Drive, ambition, great work ethics, and passion to succeed make the foundation of a good startup. However, when it comes to taking your company to the next level, it pays to look at some of the ideas applied by the corporate giants. After all, it is thanks to these ideas and methods they applied that they got to where they are today and hopefully, you can achieve the same by doing what they did. With that in mind, let’s go over a couple of lessons companies that are just starting out can pick up from big brands.
Know who you are
Big brands understand that, in order for their customers to be able to relate to them, they need to establish a strong brand personality. For this to happen, companies need to understand exactly who they are. While innovation and experimenting are definitely encouraged when it comes to someone who is building their brand, it wouldn’t hurt for startups to take a look at what’s already out there and whether they can make it work for them.
For instance, if you want to appeal to eco-friendly customers, try to find out the traits of a big brand or top green business you admire, and consider adapting some modules and systems they use so that they fit your brand. Also, don’t waste time and energy trying to appeal to everyone. Instead, know who your products are for and focus on your strengths and the ways you can further enhance them.
Know who your customers are
To make sure that your brand is something customers can identify with, you also need to know who you are marketing your products to. No matter how ingenious or creative an idea for a product may seem, if people don’t find it useful, it’s doomed to flop. This just highlights the importance of doing extensive research before putting a new product on the market.
For big brands, this is the norm, with giants such as IKEA researching new markets years before entering them. While investing in research may be challenging for a lot of startups as it is expensive and time-consuming, they should definitely strive to learn everything there is about their existing as well as potential customers in order to appeal to them.
Aim for consistency
Changes can be great from time to time. They act as a breath of fresh air and most of the time they are more than welcome. After all, it is in the nature of a startup to create change and bring something new to the table. The problem arises when the changes are disruptive and create inconsistencies, which has a negative impact on the process of establishing a brand personality.
That being said, this shouldn’t discourage startups from adopting certain market trends and introducing innovations. The important thing is that they do it in a way that is in line with their brand’s core values and philosophy. Therefore, aim for consistency in branding – that is the only way to build trust with your customers and ensure their loyalty.
Keep up with technology
Innovation and the ability to adapt to changes are crucial to staying afloat in today’s competitive world, both for startups and big brands. The technology is improving at a rapid pace, and it has become so advanced that we are able to do things we couldn’t even imagine in the past.
This digital mindset has also led various industries to adopt modern technology, especially large ones such as the oil and gas industry. Aside from incorporating software solutions that improve overall performance, the O&G industry is also relying on highly-developed oilfield equipment to achieve better results. Adopting technological innovations has also enabled the O&G industry to take a more sustainable approach to its business operations since the equipment itself is more efficient and durable than ever before.
Times change, and so do consumer habits, and keeping up with technology is definitely one of the best ways to meet the ever-evolving needs of the modern customer.
Make listening to your customers a priority
Receiving some sort of feedback from your customers, whether it is through surveys, reviews, or analytics tools, is essential in building a brand and helping it improve. Getting customer insight helps you understand how your products or services are being received as well as the things you need to work on when developing new ones.
Your goal as a startup should be to listen and adapt to the needs and wants of your clients so you can give them what they really want. By observing customer behavior and listening to your customers, you will be able to detect any pain points for the customers, and then use those as opportunities to solve any existing problems and tackle any unmet needs.
Invest in your employees
Employees are practically the engine of the company, and you want to make sure that you have the people with the most drive by your side to make your journey a successful one. Hiring motivated, hard-working individuals who are brilliant at what they do is sure to help your startup thrive, especially if they share your company’s values.
In order for them to stay driven and motivated, you want to keep in mind your company’s culture as well as its work environment. Pairing a culture that is centered around employee empowerment with an inspiring work environment is sure to boost the employees’ morale and encourage them to work harder. By taking the big business approach and investing in your employees, you’ll ensure that the people who do the work are doing their best to take your company to the next level, which, in turn, will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and even those big brands you admire were once just small businesses. Some of them even started out in a garage! Although your startup may already be a successful one, learning from those who’ve been there and done that can be of immense help in improving your business and helping it grow.