Can your brand really compete with the big boys?

Imagine the huge ocean liner, grand and majestic as it sits proud in the water for all to see. This behemoth is great when sailing a straight course. But, what if it wants to change direction? To manoeuvre quickly or alter it’s tack?

Now that’s an undertaking that requires lots of fore-thought, planning and careful consideration. An agreement with multiple crew members and a solid, justifiable reason.

In the same way, large scale brands and big companies have these limitations to contend with. No decisions can be made over night; planning, testing and yet more planning are required before any ideas are finalised. Roll-out of a fresh campaign takes forever, and requires approval from multiple “crew members” Wow. Laborious?

Can you start to see how you being a small brand, nimble and speedboat-esque can be hugely advantageous?

You have a face, show it. Being a small company, you can establish meaningful, personal relationships quickly. Face-to-face or Skype meetings can be instigated and the client sees who they will be doing business with. Its personal and it builds faith in you. People feel re-assured speaking directly to the guy they are going to give their money too. When did you last speak to the CEO of a corporate monster?

You have a voice, build dialogue. You can and should pick up the phone and speak to your prospective clients. They will have the pleasure of speaking directly to you; this creates trust and establishes relationship. They are speaking to a human being, not the human being’s PA, or even worse, a faceless call centre drone. You and your brand will be remembered for the right reasons.

You have an opinion, let it be known. Your brand has values, it has opinions. You are able to express these without needing to water it down and filter everything through the high echelons of corporate. Utilising social media to speak directly to your demographic, blogging authentically, tweeting, creates leadership and makes you memorable.

You can and should take risks. Hulking brands play it safe. They have a huge reputation to maintain. It’s taken them a long time and a load of money to establish the brand that they have in place. They are far less inclined to create a stir, to make waves. The fear of potentially compromising what they’ve established frightens the life out of them. In general big companies conform to the mass. Play it safe. You can bring pioneering spirit to the market, test new ideas and alter course very quickly.

As Seth Godin says: “Playing it safe. Following the rules. They seem like the best ways to avoid failure. Alas, that pattern is awfully dangerous. The current marketing “rules” will ultimately lead to failure. In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” (The Purple Cow)

Who doesn’t love the speed boat zipping about, making a splash? It’s exciting, compelling and it grabs attention! Something the big boys struggle to do. So why not go and make waves?

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