customers emotionally. In the future, it’s likely that visitors to the site will associate the footage they’ve seen with the Jack Daniel’s brand.
The brand sells an experience above all else. Jack Daniel’s effectively weaves its history into different elements on the site - such as recipes for ham, drinks (of course), and the lineup of different #JackRocks music events in the United Kingdom. Of course, the products are at the forefront - but the site is an experience in and of itself.
The designer’s story is highlighted on the site, and it’s easy for visitors to connect with a founder who grew her business from the ground up out of passion for the product, and established a household name for herself as a result.
The Minna Parikka brand is personal - the designer's love and dedication to creating intricate, high-quality footwear warms customers to her brand. She has also become the face of the brand - another great way to connect with customers who become inspired by her unique fashion sense.
“My designs are like love letters to from one shoe lover to another. Life is too short to take style too seriously.”
Serious design - Minna Parikka put a great deal of thought into ensuring that customers receive the same experience online as they do in her flagship store, the Minna Parikka Universum. Every element of the website, from small, whimsical icons and revolving sales button, to carefully curated colour themes, comes together to form a digital wonderland for visitors.
Faces of the brand - Minna Parikka’s site also features a “Who’s Wearing” page, that has photos of different celebrities wearing the designs in Instagram photos and streetwear shots. While Minna is an icon herself, it’s also smart to portray known individuals who the target audience aspires to be like.
Björn Borg wanted to target their customers at the right time with a tailored message, and so they turned to Bronto, an email marketing platform. The brand utilised purchase and website data in Magento to craft personalised emails with relevant and timely content for each customer. Another obvious but important factor? Make sure your customers can easily see all imagery and elements if they open your email on a phone or tablet.
Connect to social media - Björn Borg has their Instagram feed featured prominently across the bottom half of their front page, with “Shop our Instagram” emblazoned across the top. The photos lead directly to the product page for easy purchasing, and a #bjornborg hashtag invites customers to create their own Instagram images with their products.
Call to action - HYLETE invites its visitors to join the #HYLETEnation with a different photos from Instagram of athletes using their gear - and a click leads straight to the purchase page. HYLETE uses athletes as brand ambassadors and only sells their products online - so rallying customers to join their ranks means joining a truly elite team.
Support a great cause - HYLETE supports hand-picked charities and donates half of the revenue from their charity shirt sales on HYLETE.com. By shopping at HYLETE, customers can indirectly give to the designated organisations, which makes every purchase a more fulfilling experience.
Tell your story - HYLETE encourages its visitors to "tell their story" by uploading their own photo and describing their fitness goals and achievements, highlighting their hero, and more. By doing so, HYLETE customers are intrinsically part of the brands''s story.
Fjällräven is another brand that builds authenticity and trust through reiterating their rich history and dedication to their brand.
A complete outdoors experience - Fjällräven doesn’t just want their customers to purchase their products; they want to encourage people to explore the outdoors with the right tools and know-how. In-depth product guides help customers select the right model or type of equipment, along with helpful tips about picking the item to fit certain needs.
It’s not all about products though - it’s about community. The Fjällräven site features guides and articles about various aspects of tackling the outdoors, from personal hygiene to foot care on long treks. When visiting the Fjällräven website, it’s a one-stop shop; it’s the digital version of pulling up to an outdoors gear shop before a trip and running into a few outdoors experts who are ready to share their wealth of information with you.
The brand is also very dedicated to environmental causes and to using materials that are as environmentally-conscious as possible when creating their products. Now that's a cause that that is directly linked to Fjällräven's business and products, and provides a chance for customers to support the environment via shopping at Fjällräven.
So what can we learn from all this? Telling your brand story in a way that connects you to your prospective customers is a challenge; if it's not done right, it can hurt your brand image and further disconnect you from your visitors. However, if done right, selling your brand by telling your story through multiple means of engaging your audience is an effective way to win over new prospects. Here's a few key points to consider from our article:
- Focus on a key mission statement - what's the one thing that makes your brand great?
- Brand values - does your story illustrate your core beliefs?
- Language - are you using an authentic, honest voice to communicate to your customers?
- Reliability - are you proving that you're the experts in your field?
- Design - are your design components creating a visually stimulating experience?
- Relatable - connect with your target audience by sharing your humble beginnings.
- Passion at the forefront - instill a sense of excitement in your customers by showing your own passion.
- Founder as the face of the brand - make it easy for your customers to relate to the brand.
- Dedicated to a cause - make shopping at your store more meaningful by giving back.
- Engage your visitors - make your customers part of your story by asking them to participate, either through social media or directly on the site.
- Rich media - utilise videos to convey different elements of your story to engage with customers through different channels.
- Personalised mailshots - use tailored, targeted emails to add value beyond the online shop.