big brands
Corporate Seminar Conference Team Collaboration Concept

By Hannah Pennell

Leading businesses and organizations worldwide are continually looking at ways to grow their brand, and reach new audiences. For years, they have lead the way with creative marketing strategies, launching new products and engaging with their followers on social media.  Many small businesses look up to these bigger brands, taking inspiration from them and following in their footsteps to achieve results.  It’s a great opportunity for them to be creative and to see what engages with their customers. We explore some of the lessons that small business can learn from these bigger brands, and how they can adapt them.

Listen to Customers

One of the key element to any small business must be listening to your customers and audience. These are the people that will either buy into your products or services, or not. If you look at McDonald’s, one of the biggest fast food franchises in the world, they still care about what their customers think about their food. Within each branch, you will find feedback forms that rate service, food and leave space for general comments. As many of their customers are also on social media, it’s common to see many people taking to online to talk about the service they’ve received.  To support these comments, they’ve set up a specialized Twitter account to accept and respond to feedback that’s sent over.  Despite them being one of the biggest enterprises in the world, they still value their customers and opinions – even when they don’t have too as they will continue to make money anyway!

Through listening to the customers, it makes your audience understand the value in listening to what people thing. If one aspect of your brand or products is lacking, then it can impact the whole business and feedback on it should be embraced, and then reviewed to improve it. Always accept this, and thank people for their time in taking the time to let you know their thoughts. If you’ve got a Facebook or Twitter account that’s received negative feedback, never delete it, leave it there and respond to it. It’s a lesson to take improvement from, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Value of Marketing

Whether your marketing strategy is going to be online or offline, it’s a great way to increase brand exposure.  Some smaller businesses owners might not have a full understanding of how marketing can have an impact but if big brands are focusing on this, and getting great results, then it’s important that smaller business follow suit. There are many means of promoting brands, whether it’s through coverage in local press, TV or radio adverts, working with industry influencers or social media promotion.  The aim of running a successful marketing campaign is to get the attention of a new audience. Leading beer company, Carlsberg successfully achieved this when they created the best beer billboard. It created a lot of publicity around it in magazines and on social media, and is still being talked about today!

Bring the Brand to Life

A key element to any business is not to just be another company, it’s to embrace that you are unique and this can be done by bringing the brand to life.  Take to social media, blogs and influencers to tell a story of who you are, your history and your products.  Take Ben and Jerry’s for example, although we all know the ice-cream is delicious, they have achieved this by becoming something different from every other ice-cream brand.  On their website and adverts, they tell their story of how their products are made.  They constantly engage with their customers to get them involved to show that they are not just simply a brand. Small businesses can adapt this too, by ensuring that their brand inflicts personality onto all their channels.

Be on Social Media

Every business today should have their own social media channels to share news, content and any offers that you might be offering. Starbucks are leading the way with their social media strategy, with over 11.8m followers on Instagram. They share behind the scenes shots, every day events and reveal new products. Use your business account to tell stories and engage with your viewers.

Hannah Pennell is a content writer for The Scanner Shop. Twitter: @TheScannerShop.