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The difference between buying a brand and buying into a brand. | Slangbusters Blog
Jun 29, '20

The difference between buying a brand and buying into a brand.

This is a conversation about power, the power of a brand. A brand can either be limited to the product it is, or it can be a household name that becomes a part of lifestyle and culture.

“Mumma, I want Nike shoes”

This is a statement a lot of children request from their parents, They don’t want any shoes, they want the Nike’s, irrespective of any athletic use or no. That is the power of a brand.

A lot of brands do sell products without having to produce any. Uber owns no vehicles, but it is the biggest brand when it comes to traveling in a vehicle. Zomato owns no restaurants but it is the first name that pops up when we think about dining in. Amazon is the biggest example of such phenomena where they could be called the giants of the business of warehouses and product delivery. But does that make Jeff Bezos the richest person in the world?

There is a lot that goes into determining how selling on other platforms affect your brand. When ordering in from Zomato, the brand name of the restaurant is the one highlighted and you buy from, In case of buying from Amazon, it opens a door to untapped audience nationwide, but at the cost of your brand name. The product is highlighted, there is a mention of the seller/retailer/distributor, but often than not, the brand name of the product goes amiss.

Amazon is fuelled by the consumers for their need for fast, cheap, and a variety of options in one place. New updates even let them compare products, product specs, and prices on the same screen without even needing to scroll through. Many brands that might not be as big as the global Nike, but are on their way there have their products listed on Amazon, but also have their own websites with not only a wider range of their own products, but even discounts better than Amazon. Still, the sale on Amazon trumps the sale made on name-of-the-brand.com

In a world swept and slowed by a global pandemic, such services not only become household but also essential and safe. Even before December 2020 when Covid-19 was in its initial phase of spreading, it would have been easy to argue with a brand that says they don’t need Amazon. More so, after almost entire world went into lockdown. Amazon’s importance in people’s lived has never been as great as it is now. Experts might argue that it has a few monopolistic characteristics and If Amazon wants to save itself from what has happened to the history of monopolistic companies, It itself needs to be a brand again. Scale at the cost of affinity is a recipe for doom.

A lot of new ‘.coms’ and platforms have emerged who don’t want to be one place for A-Z products. For Make-up, it is Nykaa and Nykaa Man, For groceries, it is Big Basket and Grofers, for trendy clothing, it is Myntra and Jabong. These have been able to penetrate markets by a more focused positioning approach, but have not been able to break Amazon’s market or its web around the world. In the US alone, 60% of product searches occur on Amazon.

The branding VS sales debate applies here as well. Amazon strips away your brand’s experience and reduces it down to a product added to the cart. They bought your product, but they bought into Amazon’s brand.
Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

The fee you pay for your product being sold from Amazon is not the only price you pay. Apart from losing the brand experience, You are also lost in the midst of a listing of multiple counterfeit products that match your keywords. You might be losing out on a big chunk of consumers interested in your product, but to save some bucks, they might go for a cheap quality product available just one click away.

Brands like Nike have defected themselves from websites like Amazon and have kept sales exclusively in their outlets and on their website. They made this decision in late 2019 as a part of their larger overhaul retail and marketing strategy. But, Nike is a brand that can afford to do that. Not just financially, but also because it a globally recognizable brand already. Nike has reached almost a cult level of brand perception right in the likes of brands like Apple. They don’t need the visibility that Amazon provides.

What you as a brand need to do is find your own place, where is your positioning, what does your target consumer look like, how do they behave, their demographics, what is your positioning in the market, All of this will give you an answer to where you need to put your energy in order to make sure that people don’t just buy your brand, but they buy into your brand. For example, a makeup brand would benefit from not being a cheaply available product. For growing without the need for aggregators like Amazon, you need to have a stronger approach to culture, community, and organic influential aspects of your consumer’s lifestyle.

Such brands are often built with a strong base, a foundation that is strong enough for you to position your brand in a timeless manner. Let’s build a brand, contact Slangbusters for a conversation over coffee, or to introduce to the world a new coffee brand. We’re game if you are.

— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio

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