5 Things to Learn from SMEs

Most popular brands today first originated from a garage. Few ultimately grew to vast levels and that is where things begin to change. Uncontrolled ego starts to kill the base of the organisation; teams lose faith and conviction over revenue generation. Generally, big brands are about the art of storytelling – bringing the brand near to the customer’s mind and heart. However, most of the time Enterprise Marketing teams put efforts towards getting internal customers (sales team, the CEO, and the Board) to buy that story before it reaches the customer. 

Some big brands invest less in branding activities and depend on sales teams for all external and customer-centric efforts. However, big brands can learn a few things from the workings of small and medium-sized (SME) companies. Below are a few lessons that big brands can carry with to their boardroom: 

1. Using data 

With a newly found love for analytics, AI and machine learning small companies use essential tools while taking decisions. Using data-driven matrices have become promising go-to-strategies for most of the brands. In SME’s use tools to improve conversion rates and sales; they also use other metrics to track the progress. Such stringent tracking ecosystem, it is required for big brands as well to break down data so that they can add value to their clients, same like a smart SME’s. 

2. Gain customer appreciation before making sales 

Utilise free marketing channels effectively, which includes: healthy interpersonal relationships, word of mouth and grab attention from decision makers of the company. Use social media tools at a maximum level. Every marketing channel need not be used for effective branding and marketing. 

Furthermore, our own media can play an active role in sharing information to customers. Concentrated targeting will definitely drive WOM (word of mouth) and visibility for brands. Take the example of Chumbak, it started as a very small brand and slowly diversified. After selling small ornaments online for several years, they set up physical stores, supported by huge popularity driven by WOM.

3. Get your hands dirty

Most of the managers do not know the real world challenges before, during and after a purchase is made. How many managers go for a field visit with their sales teams? How many interact with their customers? Knowing exactly what a customer wants is not an easy task, but companies must do everything within its purview to understand that and make relevant trials. 

4. Come out of comfort zones

One common quality most of the small brands have is boldness. They are not afraid of learning from mistakes and will not hesitate to get out of their comfort zones. Big brands should also start taking risks and instead of depending on budgets. 

5. Personal massification

The dairy industry witnessed a lot of customisation from the last decade. Disruption started happening at the organic milk level with entrepreneurs offering healthier choices that appeal to urban customers. They are expanding the business into milk products like ghee, butter, paneer, as well as taking customised orders. Big brands also need to start connecting more directly with the consumer which is largely missing these days.

To sum up, SME’s take a product and nurture their business around it. The key thing here is to retain core DNA and work on strengths and see how to be successful in a large structure.

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