Branded Dropshipping in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

Today I’ll go over how to start a branded dropshipping business in 2023.

With the dropshipping business model becoming increasingly competitive, online store owners need to find a way to stand out…

Enter Branded Dropshipping.

A branded dropshipping store can help you build a sustainable online business that will deliver profits for years to come…

But… how do you start dropshipping branded products?

What are the best dropshipping suppliers to use for a branded e-commerce store?

Let’s find out in this guide on how to start a branded dropshipping business in 2023!

What is Branded Dropshipping?

what is branded dropshipping

Before we dive into branded dropshipping, let’s discuss (standard) dropshipping.

When an online business uses dropshipping to meet orders, they don’t make, store, or ship any of the things they offer. Instead, they work with a dropshipping supplier who produces (or buys) the goods, stores them, and manages all aspects of shipping logistics.

The eCommerce business only purchases from the dropshipper when a shopper buys an item on their site; no inventory has to be ordered in advance.

Selling products under your own brand is known as branded dropshipping. Before sending the goods to the consumer, the dropshipping supplier bundles the items in branded packaging and applies brand labels.

Doing this can turn regular, boring dropshipping products into branded products…

What is a Brand?

best brands

A brand is much more than a logo and slogan; it is a promise that a business or product makes and keeps with its consumers.

A successful brand identifies what makes a business or product different, conveying its values and connecting emotionally with its audience. Crafting a powerful brand involves carefully researching customer needs, expectations, and preferences.

With the right strategy, businesses can create relationships between customers and brands that will continue to exist long after a service or product has been exchanged.

What do you want your brand identity to be? How would consumers behave when visiting your online store for the first time? To address these questions, your shop has to resonate with your target audience.

When dropshipping branded products, your e-commerce store must have a fantastic design, a smooth checkout process, and high-quality images and descriptions. All of these elements and more will support your branded dropshipping store…

But why else should you start a branded dropshipping business? Let’s take a look…

Why You Should Brand Your Dropshipping Store

You may ask if branded dropshipping is worth it for someone who already has a successful dropshipping store.

Given that you’ll likely have to buy inventory from dropshipping suppliers ahead of time, there would be additional upfront costs. What if you’re unable to clear out inventory? What if your rival offers a lower price?

The uncertainties are something we all know. However, let’s start by discussing the benefits…

Easier to Build Trust

branded store snow

If we have learned anything in our lifetime, we must know that trust is essential for long-term commercial success.

When your dropshipping brand identity is present in all aspects of your business—from product packaging to influencers to email marketing campaigns—your target audience will have greater faith in you. It makes them feel confident and proud of their purchase.

Unique Brand Identity Helps You Stand Out

unique brand identity

There are 12 to 14 million eCommerce businesses and 100,000+ dropshipping stores. With that number continuously growing, it can be challenging to stand out amid so much competition.

Selling generic goods on your online store is undoubtedly easier, but thousands or perhaps millions of other retailers are doing the same thing!

One approach to attracting potential customers is developing a distinct brand identity and offering branded products.

You can sell personalized products, where you decide on the layouts, packaging, unique selling points, and more. This helps you show off your brand values and makes them easier to recognize.

More Autonomy and Control

branded packaging

You have less control when you sell generic items on your online store. If your dropshipping supplier increases the cost of their products, you must pay the new price or find another supplier, which might be less reliable and trustworthy.

When you dropship branded products, you can control every aspect of the business, including things like product quality and shipping times.

Negative reviews will hurt your online business, but by selling your own branded product, you can avoid them because you can control everything from start to finish.

More Customer Loyalty

branded store reviews

Most consumers would instead buy from a brand they already know and trust.

Unlike standard dropshipping, the branded dropshipping business model allows you to build a relationship with your customers that will turn them into repeat buyers.

If your brand values, packaging, and products are exceptional, you can even turn customers into ambassadors recommending your store to their friends and family.

This is basically free marketing for your store, which means more profits!

Branding Promotes Accountability

branding accountability

Customers expect businesses to be accountable. They like to be aware that there is someone they can speak to if things don’t go as planned.

Because of this added accountability, your reputation as an entrepreneur increases by having branded dropshipping stores.

If you go above and beyond to win over customers’ confidence, there is no reason why you can’t dominate your niche.

How to Start Branded Dropshipping in 2023

You can start selling branded dropshipping products by following the steps below…

1. Choose a Niche

branded niche

Before you start selling products, you must define your niche. Selling to a niche market allows you to set yourself apart from the competition and makes it easier to build brand recognition.

It would be best if you looked for a market demand-driven, underserved niche. It will be challenging to find a great place, so you’ll have to do extensive research.

Look out for the top-selling products on other reputable dropshipping businesses.

What kind of brand values do you want to have? You can find a worthwhile cause to support, which will be easy if you already have certain ideals.

