Competitions can be fierce and winning is quite demanding especially if you’re just getting into the space. Every business brand would experience competition whether intense or mild.
Bigger brands are believed to have the requisite skills and experience needed to dominate the market and if possible, displace the “inexperienced underdog”(the small brands).
However, the tide could suddenly turn if the “underdog” decides to come up with proactive and sophisticated means to get the win. As much as it sounds ridiculous and somewhat impossible, smaller brands can successfully compete against their bigger counterparts and take the lead.
Here are 8 effective ways for smaller brands to make headway in competing against the bigger brands.
1.Identify the Odds at Success
It is always good for small and startup brands to identify the odds that are involved in their success. It’s highly important that you identify the challenges associated with starting up as a brand and be prepared with ready and proactive measures to combat them.
The popular saying goes thus; “He that fails to plan is planning to fail”. The same is the case for business, proper planning prevents poor performance and most importantly, keeps the business thriving.
According to a study of about 100 companies, the percentage of failed companies that ceased operation because of being outcompeted was 20%. 19% had an imperfect business model and 38% ran out of funds while trying to sustain operations.
The study points out that one important challenge any small or startup brand would face and continue facing is competition. Competition is an integral part of business; brands that know how to play their cards well are those that thrive, even amidst the toughest of competitions.
It’s a good thing to start, however, the toughest task lies in thriving in your chosen niche. Other reasons why companies or brands fail are highlighted below in the image.
2.Spot Your Competitors And Their Loopholes
Having established that competition is one of the leading challenges that take brands out of business, it’s advisable for small brands and those just starting, to identify their competitors.
This is very important if any brand would succeed and get ahead of the competing tide. You need to spot the “big shots” in your niche or environment.
It’s not enough to spot them and research into their loopholes or weaknesses. What are they missing out on? What are their loopholes? Is there something they are not doing well? All these questions should tailor your findings.
The truth is, that every big brand today has its weaknesses. In fact, the bigger the brand, the more the weaknesses.
Many customers expect big brands to be perfect and have it all sorted out, the truth is, no big brand has it all flawless.
When you go online and check customer reviews of big brands, you’ll find customers who are not pleased with one thing or the other in the way such big brands run their operations or provide their services.
It’s important to note that all customers are not the same and would not all be satisfied in the same way. While some derive satisfaction from buying expensive items, others value the quality of whatever they’re procuring.
Customers can overlook the faults of smaller brands, but they wouldn’t do that if bigger brands mess up.
This is an advantage for smaller brands as they are still able to make good amends while still coming up.
Every small brand must look into these “big brands” and identify the gaps and drawbacks in their operation. These gaps and flaws would serve as important stepping stones for small brands that intend to thrive. There are many ways big brands are missing it.
One such way is marketing. Big brands have reached that point where they have more than enough to buy new customers.
They pump a lot of money into getting new customers while failing in the aspect of customer retention. These established brands pay little attention to optimizing their marketing strategies and therefore end up spending heavily on new customers. Small brands must be able to identify these loopholes and work on them.
By paying attention to optimized marketing strategies, small brands can achieve so much with little funds, unlike big brands that spend heavily on marketing.
3.Concentrate on Building A Formidable Brand
Small brands should not pay too much attention to the tide of competition against them while starting; rather, it’s essential for them to concentrate on building a strong brand.
Being too conscious of the competition makes you agitated and unable to think straight. Focus more on getting a strong name for your brand.
Talking about a brand, it’s a name, trademark, or design (logo) that distinguishes the product or service rendered by your company from others.
It’s quite important to establish that building a brand is never achieved in a month; it could take a journey of years to give voice to your brand. It therefore means that a brand is built with the virtues of patience and consistency. You need to work yourself up to that point where the objectives, values, standards, and passion of your company are put out there and understood by all.
These paint the reputation or identity of your brand and they communicate the essence of your company (what it stands for).
The first step among many steps in building a formidable brand is getting an excellent design (logo). Having established the niche and direction of your brand, you need to have a professional-looking design.
This is because it is easy for customers to assess a brand based on the design that has been put out. Your design team must be able to give an amazing design that communicates your niche, kind of product, and the awesomeness of services you render.
