Leveraging the Family Business Advantage

Posted by Deb Croucher | November 8, 2019
Today’s business climate

Today’s business climate

We are tired. Tired of being sold to, everywhere we turn.

The market is over mass advertising. The ‘buy this because it’s the best’ no longer works. With the development of the internet, consumers have unlimited choices. There are oceans of automated, anonymous companies selling everything you can possibly think of.

In reaction to this, the market is looking for genuine humanity – committed ethical brands with genuine products and services.

Consumers are discovering their purchasing power and choosing to align their dollars with brands that align with their values.

Wealth inequality has been identified as a growing issue across the world and research shows that it is affecting purchasing decisions. People are more disinclined to make the rich richer, without feeling there’s something in it for them, too.

The good news for family businesses

An international study by Edelman, interviewing consumers across 28 countries, found the following good news for family businesses:

1. People trust family businesses. In all but one country (China) people trusted family businesses significantly more than non-family businesses.

2. More than twice as many employees would rather work for a family business than a non-family business.

3. If they know you, they’ll pay more. If consumers are aware that you’re a family business, they are three times as likely to pay more for a product or service.

Customers also believe that family businesses:

4. Have higher quality goods and services.
5. Listen to customers more.
6. Ensure their profits stay in this country.
7. Treat employees well.

As a family business, this marketing gold is yours for the taking – but only if your customers KNOW you’re a family business.

Don’t assume!

It sounds silly, but don’t assume everyone knows you’re a family business. Is it front and centre of your marketing strategy?

With all these benefits, it should be.

Make sure your family business status is stated clearly on the homepage of your website and is a key feature in all your marketing. Build profiles of the family members involved in the business, so clients can learn about them. However you choose to go about it, make sure your customers know you are a family business.

Tell your story

“The traditional playbook of low-key, let-the-results-speak-for-themselves behaviour will not work in an increasingly sceptical society upset by growing wealth inequality.” Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman.

This ‘work hard and people will notice’ mantra has been a fundamental tenet of the baby boomers’ and Gen X’s business plan for decades.
“Our results speak for themselves!” we cry. And the thing is, they do. It’s just that society is no longer listening.

Give them a reason to invest in you

Wealth inequality is something that has snuck up on us. Even if it’s not impacting you, it is impacting your customers, and you need to address that. People want a reason to choose to make you richer. They want to know that by investing in you, they are investing in the greater good and that the benefits will come back to them.

Luckily for you, this is an area where family business shines, where you can leverage that family business advantage to your benefit. The single best way to do that is to share your story.

Consumers want to know who you are as a family AND as a business. Remember – people are aware of their purchasing power and they are choosing to align their dollars with brands that reflect their values. So, tell them who you are and what you stand for.

Who are you?

Customers want to know where you’ve come from. They want to know your company’s history and your founding story.

73% of the hundreds of thousands of people surveyed by Edelman said that knowing this would build their trust in a company.

At Brilliant Digital the company story is one of the four essential stories each business needs to tell.

How do you do business?  Talk to me!

Customers also want to know how you work. They want to see transparency in your business operations and in your communications with them. And they want to communicate with you.

Consumers in the current market want a relationship with the purveyors of the goods and services they purchase.

Who you are is now even more important than what you sell.

Where does my money go?

They also want to know what you do with your money. Previously firmly relegated to the realm of ‘our own damned business’, consumers now expect to have the choice (and information) to invest in companies who are invested in their country’s economy and in their local communities.

Unleashing your family business advantage

Unleashing your family business advantage

The good news is that the family business advantage can be leveraged in all of these stories.

Tell your customers about your family heritage. Let them see your faces and understand the relationships between family members in the business. Why?

It gives people confidence that they know who they are dealing with.

Remember, we trust family businesses much more than we trust other enterprises.

Share your founding story and business history with as many people as you can.

It lets them know why you exist, and what you stand for. It is much easier for a customer to develop a relationship with a family they know and with whom they share personal values, than a faceless corporate conglomerate that just sells stuff.

