Of course, it’s not impossible. Far from it, in fact. You see, whilst all these big brands may have the recognition and the resources, they face disadvantages of their own. As a much smaller brand, you can make the most of these advantages simply by being small, giving you every opportunity to share the spotlight with the big boys.
There’s plenty of room out there for the smaller fish and ample opportunity to carve out a success story against the famous names. Just make sure you work with the following in mind.
Find Your NicheYou are a small business. This means you don’t have to worry about winning over a whole global market. You just have to appeal to your particular niche. This makes it a lot easier to win over your customers as you don’t have to dilute your brand image to suit the public as a whole.
By focusing on a particular niche, you gain a strong reputation for that particular product that is strongly supported by a specific group. Word of mouth within this community will bring more customers to your door based on your dedication to your particular niche and how well you fit with the group’s interests. You build a reputation and your brand can stand shoulder to shoulder with bigger rivals.
Tell a StoryAll marketers are looking to build a story with their particular brand. Stories are easier to engage with and offer that extra touch of personality which can help create a connection to customers.
For newer, smaller brands, this story becomes a lot more compelling because customers are hearing it from the creator directly. The endeavour to create something new and share it with the world is still fresh and a strong part of the company and customers will be drawn to that very strongly. So strongly, in fact, that Google ran an advertising campaign that borrowed the stories of start ups, such as the Cambridge Satchel Company, painting Google’s services as the cause of these business success stories. People are interested in these stories and it helps to build brand loyalty.
Capture the ImaginationAlong with telling your story, you should be looking to follow a distinct, imaginative philosophy for your brand to follow. If your brand can capture a certain spirit, it sticks in the memory. If done right, your product and brand can become a symbol for the spirit your brand has embraced.
Pimms, for example, has come to be an established part of summer in Britain. It markets itself the most around the summer months and connects itself to festivals and other summer events. The reward is that when people think of a perfect summer’s day, it now involves a pitcher of Pimms. This is similar to how Apple marketed Macs before the iPod catapulted the brand to even bigger proportions. Macs were branded as the creative person’s computer. And, so, they were bought by artists and musicians and designers to work on.
If you can make your branding capture the imagination in this way, then marketing your products becomes easy. Just keep that fundamental idea and image and you will stick long in people’s memories.
Be FlexibleOne last benefit to being a smaller brand is it is a lot easier for you to move with the times. Whilst your brand should remain consistent, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make adjustments to follow new trends.
Bigger companies will struggle to change to follow changing attitudes. McDonalds have worked hard to make their food choices healthier but will always be seen negatively by a good many people because of the reputation they have built and the recognition they have developed. But, for your smaller brand it is simpler. You will have a more personal connection with the people that know about you and you can make changes to your branding and image and find whole new audiences for your products at the same time. This could well put you ahead of the curve, even in front of the bug guys.