Every year, Fortune magazine publishes a list of the top 500 companies in the U.S. (based on revenue for that year). In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at a few of the companies in 2016’s top 100 spots and the techniques and tools that have helped them get to where they are today.

If your company is looking to make a name for itself in a crowded market, get ready to take notes. These once small companies have years of experience that we’d be crazy not to learn from.

Create an experience.

Number 53 on Fortune’s 2016 list is Disney— a company that has built a strong foundation on bringing an experience to those who visit its parks. Sure, the company has also found success in the media industry, but the theme park has been bringing in people from all around the world for over 60 years. Aside from its rides, Disney parks are best known for bringing fictional characters to life. This kind of “family fun” experience has helped keep Disney on the Fortune 500 list for 22 years now.

You might be thinking, “how do I create a similar experience for my customers?” Easy. Find out what makes them happy and incorporate it into your company. It’s really that simple. That way, every time the customer thinks of your brand, they’ll associate it with previous satisfaction. Not only will this help spread positive word-of-mouth about your brand, it will also create loyal customers.

Market your brand’s best benefit.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… A brand’s USP is critical to that brand’s success. It’s what has kept Walmart in the #1 spot on the Fortune 500 list for years now. Walmart markets itself as a company that is one thing above all else: affordable. Though it’s products aren’t always the highest quality, people of all ages shop there because doing so won’t “break the bank.”

What does this mean for you? Your business should be following in Walmart’s footsteps. Find out what your brand’s biggest consumer benefit is (aka its USP) and marketing yourself accordingly. Become a brand that is known for providing that specific benefit. The goal here is to monopolize your brand in consumer’s minds, since you most likely won’t be able to in the market.

Be consistent.

Another big brand name on the list is #62, Coca-cola. This brand remains one of the most popular names in its industry by putting out consistent marketing efforts and a consistent product.

Over the years, any changes the brand has made to its products or marketing have been short-lived. Why? Because consumers responded negatively to the company changing things up. In their minds, Coca-cola was a consistent brand that tried to fix something that wasn’t broken.

If your brand isn’t consistent, you risk disappointing your current customers. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you switched to a new shampoo. Can you remember? I know I can’t. That’s because the company that makes my shampoo keeps me consistently happy.

Learn from customer feedback.

Coming in at #68 on the Fortune 500 list is Delta Air Lines. Today, Delta is known for being a brand that provides quality customer service. But the company didn’t start out that way. Delta grew into a well-known, well-liked brand by listening and adapting to its customers. And there’s no reason your business can’t do the same.

Delta is considered one of today’s leading airlines for multiple reasons— one of the biggest being its exceptional on-board entertainment and food. The company got to this point by listening to customer’s (both theirs and competing brand’s) thoughts, reading reviews, and actively making attempts to change what people didn’t like. In doing so, the company quickly realized that the on-board experience was extremely important to flyers and used the feedback they received to improve their own experience.

To improve your business, reach out to current and past customers about their experience with your brand— more specifically, what they like and dislike about it. If you can, talk to them face-to-face, without any scripts or surveys. This can help you gain the best insight by evoking emotions about the brand that you might not have picked up on otherwise.

Value the customer’s time.

In the business world, a customer’s time is extremely valuable. Number 58 on the list is a brand that knows a little something about that. FedEx has built a reputation for being the best in its industry when it comes to speedy service. The brand accomplished this by consistently delivering products on time and in good condition to customers who depended on them to do so.

Sadly, people these days are only growing more and more impatient. With all of the instant gratification around us, we are no longer used to waiting for the things we want— both in our personal lives and in business. So if you show your customers that you value their time, they will value your brand in return. If you don’t, they will likely go to a brand that does.

But wait, there’s more headed your way soon! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more blog posts just like this one. As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!

—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.

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