16 | Leveraging Giants: Thriving Beside Big Box Retailers


A different approach to "Support Small Businesses like You Support Big Box Stores." Does it have to be one or the other? Maybe attempting to compete with big box stores exact products doesn't serve you the best. Meeting your customers where they are and understanding their interests, may go farther for you than guilt tripping them into spending $50 for a cup. *Personal Technique only*

Let's dive into how-to leverage existing product hype, collaborate effectively, and provide a unique offering to our customers.

Leveraging Existing Hype

Big box stores are spending millions on ad spend, marketing and campaigns. As a small business owner, I don't have the same opportunities as them. I'm not going to attempt to compete with them. If your customers are excited about something, find a way to be excited with them too!

Collaborative Opportunities

If you are looking to generate revenue from their product purchases, take it another step by looking to see if that company has an affiliate program. Both Stanley and Target have affiliate programs (check the links section).

Instead of hanging on the sidelines, guilt tripping your audience for not shopping small, share your affiliate links so they can support you AND buy their favorite products.

Creating Unique Value

Enhance the customer experience by offering complimentary products to the main product. For example, if your following is super geeked out for the new Stanley tumbler, offer products such as a straw topper, straw charms, acrylic custom topper, rubber footing, or carrying sleeve. Dare I say a graphic tee with a matching design.

Think about gift giving, could you provide your store gift cards in a tumbler shaped tag to string onto a tumbler ready for gifting?

Meeting Customers Needs

The likelihood of recreating the exact big box store product is slim (and personally, I think your time is better spent elsewhere). But, you can still learn from this product. Ask your audience if they bought one or not? What did they like, what didn't they like?

Do they not like handles? Cool, now you can find a product that meets their needs.

Do they want customized tumblers? Cool, now you can create one for them or find a wholesaler who does.

Was the price point too high for them? Cool, now you need to source products that are lower than that.

Stay in-tune with your customer needs to stay up on current trends.

The Need to Live Cohesively

As small business owners, we don't provide all of the products big box stores have... and that's okay!

We have our own specialities, and we thrive best when we stay in our lane. Once we start looking into another lane, we can drift off course.

Big box stores aren't going anywhere. The more we can look at their processes and marketing tactics, the more we can reduce reinventing the wheel (*cough Turn Down The Hustle). 

So What

Do I think we should support small businesses? Of course. Do I think our customers are bad people if they don't shop small for every purchase? Of course not. 

Striving to meet our customers where they are, and accept them for where they are, serves us all more in the long run versus the guilt-trip for a quick purchase.

I'd love to hear what thoughts you have on the Stanley tumbler craze. Submit a post to our Community Facebook group and share with us.

Links mentioned in this episode


*This podcast contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them – but rest assured, I only recommend products and services I truly believe in and think will bring value to you.

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