Global conglomerates are losing their connection with consumers. It’s no secret. Their endless struggle to be more real, genuine and authentic is just positioning them as the opposite in people’s minds. It leads consumers to question, why now? Are they just jumping on a sustainability bandwagon?
We need to think about how consumers are connecting with these brands, and why the relationship is beginning to go stale. As brands gained a global foothold, they were supported with new and exciting campaigns. Consumers were impressed by the sheer scale of the global marketing machine. And it worked.
Then, having done their job, the bigger advertising machines wound down. Their tactics focused on shopper marketing strategies and promotions to keep sales flowing.
But as time passed, hungry independent brands began to evolve alongside consumer purchasing behaviours, and the competition thickened. They began to erode some big brand sales, and the global power started to fizzle. Consumers wanted something a little more wholesome.
Big companies are hurriedly trying to re-engineer themselves, desperate to appeal to new audiences with their new ideologies. But while they’re making their biodegradable packaging and partnering with wholesome influencers, the door’s been left open for small brands to make a quiet but steady entry onto the playing field.
These companies are based on real, honest values that have formed their brand stories from day one.With audiences now more discerning than ever, they seek brands with whom they can have longer, more meaningful relationships with.
In turn, social media is transforming too. There was once a time where people would like or re-tweet pretty much anything in order to unlock a discount code. Now online personas feel much more curated, speaking volumes about us, and our preferences. People don’t want to compromise that by associating themselves with brands that don’t necessarily recognise their values as a consumer.
With that in mind, it’s time to get used to seeing these small brands nestled comfortably between the corporate giants, because they’re here to stay. They can be authentic, independent, effectively manage their customer relationships, and safeguard their price point at the same time - a formidable combination.
That’s why we should never underestimate the power of small.
Amy Stobie is commercial director at AgencyUK