2. Pick Your Product

branded product research

In this phase, you will need your imagination and market research skills to find branded products to sell. You can start by thinking about the products you’ve bought or seen recently. You also have to decide if you want to sell low-ticket or high-ticket dropshipping products.

Social media sites like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc., may provide fantastic insight into what prospective customers like.

They let you learn about the issues that concern your consumers and the products they like. With this insight, you can determine what to sell and how your branded dropshipping site should operate. 

A different strategy is using software to see which products perform well on the market. The best product research tools or ad spy tools will help you spot products people frequently buy or search for online.

3. Choose Brand Identity and Values

brand identity and values

The ability of your message to connect with your target audience is among the most crucial factors to consider when developing a brand identity.

Discover your audience’s challenges, then explain how your branded products will address them.

Also, focus on what distinguishes your own dropshipping brand from others. Building a great brand requires understanding what sets you apart from your rivals.

Monitoring your competition can also help you learn which branding strategies are effective and which are not.

Creating a solid and enduring brand identity may be difficult if it doesn’t clearly and persuasively address your consumers’ pain points.

brand name and logo

After you thoroughly understand what you want your branded dropshipping store to be like, you can now bring it to life. You’d need a brand logo and name to do this.

To select an excellent brand name for your online store, begin by considering how important the name is to your branding strategy.

A brand name represents your company and may either enhance or detract from the value you deliver. Great company names build brand awareness, are catchy, appropriate, and convey a message.

As for the brand logo, it is the most identifiable aspect of your company and an essential component in branding.

It fosters brand recognition because you would include it everywhere, from your Shopify store and business cards to internet ads and product labels.

5. Design Your Branded Packaging

design branded packaging

Since you are online, buyers form their initial opinion of your branded dropshipping store when they see your brand packaging in your images.

Custom packaging is an excellent opportunity to make people feel good about your dropshipping brand immediately.

The package design is a significant component of your brand since it’s the first thing they see when they get their order.

How to Design Your Product Packaging

Good brand packaging designs should consider several factors, including testing and research. Here are the simple steps to create excellent custom packaging.

Choose the Size and Shape

You should take the product’s size and weight into account.

Choose the Material

Are your goods delicate? Do they have an expiration date? If your items are constructed of thin glass, you must think about packing in a manner that will avoid breakage in transportation.

Identify Target Audience

Recognize your target market. For instance, a sparkly pink cardboard box may not be the ideal packing choice if you’re selling power equipment to professional handymen.

Study the Competition

Investigating other brands and online stores is the next stage in constructing your brand packaging.

You should order products from other online retailers that offer items comparable to your own branded products. You can observe how their merchandise is arranged and see what materials, colors, and forms are used.

Look For Ideas Online

Look for your product category + “packaging” online. This will give you a thorough understanding of the various strategies used.

Note Labeling Requirements

You also need to determine the packing your item requires, both physically and legally. Certain things must also be packaged and sent following legal requirements.

For instance, the FDA sets tight guidelines for the packaging, labeling, and storing food and cosmetic goods.

Bring Your Design to Life

If you’re great at graphic design, you can lay out packaging dielines and choose the design components and typefaces you wish to use in software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

If your tech skills are not as sharp, you can hire an expert to design your packaging. Finally, send the design to your supplier so they can approve it and print it for you.

6. Find a Branded Dropshipping Supplier

branded dropshipping supplier

A great supplier enables a dropshipping business to fulfill orders and keep customers happy.

After deciding on the branded dropshipping products you want to offer, you need to locate dropshipping suppliers that will provide fast shipping, low costs, high-quality items, and custom packaging, like CJDropshipping.

There are many retailers out there that act as dropshipping suppliers, such as AliExpress. However, because of how unreliable it is, you’ll have to use an AliExpress alternative to build a successful dropshipping brand.

To build brand loyalty, your Shopify store must offer fast shipping. The easiest way to provide fast shipping is to use warehouses close to your customer base.

For example, you could use the best dropshipping suppliers in Canada or the UK to offer fast shipping in those countries. Another option is to find private-label suppliers, which are less common and harder to find.

7. Build Your Online Store

branded store

To build a great branded dropshipping store, the design is crucial. A recognized, pleasant, and successful brand identity depends upon great online store design.

You may build your branded dropshipping store using an eCommerce solution like Shopify. These online store builders let you create your shop without having to master complex programming languages or using a dozen different computers.

To create a Shopify store, you only need access to the internet. You could make it even easier by simply buying a prebuilt Shopify store.

8. Write Unique Product Descriptions

branded product descriptions

It might be tempting to depend solely on the descriptions from the dropshipping supplier. However, this could cause issues for your customers and your branded dropshipping store.

Using duplicate information might cause your shop to rank lower on search engine results because these platforms penalize plagiarized content.

