How to Make Your Brand Stand Out When Amazon’s Your Marketing Competitor

Last week, I was looking for a new yoga mat on Amazon. Being someone who plays it safe, I usually go for Amazon Basics. So, I found a lovely blue mat for about 20 dollars and added it to my cart.

Last week, I was looking for a new yoga mat on Amazon. Being someone who plays it safe, I usually go for Amazon Basics. So, I found a lovely blue mat for about 20 dollars and added it to my cart.

I almost entered my card details when I spotted a beautiful purple mat with a similar price and great reviews.

Despite all the awesomeness, I hesitated because the brand was unfamiliar.

But curiosity got the best of me, so I checked out the seller’s site. The offer and number of positive comments were too good to pass up. Finally, I decided to switch out the Amazon Basics mat for the purple mat.

All this made me wonder: Why do we always go for Amazon deals, leaving smaller brands behind? Is it just about prices or something else? Better ads, trust, safety?

To find out, I did some research and talked to brand experts. In this piece, I’m sharing all the tricks on how smaller brands can get noticed and beat the Amazon game.

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Amazon’s Competitive Advantage

In January 2024, Amazon became the world’s fifth most valuable company, worth $1.599 trillion. And a massive part of that amount is thanks to Amazon Basics products.

Amazon Basics, started in 2009, is Amazon’s brand, offering a variety of everyday items at low prices.

When it first launched, Amazon Basics focused on selling small, cheap products they knew would make a lot of money.

Today, the offer is way bigger and better.

There are several factors behind this success:

Wide Range of Products

Amazon’s first significant advantage is its diverse offer.

Customers can get almost anything they want in one place.

New jacket? Check. New batteries? Check. Bath tissue? Check. Body lotion? Check.

Literally everything.

Interesting fact: Amazon wasn’t always this type of store. Initially, it was a small bookstore, and through years of hard work, it grew into a global retail giant thanks to dedication and the ability to adapt when needed.

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Global Availability

Amazon’s smart logistics make deliveries quick and reliable no matter where you are. You can get your stuff in two days or even the same day.

They have warehouses worldwide, so even during busy times such as holidays, you can count on your package to be delivered at the right time.

Always thinking about the customer

Amazon wants you to have a great shopping experience.

They make returns easy, have customer service available 24/7, and regularly suggest other products you might like.

Amazon always had a soft spot for customers, and the letter from 1997 is the proof in the pudding:

“From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to offer customers something they simply could not get any other way,” writes Founder Jeff Bezos.

Innovations and Better Prices

With fast deliveries, rich offers, and smart technology like virtual assistant Alexa, Amazon stays ahead and gives its customers the coolest things to use.

And these cool items usually come with a price tag that’s way better than anywhere else.

Why?

Amazon uses cutting-edge tech and automation. This helps processes run smoothly and saves some serious money that way.

By lowering the prices of its products, it naturally attracts more customers because, let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good offer?

Amazon can give you more for less, and that’s their biggest advantage.

How Your Brand Can Stand Out (+ Data and Expert Tips)

Just like in SEO or social media, the crucial thing on Amazon is to stand out. Be different. Recognizable.

Before jumping to the practical guide, let’s see what John Aspinall, Amazon CTR coach and senior account executive at My Amazon Guy, says.

Aspinall notes that Amazon is a colossal presence, offering a wide range of products priced aggressively. They’re also backed by the behemoth’s reputation, which can feel like the endgame for competing brands, he notes.

“But there’s a chink in Amazon’s armor — complacency. Amazon often banks on its brand name, assuming its products will be the de facto choice for consumers. However, they tend to overlook critical aspects such as SEO, merchandising, and tactical marketing,” Aspinall says,

Aspinall states these are “areas where smaller brands, with the right guidance, can outshine them [Amazon].”

Now check five easy steps to outdo the Amazon competition.

1. Improve your product pages with A+ Content for a better appeal.

Make your product pages stand out by using A+ Content (also known as “Enhanced brand content”–> EBC).

