Amazon Navigator - Sophie Howard (Aspiring Entrepreneurs)
MODULE 2 - Branding
This is an in-depth review of Module 2 of Sophie Howard's Amazon Navigator.
MODULE 2 - Branding
Branding: Part 1
With an Amazon Business,
the highest leverage point you have,
according to Sophie,
which is how you position your product in the marketplace.
She explains "private labeling" and what it generally means.
Take a look at the image below.
Microsoft tried to ride the mp3 player trend 10 years ago by copying what Apple was doing:
But that's not good enough for Sophie!
She's not content to be Microsoft,
she wants to be the Apple brand in her category.
When she talks about about branding,
she emphasizes the need to have a story behind your product line
as well as some distinguishing features,
which together make an advantage that your brand has that others don't and really can't offer.
Sophie's version of branding could be seen as extreme differentiation,
which means showing up on a level
that is far ahead of the competition that
compels prospects will not really even think about them because
they are so captivated by your offering.
(to learn more about differentiation, take a look at Investopedia's definition)
Her method of branding flips the commonly taught methodologies on their head,
starting NOT at the product level,
scrutinizing the search volume statistics closely,
but rather starts by looking at who would want the product.
She talks about getting in the head of her customers,
by doing some homework,
Seek to identify with them.
When you are looking,
often it is helpful to:
join a few of those Facebook groups and
subscribe to respected bloggers,
getting a greater sense of who your target audience is and why they like what they do.
As a heads up, you'll be using these data points to create a listing that is attractive to those kinds of prospects as well as Facebook ads that will drive external traffic to your listing, which Amazon will thank you for by moving you up in the search rankings.
Branding: Part 2
Sophie urges a long view when it comes to building an amazon business,
by choosing a unique audience to whom to market a well-branded product line.
Sophie uses the following brand as an example, saying:
Yogi Tea does a great job enabling customers to choose their tea by conveying the benefit that the tea provides (soothing sleep inducing, stress relief, etc.), rather than just the tea's features (bagged or loose leaf).
Sophie also offers a critique of the Friendly Swede brand, showing specifically what they are doing well and their overall product strategy as well as sharing whether or not she agrees with their choices.
Note: If you go to check out "The Friendly Swede" brand today, you'll see that they don't sell tea anymore on Amazon.
Evidently, their branding strategy wasn't successful.
Sophie repeats on multiple occasions that she would sell tea when she started,
but she wouldn't sell it now since the sub-category is too crowded and competitive.
And I agree with her, at this point, the tea market on Amazon is a bloodbath.
Bottom line: Branding is ultimately what enables you to separate you from the pack and charge a premium price.
Module 2 - My Primary Takeaways
Sophie shares her inside-out branding philosophy. Sophie Howard clearly distills a people driven approach that turns common teaching on its head. She does an excellent job in the two sessions above showing that strategy.
While she is great in describing the strategy, she doesn't take the time do share design production sources in this course, only the ideas. While she does mention that her designer might have some extra time to do some work for the course members.
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF MODULE 2
This module reveals a long-term product branding philosophy that is uncommon among Amazon course instructors.