How can small business owners compete with larger companies? — Bill Harper | BrandBossHQ

Bill Harper joins The Small Business Show to share his insights into how entrepreneurs can compete with bigger brands

Small business owners may feel daunted by the task of competing with rivals who have had more time to build a following and scale their brand. The fear is such that many entrepreneurs prioritize safety over success, mistakenly holding their companies in check under the belief that direct confrontations must be avoided at all costs.

On this episode of The Small Business Show, host Shyann Malone is joined by Bill Harper, chief executive officer and chief creative officer at BrandBossHQ. Harper, having helped many entrepreneurs navigate the struggles of scaling a brand, shares his insights into how smaller organizations can not only compete with but also outperform bigger rivals by simply adopting the right strategies and priorities.

Key Takeaways

1. Hug Sleep’s approach to competing with Snuggie highlights the importance of innovative brand positioning. Hug Sleep differentiated itself not by focusing on product features but by addressing a specific customer need – providing comfort for the anxious sleeper. This strategy of connecting with consumers on an emotional level and addressing fundamental human needs can be more effective than competing on product features alone.

2. Small business owners have the advantage of being comparatively agile and can quickly adapt and innovate, allowing them to compete effectively against larger, more established competitors. This agility enables smaller brands to carve out unique niches and gain traction in the market before larger companies can respond.

3. Harper believes that an emphasis on risk avoidance puts small business owners at a disadvantage. Competing against larger brands might seem daunting, but doing so can generate significant attention and potentially disrupt the market. The willingness to take calculated risks, especially in messaging and positioning, is crucial for smaller brands looking to make an impact.

4. Understanding unmet needs and pain points not adequately served by competitors can reveal opportunities for differentiation and innovation. This insight can guide smaller brands to develop strategies that resonate with target audiences.

5. Success against larger competitors may not mean completely dominating the market but rather becoming a significant contender by capturing enough market share to influence the market dynamics. The example of Dollar Shave Club’s impact on giants like Gillette demonstrates that smaller brands can achieve substantial success and become serious players in the industry by maintaining a consistent and innovative approach to messaging and product development.

"That's exactly the point that most businesses fail. They're terrified that if they take on the giant, that they will somehow get squashed. But the truth of the matter is that these large organizations are kind of like the Spanish takes them too long to turn the boats. They can't just operationally pivot like a small company can." — Bill Harper

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