This Amazon tool lets you add cool stuff like better pictures, videos, and charts to tell your brand’s story. It helps answer customer questions upfront and leads to more sales and traffic.

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Here are some simple things to add for better sales:

  • Use catchy headers and pictures.
  • Make lists to show off your product features.
  • Use charts to compare your product with others.
  • Get creative with your pictures and words.

A+ features can keep customers returning, boosting your sales by up to 8%.

Brands with a store get approximately 31x more repeat purchases in just 60 days.

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2. Launch ads and promotions to reach more leads.

After fixing up your store and improving your product pages, think about using Amazon Ads to get more people to know and buy from your brand.

Try different Amazon ad tools:

  1. Sponsored Brands. Stand out with a headline and logo in Amazon searches.
  2. Sponsored Products. Show your stuff on Amazon store pages and in searches.
  3. Sponsored Display. Reach customers on and off Amazon, featuring your brand’s products.

According to Amazon Advertising Benchmark Report 2022, Sponsored Products campaigns cost 13%-79% less per click compared to other options.

Also, keep an eye on how well your ads are doing by focusing on:

  • Where your ads are and how well they’re doing.
  • How many new customers have your ads brought in?
  • How much do you spend on ads compared to your sales (ACOS)?

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3. Tell your story to make people feel and love your unique brand.

As a brand owner, you have one significant advantage over Amazon products — a brand story.

“Amazon‘s approach is often ’one-size-fits-all,’ lacking a nuanced understanding of niche markets,” Aspinall says, “This is where smaller brands can capitalize. The key lies in differentiation and clear communication.”

Let’s take a look at Amazon Basics for a moment. While it offers a variety of products, it lacks a specific passion or focus. This makes its identity somewhat generic and less compelling.

Now, think about your brand.

You have a niche, something you’re passionate about, which changes the game. You can connect more deeply with your audience and position your brand as an authority.

“Then comes merchandising. Amazon’s in-house brands often lack the storytelling and brand personality that resonate with consumers,” John adds. “Here, other brands can create compelling product listings, high-quality images, and engaging descriptions that inform and connect with the buyer.”

He says, “It’s about creating an experience, not just a transaction.”

Make sure to tell your story your WHY on Amazon. Let people fall in love with you.

Then, they’ll fall in love with your brand.

And finally, your offer.

4. Encourage reviews naturally to build trust with your brand.

According to Testimonial Engine, about 72% of people won’t buy something until they’ve read reviews.

On Amazon, it’s crucial to keep reviews honest. No tricks allowed — fake reviews can lead to serious consequences. Avoid paying for or persuading positive reviews.

A simple note in your products asking for feedback is fine. Also, use social media to gently remind customers to leave reviews.

5. Make your unique voice heard and nurture customer loyalty with Amazon Live.

To grow a loyal customer base and make your brand more recognizable, use tools like Amazon Live. It’s a fun way to connect with customers in real-time and boost sales with live, shoppable content.

Based on Online Dasher research:

  • Fans spend 43% more at the places they love.
  • Businesses with loyal customers grow revenue 2.5 times faster.
  • Loyalty program members generate 12-18% more yearly revenue growth than non-members.

So once you’ve got a fanbase on Amazon, the Manage Your Customer Engagement (MYCE) tool becomes your sidekick.

It lets you email your brand’s followers, including those who’ve recently shopped, shopped often, or spent a lot. Keep them hooked and excited about your brand.

“After making a sale, the focus should shift to keeping customers happy and encouraging them to recommend your brand,” says Kate Ross, a marketing specialist at Irresistible Me.

Ross notes that retaining customers is generally less expensive than acquiring new ones. Therefore, “this approach builds your brand’s reputation and credibility quickly,” Ross says.

Brands Going Toe-to-Toe with Amazon

The Amazon Basics brand is getting a lot of hype. But guess what? Some brands are still outshining them.

Whether it’s about quality, innovation, or unique features, these brands are making their mark on Amazon.

