Owning a business is much like owning a baseball team. You have the minor leagues and the major leagues. Household names fall in the latter as do the biggest profits, so it only makes sense that everyone would want to try and shoot for the big leagues with their brand.
The thing about making that change is that you may be doing some things with your relatively new brand while in the minor leagues that won’t work when you try to make your brand big. You may even find that some things you’ll learn about shifting to the major league with your brand will turn some of your preconceived notions on their head.
Here’s a quick guide to ensuring that you’ll be able to transition to the big leagues of brands with as few setbacks as possible.
Focus on Strategy instead of Tactics
When you have a brand in the minor leagues, you tend to focus on winning every battle. You look to see an improvement with each new marketing campaign that you start. If you see any dips, then you immediately switch to a different strategy.
The big leagues are different. You need to focus more on your long-term goals than you do on winning each battle. Your ultimate goal is to fend off your competitors and earn two things worth more than sales: brand recognition and brand loyalty.
This isn’t to say that specific marketing efforts are wrong. For example, the launch of a custom coffee mugs giveaway can be great as long as it’s part of a bigger picture well thought out marketing strategy.
Both of these will ensure more sales in the long run, but they may also be accompanied with more bumps in the road that require you to “tough it out” and stick with your current strategy.
Public Relations, Not Self-Promotion
Brands in the minor leagues are required to announce themselves to everyone. They need that extra boost to get their feet off of the ground for a running start with the small amount of customers they usually have.
Now think about how many successful big brands constantly promote themselves? The answer is that you’ll find few and far between. Instead, they focus on ensuring their customers that they’re being delivered the best quality services and goods. They focus on making their customers feel at home.
One goal in building a big leagues brand involves making it so your loyal customers promote your product for you. This is why working on public relations in lieu of self-promotion is so important.
Balance Authenticity and Marketability
When your brand’s following is small, you can usually get more customers by simply being different or by being more trustworthy than your competition. The route that works is entirely dependent upon your target demographic.
When aiming to become a major, brand that everyone knows at home, you can’t pick one or the other. You have to pick both. The problem with this is that many businesses that are trying to expand their brand tend to make mistakes at this point. They display qualities that make them seem untrustworthy with their customers while trying to make outrageous marketing claims, or they stay too humble and stick with the safe marketing campaigns that don’t add enough to their brand’s following.
Becoming a big brand requires that you’re willing and able to walk the tightrope with marketing creativity on one side and authenticity on the other. If you invest the wrong amount of either on a side, you’ll end up forcing your brand to take at least a few steps back.
Get to the Biggest Stage: the Global Scene
All of your brand building should have one goal in mind: expanding until everyone knows about your brand while having a large portion of loyal followers.
This is the one biggest difference between the minor and major leagues of branding. You’re not just content with sitting around and achieving success on a local scale. You aim for the biggest stage possible.
To reach it, you have to continue to look at the big picture instead of just the small ones.