During the industrial revolution, it was enough to build a quality product and customers would soon follow. But when the Model T started introducing variations to vehicles offered, customers suddenly had choices and competition ensued. According to the Atlantic, in the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management or modern day marketing. The brand manager was tasked with giving a product an identity that distinguished it from its indistinguishable competitors.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, small businesses can take cues from leading brands and brand managers who laid the path to success. Here are four marketing takeaways to make part of your next campaign.
Confront Rumors Head On
Successful businesses are prime targets for rumors and rampant misinformation. But you can confront the rumors head-on and take inspiration from a brand like Amway who handles it head-on. The business built their brand around independent business owners who want to take control of their own financial future and grow their own business. But the Amway business model has often been called into question and dubbed a pyramid scheme or scam.
Amway is the first to say they’re not perfect, but offer a proven business model based on sound ethical principles and works as a partnership. Today, Amway independent business owners span the globe from the Americas to the Asia-Pacific region as an enticing low-cost, low-risk opportunity to reach their financial goals. Discuss rumors or misinformation head-on through video, blogging or customer testimonials to get the word out.
Adapt to the Opportunity
When Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey of Barefoot Wine got into the wine industry, they had no idea what they were doing. As business coaches, they went to a grape grower to get payment for a client and found out they were bankrupt. Ultimately Michael and Bonnie walked away with $300,000 of wine in compensation, but their client wasn’t interested in running another business.
Michael and Bonnie looked at it as an opportunity to explore the wine business. With little money for marketing and advertising, they offered a charity free wine to auction off at an event. As a result, Barefoot Wine sales in that area soon skyrocketed. They kept repeating that marketing tactic in other towns to get seen and heard to grow their business. Don’t be afraid to tackle new opportunities of your own, and get creative about getting your products or services into the hands of people who will help spread the word.
Stay True to Your Vision
Apple was far from an overnight success with over a billion in worldwide sales that we see today. In reality, it took nearly three decades to reach their pinnacle of success. But instead of constantly wandering and pivoting, they knew a highly innovative and well-designed product would find its way.
In order to keep customers coming back to buy their products, Apple focuses on marketing its experiences rather than just its products. They let customers test their products in the store, develop campaigns around how Apple products impact people’s lives and use storytelling to invoke emotion. You can use your own client’s testimonials or reviews as insight into what makes your products and services so outstanding.
Big brands have already tested and validated marketing campaigns. But it’s not always the money or influence shared that skyrocketed their business to success. Instead, their marketing tactics responded to a need in the marketplace whether through addressing its customers directly or getting creative with no marketing spend to turn their business into leading brand.