Additionally, it informs clients that they may be able to obtain the identical thing elsewhere for less money.

Writing distinctive, engaging product descriptions is an excellent way to improve your website’s SEO and increase your items’ attraction to buyers.

Unique product descriptions will help you connect directly to and persuade your target market to buy from your branded dropshipping store.

9. Market Your Online Store

marketing your store

After creating an outstanding online store, it’s time to market it to your target audience.

Google Ads or Facebook Ads remain the finest marketing tools to make a branded dropshipping store profitable. Another popular marketing strategy is to use TikTok or Instagram shoutouts.

As long as you understand your target market and use compelling ad creatives, your ads can be very profitable.

10. Grow Your Social Media Accounts

brand social media account

Social media is the ideal channel for expanding your branded dropshipping store since it lets you immediately see what items are popular.

It also helps you reach your target audience, improve brand awareness, and build customer relationships. Store owners can regularly post content that resonates with their audience, converting them into returning customers.

You can also use social media to gather valuable customer feedback, testimonials, and reviews. For example, if your online store sells dresses and you notice that your customers post pictures of themselves wearing your attire, you know it’s wise to keep investing in the product.

11. Create Customer Loyalty

brand product reviews

Building customer loyalty depends on exceptional customer service and thousands of outstanding product reviews. Below are some tips on strengthening relationships with your branded dropshipping business:

  1. Make it easy for target customers to contact you with inquiries regarding your branded dropshipping products.

  2. Be prompt when replying to customers. It’s preferable to establish one point of contact and keep an eye on it than to attempt to be everywhere at once.

  3. Keep your refunds and returns policy honest and open. It’s better to refund the customer and lose some profits instead of getting a bad review.

  4. Go the extra mile. If a shipment is delayed or there is a quality issue, raise the issue with the customer to ensure they are happy.

  5. If a customer has a complaint, consider offering discounts or store credit to foster goodwill and promote loyalty.

Branded Dropshipping: FAQ

Is branded dropshipping legal?

Unless you are branding the goods with a name, color, or emblem protected by a trademark, it certainly is.

Sneakers are a straightforward example; you can purchase them and brand them with whatever name you choose.

The branding of Nike or Adidas, including their colors, emblem, and names, however, cannot be imitated. Therefore, selling a pair of Nike shoes in Adidas packaging is illegal.

If you are using your brand name to sell a product protected by copyright, there will also be issues. For instance, unless you have a license or vendor agreement with Disney, you cannot brand clothing with Disney-owned images.

But as long as you use original branding to sell generic, non-copyrighted goods, you are not breaking the law.

Can I brand my existing dropshipping store?

Branding an existing dropshipping store is possible and easier than starting a new one.

As I talked earlier, your branded dropshipping store must have a great brand name, logo, values, and more.

Branding your current dropshipping store gives you an advantage because you already know what your loyal customers prefer. Use these insights to sell branded products that keep them satisfied for the long term.

Is branded dropshipping the same as print on demand?

A print-on-demand business means you personalize goods from suppliers who offer generic dropshipping products (such as sneakers or t-shirts) and sell them on a per-order basis under your own brand.

Print-on-demand is another method of branded drop shipping. In this case, your supplier takes care of order fulfillment and shipping and includes digital printing of your custom packaging. The best clothing dropshipping suppliers can help if you want to dropship branded products like t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and more.

Is branded dropshipping profitable and worth It?

Branded dropshipping can be more work and have higher costs, but it has a much higher ceiling than traditional dropshipping.

Using a brand’s identity can increase your credibility, attractiveness, and recognition while creating loyal customers. This could allow you to sell your business for a significant sum.

What are the best branded products to dropship?

Women’s clothes are one of the most popular and lucrative dropshipping products. Private label suppliers may sell everything from T-shirts to formal gowns at a modest price.

Some other great branded products include teeth whitening kits, skin care products, dog harnesses, and more.

What is private labeling?

Private labeling is when an online store uses its own brand name to sell a product a third-party developed.

Everything related to the product or items is within the retailer’s (in this case, dropshipper’s) control. That covers the product’s specifications, packaging, and everything else.

Private label suppliers then send the dropshipping branded products to the customers. From the perspective of potential customers, they are the business’s products.

Conclusion: Should You Start a Dropshipping Brand?

branded dropshipping conclusion

After being in the dropshipping trenches for 6+ years, it’s clear how important branding is…

A branded dropshipping store is a fantastic method to sell products online for long-term profits…

However, it’s essential to know that branded dropshipping is more work and can have higher upfront costs.

I recommend starting dropshipping generic products, as it’s much easier and lower risk.

Once you’ve established product-market fit and are making profits, you can take that generic product and turn it into a branded product using the methods I described above.

This will help you build a moat for your e-commerce business, allowing you to make significant profits for many years.

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