Does a brand promise matter for an eBay business?
Corey Kossack is a Managing Partner at Game Change Ventures, focusing on partnering and consulting with startups in the areas of social media, consumer Internet and e-commerce. Corey is also an Operating Partner at Game Change Ventures' first Internet startup, Addoway, a social marketplace that helps you buy and sell with your friends and the people they know. Formerly Corey was one of the world's largest retailers on eBay, built a $1M company from scratch at age 23, has led multiple startups and received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial achievements.
Latest posts by Corey Kossack (see all)
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What in the world is a brand promise? you might ask…
In entrepreneur school they teach you that a brand promise is that special guarantee that a company offers to its customers. This means that no matter what happens, the customer can always expect the company to deliver their brand promise. That’s why it’s called a PROMISE!
For example, companies like FedEx built their brand promise around being able to guarantee overnight delivery by the early morning. Customers might pay a pretty penny for the service, but rest assured that if you pay for overnight service – you’re going to get it.
Domino’s Pizza used to do this back in my early days (I was a middle-schooler back then I believe) with the promise that your pizza will arrive in 30 minutes or less or it’s free. Of course, Domino’s discontinued their tough promise when delivery drivers began to get in car accidents trying to rush to make their 30 minute deadline.
All of this is fascinating you I’m sure, but you’re probably thinking “I’m here to read about eBay stuff… why does this guy have to go on and on about business terminology like a brand promise?”
Well, I firmly believe that part of what made my eBay business so successful was that I have always treated it as a real business, not just an EBAY BUSINESS. So how does the brand promise issue relate to eBay businesses?
There’s nothing terribly unique about selling DVDs. In fact, since I began selling a few years ago, there have likely been hundreds that have attempted to enter the market. Some have failed, some have succeeded, but the point is there are plenty of us out there.
So what could an eBay business selling all the same stuff offer their customers in terms of a brand promise?
For Koss DVD, the brand promise is simple. We guarantee that you will always receive a brand new, factory sealed 100% genuine retail DVD.
What happens if somehow there is a manufacturer’s defect with your DVD? It’s clearly not our fault… we didn’t make it… we just sell it.
We’ll replace it anyway. It’s by keeping a brand promise like this that you can build a customer base and more importantly keep your customers comfortable and happy. Naturally you will always have people that are disappointed by your service in some way no matter how hard you try, but a brand promise is a good place to start.
Your brand promise could be based around service.
It could be based around presentation – meaning the way that you package and present your products. Some companies differentiate themselves by wrapping their packages in very pretty packaging with little bows on top…
Or maybe your brand promise is to always provide a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, custom made for that one customer.
There are endless possibilities, but this is something you should think about for your existing business or your future eBay business.
eBay is becoming insanely competitive. If you don’t have an edge, a competitive advantage and a brand promise that you can keep every time, you’re TOAST!
Corey Kossack is one of eBay’s “top sellers” through his eBay store, Koss DVD. He is also author of eBay Millionaire or Bust and creator of ProfitBuilder software that maximizes profits for eBay sellers.