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BUILDING BRAND ON AMAZON
Digiday Amazon Strategies Conference
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
● WellPath started in 2016 as customized nutritional supplements
● Leveraged assets we had developed our brand and audience to launch non-customized
product on Amazon in February 2018
● Have now launched six products that are Amazon-first, utilizing our core strategy for success
● WellPath was part of the 2019 crop of Emerging Brands, a program at Amazon that is for
brands not previously on Amazon and is invite only, though Amazon takes no fee and
provides a number of very useful benefits
○ For any CPG brands who are not yet on Amazon and showing some early traction
debating whether they should go onto Amazon I would be happy to talk about getting
you guys intro’d to the Emerging Brands Group
● Our new brand, Finn, will be launching in Q2 2020 with the Emerging Brands Group and
leveraging the key tenets of the strategies we’ve developed
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Three huge learnings have undergirded much of our Amazon strategy and approach.
● BRAND MATTERS
○ Misconception: Consumers only want the cheapest products, that’s why they are on Amazon
○ Reality: Brand matters on Amazon, consumers will pay a premium for a brand they recognize.
Consumers will oftentimes go to your website from Amazon to go vet you.
● FIRST PARTY DATA IS KING
○ Misconception: Because Amazon takes a rip when you have owned traffic you should be
directing it into your owned channels for the sake of getting the point-of-sale data
○ Reality: If you already have someone’s email or phone number you should be more apt to
send them into Amazon. Amazon really values customers who come from outside the Amazon
ecosystem and convert at a high rate.
● BUILD COMMUNITY
○ Misconception: Amazon customers have no loyalty, they repurchase at very low rates and so
the LTV is low
○ Reality: Before Amazon cut off any sort of names we could see the same names would recur
frequently as buyers so we know that the continuity, even for non subscribe and save
customers, was quite high
LEARNING ONE: THE FOUR PILLARS OF CONSUMER TRUST
Strong brand protects you from copycat products on Amazon and gets people into your listings.
That press also builds credibility in the eyes of the customer
● Press: Work with PR firms or do grassroots outreach to get the right press coverage
● Experts: Reach out to experts in the field and get endorsements or partnerships
● Partnerships: Do partnerships with well known brands consumers trust for the positive associations
● Community: Lean in hard on creating great content and building a large, engaged community
LEARNING TWO: FIRST PARTY DATA ACQUISITION
We focus on acquiring first party data - specifically email and phone number - through other
means than relying on the checkout on our DTC page so we can direct response market and send
people into Amazon
● Email
○ Still the most cost effective channel there is
○ We acquire most of our emails through multibrand partnerships like sweepstakes, giveaways
and contests
○ We also acquire emails through on-site lightboxes and other more traditional means
○ Focus on producing a lot of high quality content at our media site to keep emails engaged as
well as build trust and authority for the brand
● Phone Numbers
○ More expensive since every text costs real money but engagement is very high since not highly
penetrated yet
○ Acquire phone numbers through similar means as emails but new tools coming out (e.g.
Attentive) that make SMS direct response messaging much more sophisticated and effective
● Tools we use:
LEARNING THREE: COMMUNITY FOCUS
We’ve become incredibly focused on community building - particularly as it relates to establishing
brand authority. That has been a very effective way of building our superfans who we can mobilize
to get excited about new product launches and help build momentum in those all-important
weeks
● Content
○ We invest in a full time content team that produces five longform articles and four newsletters
every week
○ We believe the right ratio for content:commerce is somewhere between 3:1 or 4:1
○ We focus on the three E’s of engage, educate and empower for all of our content
● Social
○ Table stakes as it’s an easy reference point for someone vetting your brand to see if you seem
to have legitimacy and some scale
○ Not a great tool for customer acquisition, but it is critical for credibility (not inclusive of
facebook/instagram advertising, which obviously has an important place in acquisition)
○ We spend less time here than written content but want to implement more of the 3 C’s here
soon
SUMMARY
You can build a brand on Amazon. In fact, to really succeed on a long term basis, you need to.
● Focus on your four pillars of credibility to get consumers to trust your brand.
