Here are two stories about thinking small that prove the power of standing out.
Time and again, we're meeting local makers who think small and there's no doubt their lives and businesses will be better for it.
After all, it was a large company (Apple) that showcased the power of thinking different years ago with its iconic ad campaign. At the time it wasn't as big as it is today. Pre-iPads and shiny laptops, the (relatively) small computer maker needed to get attention by thinking different.
And as it turns out, today smaller companies and local makers can stand out by thinking different because they're small. Check out this article in the New Yorker. The piece profiles the rise in small businesses, particularly those brewing up tasty craft beers. The author highlights a signature point of differentiation that has led to steady growth:
"But the small breweries came back. Their beers were not better advertised and certainly not better priced. Rather, the crafts went after an enormous blind spot for the big breweries—namely, flavor."
There's no arguing with that. Stand out by doing what you do well no matter how big you are. People will flock.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Amazon will be shuttering its service soon that has been helping small businesses play in the big worlds of ecommerce and distribution. There's been no official word from Amazon, but I'm willing to bet this opportunity to serve small makers became less and less a part of their long-term strategy and business model.
Of course, the small (different) businesses that used and relied on this service will need a new home. Shopify (a company that is quickly getting bigger) will be there for them (as they are for us) to meet the needs of the little guys and gals. Their eye is firmly on what makes these folks different (their size) and Shopify is succeeding immensely as a result. (See also the startups aimed to help small companies with logistics needs.)
At Batch, our most important work is being the champion of the local purveyor. Per our mission and vision documents, this is something each team member here commits to when they come on board. We're growing (Here we come, Atlanta!), but we'll forever have our feet firmly planted on the side of small and local. Not because it's a trend. But because it's different.
Size doesn't matter to us. Different does.