The biggest differentiator between a Large Enterprise and a Small and Medium sized business (SMB) is the disparity in the Investment Capacity. A large enterprise is often seen reimagining brand strategies and innovating new products to gain a competitive edge. Their ability to invest in huge marketing budgets to create larger than life campaigns on brand awareness and recall among their target consumers, makes them highly sought. They also have the resources to hire a highly experienced board of directors, who help the organisation sail through any rough storm. In a nutshell, large enterprises have been coercing SMBs.
Coca cola’s “share a coke” campaign created a lot of hype and catapulted their sales. The campaign allowed customers to personalise their virtual bottle or can and share it with friends and family. They were also given a chance to customise a bottle at a travelling kiosk. Apart from this, they were given a chance to share their stories with #ShareaCoke, and be featured on interactive billboards across the country. This is a clear example of how large enterprises use their financial superiority and technological advancement to create a loyal consumer base. In comparison, SMBs have to go the extra mile to create a rapport with their potential customers. But how do they do this?
According to a research by Zendesk, 87% of customers thought that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless customer experience, and this is precisely where SMB’s can play to their potential. An SMB can employ customer-centric strategies to gain an edge over large enterprises and prime themselves to stay relevant in the market, by deploying a few strategies like:
- Build Customer Relationship
- Provide Unparalleled Experience
- Empathise with consumers
SMBs have the ability to tailor their products and services to provide an unmatched product life cycle journey. The niche customer base enables them to cultivate an informal relationship with the consumers, and this is achieved through transparency and complete honesty. The most efficient method SMBs can use to beat down larger competitors would be to focus on their core set of consumers and grow them organically. The ability to cater to a niche market would create a loyal consumer base which would in turn increases revenue.
Another weapon for SMBs to retain their customer base is the promise of a superior experience. Most large enterprises lose their edge during after-sales services, due to the sheer size of the consumer base. This therefore serves as a key differentiator for SMBs from the big players. SMBs can promise to deliver an excellent after-sales support and service, which will keep their consumers returning to them.
Connecting to the consumer at a social and emotional levels will truly help you tailor your offering to suit the requirement and provide a superior experience. This enforces a strong bond and belief in the customers’ mind that you care about them and their experience with your offering.
The key takeaway here is to make the organisation customer-centric, treating the consumer as king definitely helps SMBs to not only sustain, but also compete with the big industry players, and at most times with zero media investments.