I’ll share three brands that give Amazon Basics a run for its money, each excelling in its way.

Let’s see.

1. Amazon Basics Yoga Mat vs. BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

To drive my point, let’s go back to the yoga mat.

My first choice was the Amazon Basics yoga mat.

Extra thick, comfy mat with elastic strap for storage and carrying. I like the 360-degree display, which lets you see the product from all angles.

On the other hand, Amazon Basics products usually have simple, or as the name implies — basic images. They’re pretty straightforward with a white background (even a bit boring if you ask me), but they get the job done.

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Amazon Basics Yoga Mat

  • Price: $20.38
  • Rating: 4.6 stars
  • Number of purchases: 75,482

What I like: Clear product descriptions, a high rating, refund or replacement within 30 days, and an affordable price point.

Since I gave up on the Amazon Basics mat, let me show you the one I chose at the end: the BalanceFrom yoga mat.

I‘ll be honest; I’ve never heard of this brand before. Still, based on more than 91k ratings, it’s evident that many people have.

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I loved the cool purple color and handy carrying strap, but what made me say “Yes,” was the A+ content below.

A neat section shows off the mats creatively, with pictures explaining all the features, sizes, and perks.

That’s something Amazon Basics doesn’t have.

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Then, I checked out their gallery and found one awesome video.

The video shows how strong, solid, and waterproof the mat is. It was really well-made, showing the BalanceFrom team put the effort into producing quality content.

And that always wins me over — especially the logo and inspiring slogan ending.

They boldly declared themselves the top-selling exercise yoga mat in the U.S. for three years — a savvy move to boost trustworthiness.

They boldly declared themselves the top-selling exercise yoga mat in the US for three years — a savvy move to boost trustworthiness.

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BalanceFrom Yoga mat

  • Price: $19.99
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Number of purchases/reviews: 91,084

What I like: Quality content, clear product description, refund or replacement within 30 days, more than 91k purchases, affordable price, high rating, impressive visuals, user-generated videos, and a powerful message in the ad video.

How BalanceFrom outshined Amazon Basics?

Cost advantage: BalanceFrom edges out Amazon Basics for being a bit cheaper. Not a huge gap, but a little savings is always a win.

More purchases/reviews: BalanceFrom garnered more reviews and purchases, indicating its popularity among customers.

Niche focus: Unlike Amazon Basics, which offers a wide range of products, BalanceFrom focuses specifically on fitness. This niche name helps it stand out, build trust, and attract the right audience.

Better content: BalanceFrom has more creative and detailed content.

Credible messaging: The strong message in BalanceFrom’s video adds credibility and trust in the fitness market. This confidence makes it a more reliable and attractive choice.

Note: This example is a solid reminder that snagging the top #1 spot on Amazon isn’t the only path to outperforming the competition.

This mat may not claim the first rank, but it effortlessly dethrones the Amazon Basics mat with 16k more reviews and purchases.

2. Amazon Basics Wireless Mouse vs. Tecknet Wireless Mouse

The next products I analyzed were two different wireless mice.

Let’s start with the Amazon Basics mouse.

It’s an ergonomic mouse available in five different colors.

The product promotion is average, in the classic style of all Amazon Basics products—nothing better, nothing worse. The description is short and clear, with simple pictures showing all parts from all sides.

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But as I kept scrolling, I got a bit disappointed. Besides a couple of not-so-great user videos, there wasn’t much else worth checking out.

Amazon Basics Wireless Mouse

  • Price: $10.39
  • Rating: 4.4 stars
  • Number of purchases/reviews: 20,714

What I like: The low price, positive overall ratings, and a good number of purchases.

Now, let’s check its biggest rival — the Tecknet wireless mouse.

Compared to the Amazon Basics mouse, this product looks better. The pictures are nicer, and the video is way better than Amazon Basics’ video.

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Tecknet video looks professional and has cool pictures, animations, and good music in the background.

