How Marketers on Amazon Can Still Launch and Grow Brands
Marketers can still achieve success for their brands on Amazon with the right strategies, even as it’s an increasingly competitive place for sellers.
The Heyday brand building platform has partnered with many successful D2C brands, focusing their efforts centrally on Amazon to grow customers and brand awareness. Their fine-tuned strategy helps new brands grow, and since launching in 2020, Heyday has also acquired several of these brands and received $800 million in funding from investors in the process.
Amazon is still the space to launch brands despite intense competition
Amazon remains a leading site for D2C brands and e-commerce sellers, claiming around 40% of online sales in the US
For brands, that means it’s still the place to launch products and connect with customers.
“Our core strategy is to be a next-generation consumer company,” said Reema Batta, CMO of Heyday. “We are native to the market and develop sustainable and accessible house brands.”
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As Heyday recently announced, they are also focusing their strategy on brands in key categories, including health and beauty, home appliances, and sports and outdoor brands. They will partner with new brands to get them up and running on Amazon. And they will leverage their expertise in this market to acquire brands that they believe can continue to grow.
“Our approach has been the same since the very beginning,” explains Batta. “We will acquire brands that we believe are good choices with a strong belief that we can multiply them by 10.”
Competition from counterfeit and generic Amazon brands
The level of competition on Amazon can be daunting for new brands, but executing the right launch strategy can be rewarding.
Jason Boyce, e-commerce veteran and Amazon expert, author of The Amazon Jungle, says established brands and newcomers avoid Amazon at their peril. Indeed, consumers are already looking to buy these brands on Amazon, and sellers are waiting with heavily reduced inventory, generic alternatives and even counterfeits that will reduce the brand’s market share.
“The way to protect yourself is to develop your own brand and be different,” Boyce said. “You’re on much firmer ground when you’re defending your brand against, say, Chinese factories and Amazon itself.”
The reality of Amazon today is that they develop their own products in-house to compete with the top-selling brands on their site. A report last year suggested that Amazon had gone even further with its operations in India, using seller data on its site to make its own brands more competitive.
Given all this competition, the best way forward for brands, according to Boyce, is to provide a better value proposition to customers and develop a higher quality product. Customer engagement, user reviews, and sales on Amazon drive the data that marketers can use to stay ahead of all that competition.
Using data signals for brand building
“Collecting data on the performance of the brand you launch, reviews, and revenue creates a very powerful feedback loop,” Batta said. “In addition, the Amazon Marketplace gives you quantitative pricing feedback and qualitative product and packaging feedback from the reviews.”
With this data, marketers can improve their performance and move up the ranks on Amazon.
“Each platform has different signals, they all have their nuances,” Batta explained. “It’s then up to the marketers and the founder to figure out how to leverage the platform to their advantage.”
Amazon is Heyday’s preferred platform because they believe Amazon is underutilized by big brands such as consumer packaged goods that focus on traditional retail channels.
“Amazon is important to us because it provides all the benefits of scale and go-to-market, and opens up new kinds of information,” Batta said. “I would say that Facebook and Google are missing one very important thing and that is the ability to transact on their platform. Amazon has brought it all together, one step closer to a closed-loop customer journey, that which is an amazing thing.
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Once a brand is launched on Amazon, marketers begin the feedback loop by analyzing market data and leveraging it for product development and branding.
In addition to product development, the Heyday platform also uses this Amazon performance data for omnichannel expansion. They have also partnered with MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics to bolster the platform’s inventory optimization capabilities.
As a brand gains market share on Amazon, it can develop new distribution and media channels, and also drive traffic to its own D2C site. From there, it can independently build deeper connections with customers through its own branded channels, or expand its traditional retail relationships with brick-and-mortar stores.
But the key insights come from engaged Amazon shoppers through their ratings and reviews.
“Initially it’s the comment in the Q&A sections on Amazon,” Batta said. ” What are they for ? These are very useful comments from those who have purchased the product. This helps marketers understand usage. There are all these incredible ideas in the reviews.
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