Winning the Goliath vs David Battle with Big Brands
Everyone loves the story of an underdog who eventually comes out on top. Just like the biblical story of David and Goliath, small businesses want to believe that they too can compete with the big boys and win. Believe it or not, the world is full of business upstarts that took on industry giants and emerged victorious.
In fact, it happens all the time. Not too long ago, Apple had the audacity to compete for market share with big industry names like IBM and Microsoft, and today they are one of the most admired businesses in the world. What this proves is that it is possible for small businesses to use certain techniques to battle with big brands and win.
So, how can start-ups and small firms take on big brands, with their bottomless pockets, and hope to succeed? By being able to adapt quickly and by taking advantage of the following strategies.
Identify your niche and stick to it
Crafting a niche for yourself and sticking to it is the fastest way to succeed in the competitive business world. When you don’t have the resources for a wide variety of product options like the big boys do, the best solution is to identify one market that you can position yourself in and get as good as possible in that area.
Facebook didn’t set out to compete with Google for advertising market share; it started out by creating a social networking hub and got so good at it that people just had to advertise on it. Even Netflix, now a household name all over the world, actually started out as an alternative to Blockbuster but got so good at filling that small niche that they can now compete against retail giant Amazon.
So, rather than trying to fight your way to the top (which will only help you get trampled faster), look for one product or service that creates a connection with your target market and focus on it. It will be easier to compete in the industry if you have a narrow focus.
Leverage on partnerships
Two brains are better than one! It is easier to compete successfully if you are aligned with one or more forward-thinking partners. There are many medium-sized, and even large companies actively pursuing partnerships with small firms. These partnerships help the larger corporations gain a foothold in new areas of a market, new skills, and new technology.
In turn, the small companies get the benefit of riding on the coat-tails of these bigger boys. Tech companies are often open to this system. A typical example is the 2014 strategic partnership between Uber and Spotify. This alliance had the advantage of helping Spotify close the gap with Apple’s iTunes, while Uber enjoyed the advantage of attracting a youthful audience.
Change the game
It is unfortunate that lots of businesses are operating with old systems. Just because it worked for previous generations does not mean it will work today. You have to be willing and ready to identify the change you need and adapt fast.
For instance, what are the current trends you are leveraging to promote your business? Are you aware that people spend as many as nine hours on social media platforms every day? Mobile devices, apps, and social media are some of the trends you can take actionable steps on. This is a veritable goldmine of opportunity just waiting to be harnessed.
Equally importantly, what steps are you taking to ensure that you are providing the best customer experience possible? Do you have provisions in place to protect both your customers and your business from potential damage?
There are options for protecting your business on State Insurance, which you may want to give a look-see. You have the advantage of flexibility and agility that comes with a small size, so take advantage of it.
Use your size to your advantage
You may not know it, but the small size of your business can be used as a weapon to beat the bigger competition. David, with his small stature, was able to hear what people closer to the ground are saying, while Goliath did not find it so easy.
What this means is that as a small business, you are in the best position to get close to your customers. You can really understand their needs and preferences, a vital key for growth in any industry. By paying close attention to your customers, you can significantly improve the way they interact with your products and services and, by doing so, create a highly personalized customer experience that the big brands will not be able to meet.
Truth be told, the big names have too many policies and structures in place that even if a customer-related issue is discovered, it would take a long time to rectify it. Small businesses don’t have these constraints, you can roll up your sleeves whenever the situation demands it without worrying about your image in the industry.
Your small size makes it easy to adjust and alter your marketing strategy to suit the ever-changing market needs of your customers. You should be able to use your size and the resources available to you to your advantage, just as David did.
Believe in your ability
No one sets out for a competition with the intention of losing. Those who train for a race expect to brush the tape. This is the David mindset. Imagine a five-foot-tall boy standing before a giant, fully confident that he will make it out alive. As a small business, you need to have that kind of faith, the faith that you have the product or services that can compete favourably in the marketplace.
Even though the big brands have been there before you, if you really believe in what you are selling, it will be easier to sell. Never see your competitors as infallible, instead see that you have the potential to outperform them.
Tags: Business Strategy, business success, competitiveness, strategic planning