Most family businesses do naturally have a philanthropic bent. We do like to keep our money in our own country and we do like to support our local communities. It’s just that most of us don’t advertise it like we should. Shout it from the rooftops – tell your customers the impact of your business on the community. Use your family business advantage.

Engage across different channels

You only get the family business advantage if your clients KNOW that you’re a family business. You need to be communicating this through multiple channels.

More than just one face

More than just one face

Evidence shows that consumers like seeing and hearing from the CEO and founder of your business. But you need to go further than that.

As a family business, it’s never too early to start thinking ‘succession plan’. Get your next-generation leaders seen and heard by your customers.

Get them recognised and positively associated with you and your brand, before they take the reins. It will develop the awareness of the family business status, increase trust in your brand (and your family) and make the transition process much less stressful when it does become time for the succession plan to take effect.

Discontent over wealth inequality is expressed very clearly in family business succession. Australians, in particular, have a high level of respect for someone who has founded a company and built it up over the years with blood, sweat and tears. As a nation, that is where we prefer to spend our money.

But Australians have a remarkably strong antipathy for anyone we perceive to be a freeloader. We resent seeing someone being given the keys to a kingdom they haven’t worked for – especially if it’s a business that we have been supporting with our financial choices for a long time.

Make sure your customers see your next generation leaders fighting beside you in the trenches today, so that they don’t abandon your business when you hand it over to your successors tomorrow.

Activate your employees

Activate your employees

Want to know what a company is really like? Would you ask the boss or would you ask an employee?

Again, family businesses have the advantage!

Family businesses create 50-80% of jobs world-wide. Consumers overwhelmingly believe that family businesses are better employers and treat their employees better than other companies. We attract the best talent, right from the start.

Additionally, family business employees do tend to work harder and go the extra mile, as they are more invested in the company’s success.

Research shows that 82% of family business employees would recommend their products/services and 72% would recommend the organisation as an employer.

So, activate your employees – they are your best ambassadors.

Digital strategy

Digital strategy

Whether you love it or loathe it, digital marketing is here to stay. A third of customers rely on social media platforms to learn about family businesses.

Another third will ONLY search online to find a family business. That’s a lot of customers slipping through your fingers if your business isn’t digitally ready.

If you don’t have the expertise – or the time – to develop and build a professional quality website and digital marketing strategy, then let us do it for you.

Once it’s established, we can even manage it for you, handling everything from your content to your security, leaving you free to run your business and reap those family business benefits.

We are a second-generation Australian family business. We’ve delivered results across all industry sectors. And we have the skills and experience to deliver the website and digital marketing outcomes you need to drive your business forward. We are fiercely holistic in our approach and take responsibility for the results of our work.

Most of our clients see an ROI in the first month of going live.

See some of our success stories here.

To contact us for a discussion, click here.

It’s time to see sustained results

Are you ready? We aren’t your standard digital solutions agency. We avoid hype and noise. Instead, we build long-term partnerships with successful businesses delivering genuine expertise, best-fit solutions and sustained results. Contact us to start the conversation.

Branding & Digital Marketing

We partner with successful companies to deliver branding and digital marketing solutions that deliver sustained business growth.

Websites & eCommerce Solutions

Brilliant Digital designs and builds superb websites and ecommerce solutions that become powerful sales channels.

Integrated Software Solutions

We deliver market-focused software solutions that integrate seamlessly with your business and deliver increased efficiency.

Client Success Stories

We take a long-term view of our own business… and that’s how we view our relationships with our clients. In most cases, our work starts with improving the digital brand and clearly articulating the value proposition of an already successful company. We then move to create a business website that delivers the right leads and deliver ongoing digital marketing and integrated software solutions. We measure results in terms of business growth and increases in operational efficiency. In the end, the strength of the relationships we have with our clients speaks the loudest.

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Danrae Group

After working with Brilliant Digital on a complete digital marketing strategy, Danrae Group’s CEO, Daniel Caruana, was pleased to see that their new website grew from strength to strength.



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Facilities First

Facilities First

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Water Filters Australia

Water Filters Australia

Within a year of starting work with Brilliant Digital, Water Filters Australia’s sales had doubled… and that was only the beginning.

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