Things Big Brands do that Small business Don’t

You will be surprised.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

When we think of large brands, we get awestruck.

It is such an awesome feeling to have your brand known to EVERYONE.

As entrepreneurs, we have all at some point aspired to become like the Googles and the Facebooks of the world.

These are just examples; within each industry, we all have our own version of Google or Facebook.

The point I am trying to illustrate is that we aspire to be as big a brand as these, but very often, we miss out on the simplest things they do to stay relevant.

These simple things are what small businesses are missing out on.

Here is what big brands do that most small brands don’t, and these make a huge difference.

They use e-mail

No, this is not a stupid point; of course, everyone uses e-mail. But, how often do you see an e-mail from Facebook in your inbox, telling you what you might have missed and giving you updates for the week?

Have you ever opened these?

Even if you haven’t, how often have these emails served as a reminder to check your Facebook account?


This doesn’t apply just to Facebook — let’s take the brand Zara. How often have you received an email from them informing you of their latest arrivals?

The biggest source some of the largest brands in the world use to stay relevant is, you guessed it, e-mail! They send these emails to keep their user base engaged.

Now, if Facebook or Zara finds the need to shoot out an email to all its users on a weekly basis, wouldn’t you say your brand needs it too?

2. They focus on customer retention

Believe it or not, top brands invest millions in customer retention.

This is evident from the various measures you see the brands undertake to ensure their customers stay, for whatever reason. They want to be sure to put in their best effort.

Let’s take some examples:

The biggest one is Zappos. Founded by the late Tony Hsieh, the brand is built around customer service. It is valued at a few billion.

They literally have a 365-day return policy; if you aren’t happy for whatever reason, they will make you happy.

Amazon: People do not buy from Amazon for the product; they buy because of the service.

I’ll give you an example of an ice-cream brand called Amul, which is huge in India. I had ordered a butterscotch-flavored ice-cream pack from them, which looked like the product of a mishap at the kitchens (a little too much food coloring) — a scary yellow, much darker than the one I was used to. Tasted the same though. But, I had a grievance. They had an All-India helpline number on the pack, and for the fun of it, I figured I’d intimate them.

Within a week, a representative visited my house, collected the ice-cream pack, sincerely apologized for the inconvenience, and gave me a voucher in exchange for the pack, replaceable at any Amul outlet.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You do not need to set up a call center or hire an entire team to take care of this. Just set up an email list, make sure you wish your customers on their birthday, and make them feel special.

There is much more (on how retaining just one customer could help your business); check my post.

3. They create custom content.

The biggest examples here are Nike and Coca-Cola.

Do you know Coca-Cola invest more in creating custom content than they do in conventional marketing?

Nike invests billions in creating content, which helps them build online communities and interact with their audiences.

4. They market themselves.

You would think brands that are known do not necessarily need to invest in Marketing. They have it all set up for them and probably invest some piddly sums (according to their revenues at least), and the job gets done.

No, it doesn’t. The bigger the brand grows, the more they tend to invest.

Citing Nike again, as per 2020 figures, they spent 3.59 billion on advertising.

We live in an age where it takes 500 bucks to boost your content and gain visibility, and the first thing small brands and businesses tend to do is shy away from marketing.

In Conclusion:

To chase after the possibility and butterflies, we tend to ignore what we need to be doing in order to grow our brand.

Just these simple things can make a tremendous difference in making sure your brand keeps growing, slowly and steadily, and consistently.

Instead, brands slash marketing and customer retention budgets first as they do not have customers. They then realize they do not have customers because they are not marketing themselves. And so the vicious cycle continues.

Just a simple shift in focusing your energies where they matter can do wonders. All you need to do is learn how to work with the resources you have, not stretch yourself too thin so you are unable to focus on what matters, and trust the experts with the rest.

At Ting Tong, we make these things a priority for our clients. It’s not that we’re giants; but, in the mirage of virality, brands tend to veer away from the basics, and we simply remind our clients why the largest brands in the world keep ticking.



Consistency is key. We tell stories about the process it takes to lead a successful lifestyle.

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