EP 31: Brands and Private Labels with Liran Hirschkon

In this episode, we have Liran Hirschkon, who is well known in the Amazon space, not only for his expertise and his insight, but he’s also a well-renowned conference speaker. He shares from his experience building and working with brands. 

Brand owner vs. Private Label Seller?

The main difference is that a brand is a conversation; a brand creates connection and emotion; it is a story that builds loyalty. On the other hand, if you’re a private label seller, you have a product, and you’re selling it because you rank for keywords on the first page. People are buying based on your price, reviews, product positioning, and your differentiation.

There is no right or wrong here; one is not better than the other; they are merely different business structures with their own set of rules.

Making the change.

If you started as a private label seller, you could migrate into a Brand owner. One of the things that we’ll look at is search volume for your brand name. This determines if people are starting to look for your brand rather than a specific product. You can use tools like helium 10 or merchant words and search your brand name to see how people are searching for you.

First steps.

Amazon is a great place to start if you’re a private label. It allows you to grow organically while making sales and foregoing a lot of expenses. Keep in mind when nobody knows your name and you’re starting out; you need to use some concrete strategies to get traction.

If you are a brand, keep in mind Amazon is a whole other beast. Even if you’ve been successful until now, you need to understand the nuances of the platform before diving in. With that said, it does offer a lot of opportunities for growth, especially if you already have an online presence or an established name.

Adapt and survive.

Amazon’s last quarterly report announced that advertising was their fastest-growing segment, surpassing AWS. Now you should be thinking about external advertising, and where is your audience hanging out? Is it on Pinterest? Is it on YouTube? Is on Facebook, is it on Instagram? And using those channels, because as Amazon gets more competitive, as more money comes in and as more of the spots become sponsored, you want to look towards what’s the next step.

“I think that YouTube is the next big thing; it’s been happening probably for the last year and will continue, especially when Facebook has become more expensive.” Liran Hirschkon

What’s working?

What’s really driving traffic? Is it branded search? Is it keyword traffic? Determining where your sales are coming from and separating it is vital to a solid marketing strategy. If you have all your data mixed up, you might get fantastic results the first couple of months, but then you will be stuck and unable to scale because there’s a finite amount of branded traffic, so you’re only going to get so many results on that.

Protect your lot.

It’s essential once you’ve established your turf to defend your digital real estate. If you are not bidding on a search term of your brand name and you’re searched, then other people can come in and siphon off that traffic. Especially if somebody has got a very similar product at a lower price point with great reviews, they can come in and take that market share away. So you want to defend that digital real estate, make sure if there are going to try to take that market share that they’re going to have to pay for it. So branded search has a role offensively and defensively as well.

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