There's nothing wrong with being small. In fact, small businesses have a lot of advantages over larger companies. They are often more nimble and responsive to customer needs.
But sometimes there is a perception that smaller businesses might not be able to handle large orders, they are not always professionally run, or they might not be around for the long haul. That's bad for business.
Sometimes the key to growth lies in looking bigger than you really are. Strategic marketing can help small companies shift the perception of their business from ‘small fry’ to ‘serious player’.
There are different points in a company’s evolution when appearing ‘big’ can be critical and necessary.
Here are a few of the times when strategic marketing makes sense for small companies:
1) Expanding Globally
Selling to a global marketplace often requires a firm to refine their position, augment their key messages and elevate their brand image to better compete against global competitors.
2) Attracting Enterprise (Large) Customers
When selling to larger corporations, having a strong brand builds credibility and reputation. Marketing methods like public relations, white papers, case studies, and speaking at conferences are helpful in demonstrating your company’s expertise and capabilities.
3) Disrupting the Industry
For companies that are first-to-market with a revolutionary technology, developing a strong marketing program that effectively promotes this technology and establishes your firm as the creator and leader is critical. Marketing tools like proof of concept trials, public relations, targeted business development and thought leadership help educate the market and target early adopters.
4) Transitioning Ownership
Going through a transition can often be a good time for re-evaluating a company’s brand image. Often these are times in which is a business is entering a new era and one that requires a more professional and sophisticated image – examples include: a family run business that is transferring ownership/management to the next generation, transfer of ownership from founder to professional manager, a new management team has recently been put in place given a re-structure or simply to move to a more professionally-run business. In these situations, often, an over-haul is required which may include everything from brand re-positioning to a new look and feel that manifests in a new website, collateral, campaigns, etc.
5) Beating the Competition
In some business-to-business (B2B) industries, the competition is weak when it comes to marketing. While this is sometimes a relief for some, it’s a significant opportunity. Building up your brand image when the others are weak can put you leaps ahead, particularly if you are trying to take market share away from competitors.
Appearing ‘big’ isn’t about misrepresenting your company.
It’s about developing an image that conveys confidence, demonstrates your capabilities, showcases your successes and communicates a clear, concise and differentiated position in the market.
Corporations don’t primarily care how many employees you have or the square feet of your facilities – they care about the value you can bring to them over your competitors.