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This article from Wired brings up a very important point for e-commerce vendors. If you don’t control your brand, then you don’t control future sales.

“Amazon can show they’re a friend to small and medium-sized businesses by offering them a platform that allows them to sell,” he says. “What they don’t do is allow you to control your own brand.”

So how do you control your brand, and why is brand marketing so important?

Let’s tackle the second question first. Brand marketing is important because without it you are only selling product. You can list as many products as you want on Amazon, but then all you have is inventory that rides on Amazon’s success. You are helping Amazon build their brand.

To truly build your own brand marketing machine, you need an e-commerce website with fulfillment capabilities and a way to stay in contact with your customers – for instance, with an ongoing newsletter.

Brand marketing is done in a number of ways. It starts with a website. The newsletter is another tool. You can also use your blog as a communications platform, social media as a way to develop relationships and draw people in, and search engine optimization to promote your brand through the search engines.

Paid marketing can also get people to your e-commerce website to interact with your brand.

In the long run, building a brand marketing platform will keep you alive much longer than moving product through an online retail store that may or may not be here tomorrow.

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