BRANDBUZZ: How Small Businesses Stand Tall

Bigger is not always better, and while your small brand may not have the deep pockets and vast resources of your larger and more affluent competitors, you possess strengths that the big guys don’t. Truth is, in the world of excess, quality is and always will be king. The following are a few ways to turn what may seem like challenges into advantages.

Agility
Large companies have so much red tape to cut through just to produce a single piece of marketing material, but not you! Chances are there is only one decision maker at your company, or perhaps a small marketing team. This means a more focused approach, giving you the opportunity to react quickly to changing needs.

For example, let’s say your community is in the midst of disaster, like a flood or tornado. While the big guys are airing radio ads about their upcoming sale, you can move quickly and talk to your community about disaster aid and how your company is coming through in a tough time. The same is true for a variety of conditions and concerns. Your small operation allows you to be more agile when it comes to delivering your message.

Knowing Your Organization 
You probably know your company better than anyone. You may have built it from the ground up, with little to no help. That’s a massive advantage over the big boys. At a large company, decisions are made through a chain of command. Teams usually come up with the ideas for ad buys, messaging and marketing decisions. Maybe the decision makers there are in a different city altogether. That’s not the case for you. You live and work in the community you serve, and you know how to make your brand connect on an emotional level. Your smaller brand is perfect for marketing innovation on a smaller and effective scale – ensuring it resonates with the people within your community. Make no mistake, your audience knows the difference, and will reward you for that reason alone.

Differentiate
Often times the larger brands look and feel a bit cookie cutter. Think about your favorite beer for example, one of them, or more likely all of them, are smaller operations. Louisiana has some amazing smaller breweries making a big impact. Bayou Teche Brewing is a good example of a smaller brewery that has successfully carved out a regional presence in a very crowded space.

They capitalize on being from a unique culture and use it to set their brand apart.

The key is to figure out a few little things that can make you really stand out. Then, it’s simply a matter of acting on them, by becoming a thought leader in your industry. A few good ways of accomplishing this are through blogging, giving interviews on local TV and radio programs, starting a company related podcast and involving yourself in the community. The good news is, most of these ideas won’t cost you anything but time.

Having a smaller brand gives you the opportunity to take risks and try new things. And while it’s great to be agile and different, these exceptional qualities won’t mean anything if you don’t act on them.

For everyday branding tips, subscribe to our Razor Branding blog and podcast.

Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency based out of Lafayette, Louisiana. RUSSO uses consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. To learn more, visit brandrusso.com