Brand designs and logos have a way of making your company more visible. Brand visibility is germane to the success of any company. It was found that 50% of customers have more proclivities to buy from companies whose logos could be easily recognized.
Small brands must also seek to present their customers with quality products and services. There are many customers out there who derive satisfaction in getting quality products rather than expensive ones. Make leverage on this set of people and get them on your boat.
More so, strong brands are built on consistency. Small brands should maintain a commitment to delivering quality products to their customers and continually live up to their promise of giving value.
4.Focus on Exceptional Customer Service
Customers always have high expectations when they come around and it’s important to satisfy them.
While it is usually typical of big brands to pay little attention to good customer service, small brands can easily come in to fill this gap and outperform their big competitors in this aspect.
Customers are happy when engaged one on one, they love it when they are given the floor to make their concerns and feedback known. They feel appreciated when asked to air their view on the kind of products or services desired.
Small brands would thrive better if they could give timely responses, address customers’ concerns as soon as they come in, and go the extra mile to build trust and reputation that other brands struggle to build.
These simple commitments can go a long way to building customer loyalty for your brand.
5.Capitalize on Your Advantage
Believe it or not, small brands have good advantages over their bigger competitors. It’s important that small brands identify and acknowledge their advantages and then utilize them to turn things around in their favour.
One major advantage of small and startup brands is newness.
Newness is captivating; most people get excited when they see new products, ideas, services, and innovations.
Customers don’t see trying out new things as a bad idea. Since they have recognized the big brands and have been hearing of them over time, their excitement about such brands may not be there anymore. This is an advantage for small brands.
If small and startup brands can leverage that to get their quality products and services out there to the public, they would be leaving customers to make a big decision between staying with the old bigger brands or trying out the newer ones.
Many customers out there still go all out to find quality products and not just the popular brand products.
More so, bigger brands are already in the process of constantly trying out new marketing strategies that can work for them.
What small brands have to do is study what methods have been productive for them including those that have not and use that to better their marketing strategies.
In short, small brands have a better opportunity to be flexible in their operations while big brands don’t have much of that opportunity. This is an important way small brands can compete with bigger competitors.
6.Leverage Social Media to Enhance Visibility
Every brand deserves media visibility. Media viability is how well your brand registers its existence in people’s minds.
One important way every brand gains visibility is through social media. The more people see your brand, the more the tendency to use your products or services.
Small brands must be diligent in getting their brands out there no matter what it takes as their survival and success depends on it.
Creating an audience around your brand is important. Social media is a big advantage in brand visibility, perception, awareness, and recognition.
As a small or startup brand owner, the moment you start gaining an audience (followers) around your brand, it’s important you begin to engage them.
Big brands have many followers but have been observed to have poor engagement with them. Small brands can do better by engaging their “few followers” using blogs and specific content.
Joining social groups and involving influencers on different platforms to reach your target audience is also valid. Providing quality search experiences and Ad optimization will also go a long way in improving the visibility of small brands.
Here are important hacks to optimize your Ad campaigns.
7.Employ Smart And Professional Employees
The success of any company or brand depends majorly on the employees. Your employees can either work to make or mar your business. The more proficient your team members are; the better the services they will deliver to customers. You want to be sure you get the best hands to help build your brand.
8.Run Customer Loyalty Programs
As a small brand owner, you want to ensure your customers get the necessary encouragement to keep buying from you. Loyalty programs are your best bet in ensuring that loyal customers are recognized and appreciated.
Rewarding your loyal customers has a way of getting them excited about their next visit to your company. You could use point-based systems or promo codes to get this done.
Discount sales, bonuses, and rewards can also be offered as part of notable loyalty programs during festive seasons. All these are aimed at providing incentives for loyal existing customers.
Loyalty programs can also be for new customers. A good example is providing occasional discounts for new subscribers and rewarding old customers who have the highest number of referrals.
If you’re looking to get a company that offers excellent loyalty programmes, don’t look too far as Globallyfulfill is there to serve both existing and new customers. Amazing loyalty programs ranging from discounted services to fast deliveries are available to give customers a rewarding experience.
Big brands will always be there when small and startup brands are starting out. However, no matter the extent to which big brands have dominated the market, small brands can effectively compete and thrive if proactive measures are taken and fully implemented.