● Acquire first party data to build large audiences you can direct into your listings from your
owned channels
● Build a community of fans who you engage with regularly so when you launch new products
you can effectively mobilize them
This is not comprehensive. We do a lot of other things. But these are table stakes for building a real
longterm brand on Amazon.
colin@gowellpath.com

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Amazon Strategies January 2019 | WellPath

  • 1. BUILDING BRAND ON AMAZON Digiday Amazon Strategies Conference
  • 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ● WellPath started in 2016 as customized nutritional supplements ● Leveraged assets we had developed our brand and audience to launch non-customized product on Amazon in February 2018 ● Have now launched six products that are Amazon-first, utilizing our core strategy for success ● WellPath was part of the 2019 crop of Emerging Brands, a program at Amazon that is for brands not previously on Amazon and is invite only, though Amazon takes no fee and provides a number of very useful benefits ○ For any CPG brands who are not yet on Amazon and showing some early traction debating whether they should go onto Amazon I would be happy to talk about getting you guys intro’d to the Emerging Brands Group ● Our new brand, Finn, will be launching in Q2 2020 with the Emerging Brands Group and leveraging the key tenets of the strategies we’ve developed
  • 3. WHAT WE’VE LEARNED Three huge learnings have undergirded much of our Amazon strategy and approach. ● BRAND MATTERS ○ Misconception: Consumers only want the cheapest products, that’s why they are on Amazon ○ Reality: Brand matters on Amazon, consumers will pay a premium for a brand they recognize. Consumers will oftentimes go to your website from Amazon to go vet you. ● FIRST PARTY DATA IS KING ○ Misconception: Because Amazon takes a rip when you have owned traffic you should be directing it into your owned channels for the sake of getting the point-of-sale data ○ Reality: If you already have someone’s email or phone number you should be more apt to send them into Amazon. Amazon really values customers who come from outside the Amazon ecosystem and convert at a high rate. ● BUILD COMMUNITY ○ Misconception: Amazon customers have no loyalty, they repurchase at very low rates and so the LTV is low ○ Reality: Before Amazon cut off any sort of names we could see the same names would recur frequently as buyers so we know that the continuity, even for non subscribe and save customers, was quite high
  • 4. LEARNING ONE: THE FOUR PILLARS OF CONSUMER TRUST Strong brand protects you from copycat products on Amazon and gets people into your listings. That press also builds credibility in the eyes of the customer ● Press: Work with PR firms or do grassroots outreach to get the right press coverage ● Experts: Reach out to experts in the field and get endorsements or partnerships ● Partnerships: Do partnerships with well known brands consumers trust for the positive associations ● Community: Lean in hard on creating great content and building a large, engaged community
  • 5. LEARNING TWO: FIRST PARTY DATA ACQUISITION We focus on acquiring first party data - specifically email and phone number - through other means than relying on the checkout on our DTC page so we can direct response market and send people into Amazon ● Email ○ Still the most cost effective channel there is ○ We acquire most of our emails through multibrand partnerships like sweepstakes, giveaways and contests ○ We also acquire emails through on-site lightboxes and other more traditional means ○ Focus on producing a lot of high quality content at our media site to keep emails engaged as well as build trust and authority for the brand ● Phone Numbers ○ More expensive since every text costs real money but engagement is very high since not highly penetrated yet ○ Acquire phone numbers through similar means as emails but new tools coming out (e.g. Attentive) that make SMS direct response messaging much more sophisticated and effective ● Tools we use:
  • 6. LEARNING THREE: COMMUNITY FOCUS We’ve become incredibly focused on community building - particularly as it relates to establishing brand authority. That has been a very effective way of building our superfans who we can mobilize to get excited about new product launches and help build momentum in those all-important weeks ● Content ○ We invest in a full time content team that produces five longform articles and four newsletters every week ○ We believe the right ratio for content:commerce is somewhere between 3:1 or 4:1 ○ We focus on the three E’s of engage, educate and empower for all of our content ● Social ○ Table stakes as it’s an easy reference point for someone vetting your brand to see if you seem to have legitimacy and some scale ○ Not a great tool for customer acquisition, but it is critical for credibility (not inclusive of facebook/instagram advertising, which obviously has an important place in acquisition) ○ We spend less time here than written content but want to implement more of the 3 C’s here soon
  • 7. SUMMARY You can build a brand on Amazon. In fact, to really succeed on a long term basis, you need to. ● Focus on your four pillars of credibility to get consumers to trust your brand. ● Acquire first party data to build large audiences you can direct into your listings from your owned channels ● Build a community of fans who you engage with regularly so when you launch new products you can effectively mobilize them This is not comprehensive. We do a lot of other things. But these are table stakes for building a real longterm brand on Amazon. colin@gowellpath.com