Beyond the classic features in the product description, one aspect caught my attention — the 36 months of support. What a great way to enhance the product’s value and show care for customers.

And below the product description, we can see more of Tecknet’s awesome content:

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Or, for instance, this:

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So fresh, so good.

Tecknet Wireless Mouse

  • Price: $11.99
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Number of purchases/reviews: 64,483

What I like: Stylish content, a product breakdown, slick images and videos, a customer-centric approach, fast delivery, free returns, and affordable prices.

How Tecknet outshined Amazon Basics?

Visual appeal: Better pictures and a pro-level video than Amazon Basics’ poor visuals.

Comprehensive product description: Detailed description with a full breakdown of features and benefits (36-month support).

Pricing and value: Although Tecknet is slightly pricier at $11.99, it justifies the cost with better content, a customer-centric approach, fast delivery, and free returns.

Customer ratings and reviews: Tecknet shines with a higher 4.5-star rating and a whopping 64,483 reviews, showing that many people love it and have good things to say.

3. Amazon Basics Wooden Kitchen vs. KidKraft Kitchen

Let’s playfully wrap up this comparison section and pit two wooden kids’ kitchens against each other.

The first one is the Amazon Basics Wooden corner kitchen.

When I went through the content on the page, I found details about the product, photos, and a video showcasing the kitchen’s features. However, I immediately noticed the lack of life in the content, especially in the video.

The video feels somewhat empty, lacking soul.

In my opinion, promoting a children’s product without featuring any kids is a huge marketing miss. 👎

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Below, the manufacturer provides more details about materials, accessories, and benefits for children.

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Amazon Basics kid’s kitchen

  • Price: $169.37
  • Rating: 4.2 stars
  • Number of purchases/reviews: 1,697

What I like: Detailed product description, clear images, playset breakdown, and good ratings.

Now KidKraft.

KidKraft’s kitchen is so stunning.

And its content on Amazon is stunning as well.

First, the pictures show a little girl playing in the kitchen, adding the REAL touch I was talking about.

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And the whole website below the product is simply fantastic.

First, there’s the section to learn more about the brand, and I absolutely adore their “Kids first. Play forever” slogan.

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The images are super playful and colorful; it’s all so tied together with the brand and message. The brand tells its story through every photo, every word, and every piece of content.

One thing is for sure — the brand is dedicated to creating the absolute best for its littlest and sweetest audience.

KidKraft kitchen

  • Price: $188.55
  • Rating: 4.7 stars
  • Number of purchases/reviews: 17,317

What I like: Genuine pictures, great content, catchy descriptions, vibrant colors, high ratings, and brand image.

How KidKraft outshined Amazon Basics

Kid-centric imagery: KidKraft uses real, lively images of kids, creating an emotional connection. Amazon Basics lacks this warmth.

Colorful allure: KidKraft’s vibrant palette automatically makes its products more appealing to kids, standing out against Amazon Basics’ dullness.

Storytelling descriptions: KidKraft’s descriptions tell a compelling story, engaging customers. Amazon Basics leans more on factual information, missing that personal touch.

Brand identity: KidKraft’s brand name is tightly linked to kids products, unlike Amazon Basics, which covers a wide range.

High ratings and many reviews: KidKraft’s products boast better ratings and more reviews, indicating customer satisfaction and building trust.

Beating Amazon and Making Sales

Brands compete hard on Amazon, not just with each other but with in-house giants like Amazon Basics.

Despite what people might think, success on Amazon isn’t only for the big shots. It’s for brands with clever plans and good strategies.

Let’s wrap up the main steps you should take:

  • Improve product pages with A+ Content.
  • Use Amazon Ads effectively.
  • Share your brand story.
  • Encourage honest reviews.
  • Foster customer loyalty with Amazon Live and the MYCE tool.

And most importantly—be unique. You need to show why you’re special—whether it‘s quality, offer, ethics, or a different focus. It’s not about size but about being noticeably different.

Remember—in the Amazon world, victory goes to those ready to stand out and (out)shine.

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