Generally speaking, small businesses are known to provide better customer service simply because small businesses are more about the customer and what they value. This is in contrast to bigger companies or corporations that usually place more emphasis on profits. With their larger size, they can often offer very good prices, so their messaging will often reflect this.
We must preface by saying that we are only talking about the messaging, not the brand identity (such as the logo). We are starting to find that many of the large big-name companies we are familiar with today are beginning to use some of the same elements in their branding that small businesses use to set themselves apart in their marketplace.
We found two really interesting examples of what we consider small business branding that big corporations are currently using. The first example we’ll use is the Subaru Corporation. In our opinion, it has gone very much by way of the small business branding road. Using emotion, love, and dogs, these are all the things that tug at our heartstrings and remind us why we enjoy patronizing small businesses.
Using this messaging in their branding, Subaru has tripled its sales. If that isn’t enough, they have become affiliated with causes that mean a lot to the average hardworking individual, causes such as Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, Boys and Girls Club, and others. In fact, it is all part of their Subaru Loves to Help endeavor, an aspect of their Subaru Love Promise campaign.
As consumers, we see the power of small business branding and respond to what drives it. When done well, these branding efforts reflect what consumers value. Now Subaru is a great family-type car, not necessarily considered a high-priced luxury vehicle that goes with this type of messaging and branding.
Next, let’s check out Lexus. They are known for their luxury cars. Their original slogan was “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.” This doesn’t make anyone feel warm and fuzzy but more competitive, cold, and unattainable.
Lexus now has what incorporated our idea of small business branding containing inclusivity, empathy, and emotion. This gives hope that anyone given the opportunity can excel. The diversity is very pronounced in this messaging, which adds to the inclusivity. As for their philanthropy, they sponsor events such as golf tournaments, among others, and their proceeds go to nonprofits and charity organizations.