When it comes to appealing to the masses, the heavy hitters always seem to win. Juggernaut brands like Walmart, McDonald’s, Google, and the NFL have steep pockets, allowing them to invest a sizeable amount into their marketing efforts than the “little guys”. Using consumer research and elaborate yet witty advertising strategies, major corporations are able to keep their products and services at the top of their target audience’s mind making it appear impossible for smaller companies to keep up.
Imitation is Flattery
The truth is, however, small businesses can compete with some of the most famed brands on the market. Looking beyond their tight budgets and instead focusing more closely on the marketing tactics and techniques that big brands utilize can help them learn a thing or two about their own campaigns. Utilizing affordable resources and digital tools, entrepreneurs can imitate marketing methods used by the likes of companies Apple or Target while staying on budget. By re-creating models and ideas used by some of the companies discussed below, small businesses can leverage themselves to beat out the competition.
Big Box Retailers
Big box retail stores like WalMart and Target appear to have the marketing game on lock. They’ve been using some of the same methods for years and have been able to successfully draw in huge crowds that continue to generate revenue. How do they continually attract millions of buyers to their stores or websites daily?
Loss Leader – Another concept used by big companies is loss leader marketing. This is essentially when you advertise a product at a rate that you know you won’t make a profit from. However, the attractive pricing draws customers in the stores and in-store advertisements help increase sales of other products.
Impulse Merchandise – Have you ever noticed that when you walk into a department store, the displays have been moved around? Or stood in the checkout line and saw a merchandising display that tempted you to make a last minute purchasing decision? By incorporating new products and catchy displays, customers are immediately enticed and often make an impulsive buy.
Sports and Entertainment
Likely nothing more engaging and entertaining in this country is the sport of football. And one can’t think of football without thinking of brands like the NFL and ESPN. While cities like Las Vegas and San Diego continue to some of the top destinations visited in the US, though both seasonal activities (watching football and traveling), these industries have forever branded their names in the minds of American families and small businesses can take a page from their book. Here’s how:
Expand Your Reach – There is power in numbers, and the most effective way to increase business is to increase your exposure. The sports and entertainment industries utilize a plethora of platforms to reach more consumers including radio, television, direct mail, email, and social media. Wanting to keep consumers engaged, they have used these platforms to provide entertainment. Sports brands like the NFL and ESPN engages audiences by using other platforms such as live streaming and fantasy football leagues to keep sports fans interested year-round.
Promotion Never Ends – Nowadays in the culture of low attention span and lack of commitment brands and businesses need to be on their toes at all times. Constant promotions, events, sales, and product debuts keeps your offering fresh and consumers interested. Figuring out new products is easier said than done, but planning a full calendar of events or promotions based on your category of business is something anyone can to do engage more customers. Using entertainment to attract their customers, brands like Sycuan, a San Diego Casino are constantly adding new things from live concerts and comedies to five-star cuisine and shopping, the casino industry goes beyond the attraction of gambling and flashing lights to keep customers wanting more.
You can’t talk juggernaut brands without talking gurus like Apple, Samsung, and Google. These pioneers in tech have mastered the art of marketing and consumer research. Bringing in billions of dollars each year, these major brands invest a lot into expanding their brand.
Add-Ons – Perhaps one of the most genius methods for remaining relevant and to keep customers investing in your business is to create add-on products or services that are compatible with or complementary to your main product or service. For example when new iPhones or iPads come out, so do new accessories like earbuds, chargers, and phone covers.
Though smaller businesses may not be able to afford to invest in ten add-ons, they can add one or two products or services to their brand that customers could use. A roofer might also install satellite services while a blogger might also offer social media management services providing more reason for your target audience to do business with you.
It is true, small businesses do not have the same budget as a major corporation like Walmart, the NFL or Apple would have, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn something from these big competitors. By imitating the above-mentioned marketing strategies on a smaller scale (and of course adding their own style to it) they can essentially, reach more people, engage their audience, embed their brand in the minds of many, and increase their chance to succeed.