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Otoabasi Umonting
Otoabasi Umonting 11 January 2018

8 ways smaller brands can THRIVE in the marketplace

Growing a business from a small scale to a large scale is not a walk in the park. One needs to know what to do at any given time in order to sustain the business and eventually grow it to his/her desired level. Discover 8 ways you can thrive in the marketplace if you currently run a small business.

#1. Go straight to the point

Big brands can beat about the bush when it comes to marketing (online and offline), and still make sales, but not so for smaller brands. You just have to hit the nail on the head (with your message/offer) and let your audience know how your products/services will be of benefit to them. Focus on how you can help them, as opposed to how "great" your brand is.

#2. Deliver top notch customer services (satisfaction)

Let's face it, customers/clients want the best services for their money, and in order for smaller brands to get their attention, they (the smaller brands) need to offer quality customer services. This is what brings about referrals and more sales. If the customer/client is happy and/or satisfied with the product/service delivered, he/she will mention/refer the small business/brand to his/her network.

#3. Listen more

It's true that the internet is noisy, and that's because every business on the web is looking for a piece of the pie (they want to make sales). But in the midst of all the noise, buyers are asking questions and looking for solutions to their problems. When a smaller brand gets into the mood of paying close attention to these questions, then that brand stands a better chance of delivering better services and also building up a database of loyal clients/customers down the line.

  • Google alerts
  • Google search "recommendations" drop down
  • Amazon search (what are people buying?)
  • Udemy (what courses sell the most?)
  • Facebook/LinkedIn groups (comments, questions, etc)
  • Hashtag searches (Twitter and Instagram)

...and many other ways!

#4. Keep up to date

Marketing like it's 1990 just won't cut it in 2018 and beyond. There's a reason why markets grow and also decline, and that's because of what's known as CHANGE. Things that work now may not work tomorrow. Take Facebook Ads for example... if you go into your Ads manager platform, you'll immediately notice the changes, which means a new learning curve (that's why most people resent it)... so, keep up with the trends and research about your industry as much as you can.

#5. Tell your own story

Every business has a story, and when that story is told properly, it has the ability to capture attention, connect/resonate, encourage, enlighten and also motivate people who watch and/or listen to it.

Mind you, I'm not referring to the "how I went from my parents basement or garage" mumbo jumbo marketers are prone to using. That just makes me want to puke (yuck!).

What's the point of telling stories?

Good story = brand awareness

Example: A one minute video on Facebook shines the light on a small brand down in Ecuador which uses waste (tons of empty milk boxes) to create tiles, build houses, make doors/boards, roofing, hoses, and many other things. The said video now has 9.5 million views... in the comments, people are asking to know more, how to get involved, etc.

That's what a good story does... short, simple, effective, positive impact, and straight to the point!

#6. Sell what works

The days of selling just about anything is no more. People buy what they know will work for them or what they want/need. This means your products/services must go through testing periods. This is why businesses do Beta testing, mainly to get a feel of the market. If the responses are positive, then they stand the chance of achieving their sales goals through their product(s)/service(s).

#7. Encourage positive reviews/testimonials

People nowadays buy from certain platforms (e.g. Amazon) because of the reviews they read (both positive and negative). When I say "encourage" positive reviews/testimonials, it goes beyond just asking your clients/customers to leave reviews... everything boils down to your delivery. If you serve them well (refer to point #2) then you're more likely to receive positive reviews from your client/customers. In some cases, you don't even need to ask them, they'll do it voluntarily.

#8. Don't try to be exactly like the big brands

Smaller brands can learn from bigger brands, but trying to be exactly like them is a surefire way to fail. People will pick it up immediately, which may lead to a boycott of your business (copycats don't last). Small brands are unique in their own way, and all they need to do is carry on catering to their customers/clients, and build gradually from there. Big brands where at some point small brands, so it's a matter of time/strategy for growth to occur.

Be better... be more!

Any other point you'd like to add? Share in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading... and here's to your success!

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