The animal kingdom is full of examples of species that can make themselves appear larger than they actually are. Fish, birds, snakes, toads and others can puff themselves up to attract mates and intimidate predators. Companies aren’t exactly like peacocks, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spread out our feathers to create the illusion of size.
Why Bigger is Better
While it is possible to come across as too big and impersonal, as a general rule, prospects have more confidence in bigger companies. To some degree, a larger company translates to a successful company. It’s easy enough to start a business, but growing one means that something is going right. In IT circles it isn’t uncommon to hear the phrase, “Nobody ever got fired by buying IBM.” Translation - bigger is safer.
Size isn’t only an important consideration for prospects, it is a factor for investors and employees as well. The first question many investors ask is, “Who else is interested?” Getting onboard early can be very lucrative for investors and employees, but it is also riskier than joining an established brand.
How PR Can Help
We’d never suggest being dishonest about the size of your company, but there many ethical ways to create the impression of size.
Association: When brands are mentioned in publications with credibility, part of the goodwill the audience has for the publication transfers to the brand. The same is true of popular authors and influencers.
Repetition: If your brand gets mentioned frequently when a particular topic is discussed, people will assume that the company occupies an important position in the market. Achieving this requires a narrow focus on the niche that you can realistically dominate.
Thought Leadership: It may be counterintuitive, but if all of your PR efforts, content and messages are all about you, the brand can actually seem smaller than it is. Getting in front of industry challenges, trends and new ideas is a great way to come across as the big dog in the pack.
Social Proof: Just like people transfer the good qualities of a favorite publication or author to a brand, they also project the qualities of a company’s customers. If you have testimonials, case studies and content engagement from customers who are respected in the market, prospects, investors, media contacts and potential employees will hold your brand in higher esteem and feel safer choosing you.
Size does matter when it comes to your brand’s reputation. Public relations can be a great tool for amplifying your business no matter how big it actually is.
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