I’m not talking about Amazon branded products. I’m talking about brands that third party sellers have turned into world class brands like Anker, Furbo, and tons more.
Don’t scout products for the sake of selling a product and making decent money for today. Scout products for the purpose of building a brand that can make you more than enough money to set you up for decades to come.
Today, I’m going to give you four steps to turning a product for sale on Amazon into a world class brand.
1. Scout a specific Amazon product subniche.
Building a product to sell on Amazon FBA is one thing. Building a cohesive brand, however, is something altogether entirely different.
If you first set off to launch a product—let’s say high end scented candles—and then decide to launch an entirely different, unrelated product—let’s say high chairs—your Amazon store is going to look disjointed. Your products will not attract the same types of customers, which may cause you to miss out on sales down the road.
Instead of targeting by product ideas however, you can target specific shopping niches. These might be high end home décore or maybe baby and toddler…just not both simultaneously.
So, rather than scouting a specific product idea, you’re going to scout a specific subniche of an Amazon product category.
In other words, rather than deciding, “I’m going to sell step stools for toddlers because those will probably sell well”, you should instead start with the base product category of Home, Garden & Tools.
From there, you’re going to whittle your search down further and further. For instance, from Home, Garden & Tools, you might jump to the Furniture subcategory.
Then, you might jump to that subcategory’s subcategory of Kids’ Furniture.
Then you might jump to Step Stools.
Before finally landing on Kids’ Step Stools.
Yes, you’ve just arrived at the same product idea that you initially set out with. That’s okay. The point of determining a specific subcategory to sell in is not necessarily to find a product idea, but to find and understand that product’s demographic—the audience who will buy your product.
2. Consider your target demographic.
When you build a brand, you’re looking to tap into a specific market that comes with dedicated customers. By identifying and getting to know your brand’s target audience, you can better make decisions about which product ideas to pursue, how you should make them different from—and better than—existing models, and how you should best target your ideal consumer.
In short, by understanding your customer base, your brand and products will be better positioned to encapsulate a strong share of that market. That requires you to build a brand presence within that market.
Let’s go back to our toddler step stool idea that we found through narrowing down from the Home & Kitchen product category. I don’t know many toddlers with their own credit cards and Amazon accounts, so we can assume that our target demographic is not who the product is for, but who is buying it: parents.
Now you must decide which subsects of parents you will target: those looking for a quick fix to toddler height challenges or dedicated parents looking for a safe, fun solution to nighttime teeth brushing?
The latter will better allow you to build a strong, emotional brand backstory, which will be helpful when trying to market to parents who are devoted to their offspring.
3. Build an emotional product/brand story.
If you want to attract parent shoppers who make extremely thoughtful purchase decisions regarding their child, you must create a brand story that they connect with. Remember, there’s a reason you’re creating your own toddler step stool when, afterall, just about anybody could go buy one for $9 at their local Walmart.
But you’re focusing on parents who carefully consider the details of what it is they’re about to buy for their child. Which means you must consider the Why behind both your step stool and your brand. And that Why becomes your product’s and brand’s story.
For instance, maybe you’re also a parent who knows the pain of seeing your child slip up on a subpar stool. Maybe you want to connect with the parent who needs a step stool that delights a child and doesn’t totally kid-up a second bathroom. Maybe you will create other pieces of matching child’s furniture and you can connect to the parents that like to coordinate their children’s rooms.
You want to pay attention to what currently sells, and why it sells, yes. But you must also consider what parents, who care deeply about their children’s safety, will want to see in a stool. It may not even be in production at all (which is an opportunity for you!).
Regardless, you must consider what product and brand attributes will make your target audience give you their money for your product.
But, keep in mind you’re not just building a better—or different stool. You must understand why your stool is so much better than the others, what sets it apart to parents. What will make parents not only buy your stool, but buy it for more than the stool next to it costs?
The answer to that is your Why. And you must communicate that Why to shoppers through your brand’s story.
Perhaps it’s this: your stool has multiple steps with adjustable heights (and the requisite matching safety features to prevent pinched skin). Your stool is finished in a light-colored, high quality wood to coordinate in a kid’s room and not look ghastly out of place in an adult living room.
You’re not selling a product on Amazon. You’re selling a product to its core demographic with the help of market research.
Now, I get hyped up about this stuff. If you, too, are intrigued about all the details that go into building a brand that tells a story, visit JOD.com/freedom. Our Amazon FBA Mastery membership will help you to build the brand of your dreams, so that you can do the things you love with the people you love.
Now, we’ve still got one last step to fully transform your idea to sell a single product into one to build a world class brand.
4. Differentiate your products.
To differentiate your products is to make your products different from—and better than, ideally—the competition; to make your products stand out.
Differentiation can be something simple, like a change of color. Differentiation can also be more complex, like an entirely new product design.
In terms of identifying a prospective product to sell, differentiation potential is one of the most subjective product research criteria. It is, however, incredibly important. You must understand what your customers would love to see in your product. To use our earlier example, what do prospective parent customers want from your toddler step stool?
To get these answers, you’ll study what actual paying customers have said…about your competitors’ products, by reading product reviews.
As you read, look for two things:
A problem with the product you can fix. This should be something repeated throughout several comments, ideally on multiple products. What do customers want next time they buy this type of product? For example, if a common complaint about popular toddler step stools is that the step non-slip material is too rough for uncalloused toddler feet, you could fix that when you build your own step stool for tots.
A way to improve the product, through adjusting the product itself or compiling it with other items in a product bundle. These may not be repeated as often in the reviews, however you will often find that some moderate to high rated reviews mention what could have gotten a five star rating. For example, maybe you could make the step stool adjustable to reach multiple levels of heights. Or maybe you notice that toddler step stools are commonly purchased along with children’s faucet extenders and add that product as part of your bundle.
Now, there are an infinite number of ways you can differentiate your products. So how do you pick the right strategy?
Here’s a special tip from our membership training:
As you study review complaints, do not select the most common complaint.
Choose the complaint that is most prevalent across the entire market.
Consider this: if three listings each receive 300 complaints that their product is too long, and you fix that, you fix that for 900 customers across three products. Not bad.
But if ten listings each receive 30 complaints that their product is too short, that’s what you should fix. Yes, it’s only a fix for 300 customers across 10 products, but it’s 10 products. So that fix better accounts for the entire market.
And if you can fix a problem in the majority of a market, well you’ve struck product idea gold. Head on over to JOD.com/apply and you can apply to have us coach you, step-by-step, how to grow that idea into an Amazon brand and company.
What about building a brand surprised you most? Let me know in the comments.