A question I get asked often from my clients is “is there a point where a business & brand has grown so much that they no longer need to advertise?”.
My answer is simple; No.
Look at Coca Cola for example. A worldwide brand, recognised by most of the world and yet they still advertise in all of the places they’re known.
Is this just because they’re so loaded they can afford to splash advertising budget? Nope.
Every business goes through two branding stages.
Stage 1 — A business is so new that nobody knows about it and its brand. They must run direct marketing for years and go and get their customers, until their brand is well established.
Stage 2 — With an established brand, customers tend to come to them and also bring repeat business.
But even when a business is in stage 2, it can’t then stop advertising entirely.
Business & Marketing is like playing a huge game of chess — just one of the many reasons I love it so much.
Even the largest business in the world, recognised by all, MUST advertise.
If they don’t, over time their brand will erode. People will start to forget about them, and use other competitors who constantly advertise.
It’s a battle for minds — and the likes of Coca Cola, McDonald’s etc. all advertise to keep their brand in the forefront of peoples thoughts.
It’s a huge misconception that large businesses are immune from competition and have it easy. Sure, they will have huge advertising and marketing budgets. But it’s got to pay for that somehow!
Coca Cola and all of the other global brands have worked hard to get to their position. Now that they’re there, they can’t afford to risk sliding and being replaced by competitors that are popping up all of the time.
And it’s not just a case of simply running a new tv advert once a month. It needs to go much further, to get into the minds of as many people as possible.
In my hometown in the UK, Coca Cola brings one of their Christmas trucks to the town centre. You can get photos and free cans with your name on them — all for free.
It seems excessive, but it’s because Coca Cola has grown so much that they have to now work hard to stay at the top.
Advertising & Marketing never ends, not for startups, not for small businesses, and certainty not for large ones.