Branding to beat the big guys – 5 tips to get the most out of your brand.

It’s a tough market out there.

And when competing with larger, more established companies, it’s easy to feel they have the upper hand: a greater market presence, an established brand, larger marketing budgets, and more resources to tackle the same problems.

However, success can lead to a shift from innovation and drive towards maintenance and safe decision-making. It’s why there are so many industries feeling the effects of disruptive technology. And why smaller businesses can have an edge over their multinational competitors – using their smaller nature to help them stay innovative and react quickly to market changes.

But lean operations, a lack of investment in branding, and a fear of being seen as new, inexperienced or small leads to companies branding like the big guys: trying hard to fit in and appear established with a brand that blends in.

And that’s a mistake.

It’s a risky decision for your potential clients to move their business from a trusted name to an unknown quantity. So it’s important to make your arguments as persuasive and interesting as possible.

This is where your brand should come into its own.

Each and every company has a personality – which could come from its owners, its purpose or the company’s mission, vision and values. The branding process helps distill that core personality and represent it visually – demonstrating who the company is and what makes it different in a compelling way. It’s the company equivalent of developing a personal style and choosing what to wear. And it’s these visual cues that can attract the kind of clients that you are best suited to.

Developing your brand


1. Choose your design consultancy carefully.

You’ll need to place a significant amount of trust in their abilities and release sensitive information to them. Research several consultancies, meet them to judge chemistry, and see examples of their previous work.

[Do not ask them to do a free creative pitch, you can read more about why not here and here.]

2. Do the groundwork first – substance before style.

As part of the branding process, solid research and clear strategy is essential to provide the clarity needed to choose a bold and innovative approach. By harnessing the innate strengths of your business, more effective campaigns can be created on smaller budgets. Just be prepared to make bold decisions along the way.

3. Allow time for gathering and sharing information with your design consultancy.

You’ll want to pass on as much information about your company and its goals as well as its competitors and clients to give them as much of a head start as possible.

4. Be a part of the process.

Your views need to be heard and understood, so choose a consultancy that involves your feedback at every stage of the process.

5. Measure the effectiveness of your branding.

Agree the metrics upfront with your consultancy. It does take time to build a brand, so allow plenty of room for this in your thinking. If you and your consultancy know what the aim is, you’ll both know when you achieve a successful outcome.

3 Responses to “Branding to beat the big guys – 5 tips to get the most out of your brand.”

  1. Rose

    Love the information in this article. Especially like the back-up Here and Here on free creative pitching.

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