Private labeling represents a huge opportunity for Amazon sellers.
You can source desirable products in bulk, put your own label on them and sell them as your own on Amazon. This is particularly efficient if you use Amazon FBA — you can virtually become hands-off in your business.
One of the keys to success though, is in how you present yourself and set up your “brand.” If you come across as amateur or “budget range”, you’ll either put people off entirely or you’ll attract the sort of customer who is looking for the lowest of bargains (and who is often more trouble to deal with than they’re worth).
What you want is a brand that says “quality”, “desirable” or even “classy.” Most of all, you want to look professional and trustworthy. Let’s look at some ideas for getting your private label brand right.
Look, it’s true you can set yourself up on Amazon with no branding whatsoever and still sell product. The thing you’re trying to encourage though is repeat business, and if you come across as amateur or “dicey back alley”, then you’ll probably have a hard time bringing the customers back.
Besides professionalism, another important reason to create a good brand is being memorable. Assuming that you’d probably like to sell more than one product in a category, having a catchy, relevant brand name and appearance will have more impact than half a dozen “no name” products.
Here’s another consideration which backs the need for good branding; are you planning on keeping the business yourself? Or, building it up before selling it? There is a whole market of Amazon FBA businesses being created to run successfully, then being sold for perhaps 2-3 times their yearly profit. Having a good brand can help boost your chances if your idea is to sell after building too.
Whether or not you think you’re going to want to sell, setting up your brand as though you were is always a good idea. It will help you to ensure you’ve followed best practices and set up a brand you can be proud of.
Ok, for many Amazon sellers, choosing the product they’re going to sell is what comes first and of course, they diligently spend quite some time on product research. You might even test out different products to see how well they go before settling on something you’d like to label and sell on an ongoing basis.
Once you have decided though, think about a brand name which would work for other products within the same category. For example, if you start out selling yoga mats and call yourself something like “Bliss Yoga Mats”, you’re limiting your brand to yoga mats or yoga products. What happens if you then decide that high quality, lightweight kickboxing hand wraps are the next product you’d like to sell?
You might be specialising in a yoga-only niche, or you might want to be in the fitness vertical in general. If it’s the latter, you’ll need a name which allows you to expand across different products (“Bliss Fitness” maybe…).
Choosing the Right Brand Name
There are other considerations when choosing a brand name. These might include:
- Your “story” and the image you want to project.
- The customers you would like to attract and what you’d like them to think of you.
- Being mindful of avoiding anything inappropriate — you want may want to attract a buyer, plus remember those customers!
- Ensuring the name isn’t taken or copyrighted.
You don’t want to end up in a situation where someone is claiming a trademark infringement or where you can’t completely build out your business because something (say, a domain) is unavailable to you.
Here’s how we’d check:
- Search GoDaddy to see whether your brand domain name is available.
- Search Google to see if the brand pops up as a business.
- If the name and domain seem to be available, check the US Trademark and Patent Office search tool to ensure the name isn’t trademarked and there isn’t a trademark that is too similar.
- Search your brand name on Amazon and ensure no one is already using it there (totally possible if they haven’t registered a business)
A logo is one of those “nice to haves” which adds a professional, branded look to your packaging, listings and website. If you’re selling those “Bliss Fitness” yoga mats, it definitely is a better look if they show up branded rather than plain for your customers.
Most good manufacturers of private label products will provide a service where they label them with your logo for you, but if not, you’ll probably want to do that yourself before shipping product to Amazon.
If you don’t have graphic design ability yourself (or if you simply want to save time), you’ll probably want to outsource the creation of your logo. Here are some tips we would look for:
- Simplicity. You’re going to end up using your logo on your website, emails, packaging and possibly the product itself.
- Look for memorable and original. For example, the basic design of Apple’s logo is a crisp image which is immediately recognizable.
- Use your business name in it. You’re not yet a known brand and it takes a lot of advertising for those companies who are recognized by using a symbol (think Nike, McDonald’s or Apple).
Obviously, you can spend a little or a lot on getting a logo designed by a third party. Check out sites such as 99 Designs, Fiverr or Upwork for designers. Look for past samples and good ratings or reviews from their customers.
Another thing to look out for is logo plagiarism, which is actually more common than you’d think due to the accessibility of the internet. On some of these sites where you go to hire a “cheap” logo designer, you really do get what you pay for. Sites such as LogoThief exist to bust logo plagiarism and you can check that yours really is original.
Source: Fastco Design
As an FBA seller, your product is going to arrive with the customer in the standard Amazon box of some kind, but what will they find when they open that box?
Professional packaging adds that extra level of credibility to your brand and is an opportunity for you to showcase your business. If, for example, your product arrives from a supplier in packaging which has another brand on it, you will want that changed for your private label.
If packaging already exists, the supplier will usually have editable design files for it. You should be able to ask for these, send them to your own designer and have anything changed as needed.
Sometimes you might also find that there is no packaging for the product already and it arrives with several units packed into large boxes. In this case, consider whether you want to get packaging designed and made for the product (remember to factor this into your costs!). Companies such as Packlane or Pakible have good reputations for producing quality, custom designed packaging.
If the cost of having custom packaging made is prohibitive, consider other options. For example, you might order plain boxes which are sized appropriately for the product, then add stickers or stamps to the packaging. Just make sure that you’re still achieving a professional look by doing so.
Your website is probably not the first thing you’ll be setting up when you start selling on Amazon, but definitely grab your brand domain name early so that you know it is available to you later on.
Having a website for your brand reinforces that you are a serious brand and can add an element of trust. We often Google the name of a brand we’re interested in, right? You want your own website to come up in a search of your brand name.
Your website doesn’t have to be complicated and packed with features, but it does need to convey an on-brand look, including using your logo. At the very least you should include:
- A clean, professional-looking homepage.
- An “about us” page.
- A “contact us” page.
- A “products” page. (You can still use your FBA account for fulfillment of orders from your own website).
If you use a platform such as WordPress to create your website, you will find that there are a lot of people out there who are qualified to help you with it and it is easy to change things around if you would like to later on. Keeping it clean and simple should be your key goals, especially early on.
Branding your Amazon business well is important for a number of reasons:
- It can help you stand out to customers.
- It can make your business memorable.
- A professional look can draw back more repeat customers.
- Branding is essential if you want to sell your business later on.
Private labeling gives you the opportunity to create a strong brand for yourself and appeal to customers. Choose a good brand name, logo, domain, packaging and website and you’ll be set to carve out your own piece of real estate online.