Illustration How to Start Branding a Marketplace: Tips & Examples

How to Start Branding a Marketplace: Tips & Examples

At the start of branding your marketplace, you need to know many important things. So let’s close look at the main questions related to the branding:

“Branding” - what does it mean?

No one can give an exact answer to this question since in academic and business circles there are various opinions and representations of this concept. In the general definition: the goal of branding is to create a new brand that will have its values, philosophy and quality visual embodiment. The very word “branding” related to the main areas of PR, marketing, and advertising.

There are many different opinions. Some people use the word branding for products, others use this word from the point of view of companies. Some people evaluate this visually, while others do not.

One of the best definitions of branding was provided by Shopify. In their opinion, these are "all ways to create an image of your company in the eyes of your customers."

Also read our article: Best way to calculate your marketplace business:is it cost to start?

Thus, we do not focus on the visual aspect (from the logo, appearance, ending with your slogan and many others), but we show the general relationship between all elements (for example, communication with customers or quality of listings).

Of course, branding an expensive product and a cheap product will be different and produce a different impression on customers. For any businessman, it is important to understand the difference, while the company sees its brand and how the users perceive it.

After all, even the most popular company like McDonald's has both admirers and detractors. For some, Toyotas are good and affordable cars, for others - they are cheap.

Branding consists of many factors, personal values and goals of the client, therefore the company should be targeted at a segment (and take into account the age, gender, and income of people).

Therefore, the more accurate the audience choice, the more successful the company will have. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits, and desires of your current and potential customers. Do not guess what they think. Know what they think. All this should be taken into account when developing functions, choosing the direction of the company - mobile phones or computers development, Apple or Android, what you need to write about social networks, etc.

Few words about inspiration

Brand positioning inspiration, let's look at a few examples of the most successful companies.


In 2014, the company underwent a rebranding. Namely, rebranding included the Belong Anywhere page. Airbnb claims that they help people to revive the notion of "society"; sharing your home, you can visit others. An important part of branding is to be able to distinguish your company from the rest.

Service creates its own cozy atmosphere, and we can immediately distinguish it from the similar companies like


A well-known transportation company that has been working on its rebranding for a long time to withstand its main competitor, Uber. Although both companies provide similar services, Lyft positions itself as your friend with the car.


Became "available online". The company positions itself as a service uniting customers who need professional help. Thumbtack provides various services on the most simple terms.

Also read our article: All tips you need to know getting start a marketplace in 2018

Why do I need to care about branding of my marketplace?

Based on the above examples, let's understand why branding is so important for the company.

Airbnb has managed to distinguish itself from other companies by providing short-term rental services for the community anywhere in the world.. Also, the service highlights quality photos (unlike Craigslist), as well as the confidence of users.

Lyft branding allowed people to create a friendlier environment. In addition, despite the fact that trips with Uber are cheaper, many users still choose a friendly company.

Thumbtack branding was aimed at creating regular customers. They try to solve any services as high as possible and find an approach to each client.

How to start my marketplace branding?

If you want to build your own brand and you do not have the resources, try to use this method that related to the branding strategy canvas.

It will help you to form basic strategic insights into your branding process.

You need:

1)At least one, better - two-four people to make a good discussion. But to participate should those people whose opinion you respect more and who knows your marketplace idea.
2)Canvas and a pencil for each person. Thus, each person will be less distracted and will focus on the final result.
3)About two or more hours.

Basic plan:

1)First hour. Participants fill out their sheets individually.
2)Half an hour. Compare the answers and highlight the best offers.
3)Half an hour. Write an agreement about the positioning of the brand, which will be separated from the rest of the answers.

For example, add the following questions related to the brand positioning statement to the canvas.

· Customer Insight. Questions aimed at describing the target audience of your marketplace.
· Competitive Environment Identify the main competitors with similar services.
· Product / Company Features. Imagine a quick advertisement that lasts about 10 seconds and that describes the activities of your company.
· Company’s benefits. Describe what is special about your company and what unique material advantages it provides (unlike competitors).
· Emotional side. Think about the expectations and wishes of potential customers. And also plans for their implementation.

After a discussion of the answers between you and your interlocutors, we can create a Brand Positioning Statement that will meet all of the above requirements. Describe a few suggestions for WHY this business was created, HOW is your company called, [WHY are you better than your competitors]( are and WHAT can you offer to your customers.

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