Why Do Big Brands Win While Little Brands Lose?

Daniel Bussius

October 2, 2022

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Why is it that big brands seem to always win again and again, while everyone else seems to struggle to get customers? 

I alluded to this schism several years ago in a blog I wrote called  “How To Build A Billion Dollar Brand.” 

In it, I make a few salient points that remain true today, so I’m bringing a few of those points to the forefront today for discussion: 

How do we mimic what those billion-dollar brands have accomplished?

Well, they follow a few principles that help them stick to a scalable marketing plan that works (which I’ll cover today, too)...

First, Billion Dollar Brands Don’t Chase the Hype

You don’t see billion dollar brands like Nike, Disney, Louis Vuitton and Apple listening to all the “gurus” with the next latest and greatest marketing fad. 

No, they focus on the long game. 

They focus on building a customer base that is brand loyal. A customer base that associates the brand with their lifestyle.

A brand that, should it be removed from their customer’s lives, their customers would actually experience loss. 

That is power. 

If you’re a marketer or a business owner, that kind of brand loyalty removes you from the noise and gives you laser focus. 

It’s THE recipe for scale. 

But how do these brands set the hype instead of chasing it? 

First, they know that humans buy and make decisions based on emotions.  

Second, Billion-Dollar Brands Focus on Emotions, Not Logic 

If you’re reading this you likely are trying to deny this: “No. Not me. I am a rational, logical person who makes decisions based on data, not my feelings…”

Well, I hate to burst your bubble but that’s not the case.

I know this because humans inherently are built to make decisions based on emotion. 

Ever hear the term “Listen to your gut?” Yeah, that’s actually what makes decisions. Your feelings, your emotions. 

Have you ever seen an ad where Nike talks about how their shoelaces never come untied? Their rubber soles never slip and wear the longest on the road? Ever hear them talk about the quality of their leather and how the dyes they use to color their shoes never fade?

You haven’t? Neither have I. 

The billion-dollar question here is “why”? Those are some great features — the kind of features any small or midsize brand might brag about..

The reason why you don’t see that front and center in Nike’s marketing is because they know their customers don’t buy shoes based on those features.

They buy shoes that they perceive to be cool, that make them look good and that feel good to wear. That’s what makes you buy shoes (or anything for that matter).

So, instead of a list of features, what you see from this billion-dollar brand are inspirational ads, copy and marketing efforts that align their brand with the lifestyle their target audience is going after.

You see the ad, and — Nike always nails this part —  you feel inspired. 

You may not be a champion, you may not be a hero, you may not get up at 5 am and go run 5 miles in the cold rain, but you may have aspirations to be that person. 

So you’ll gravitate toward the Nikes and you’ll buy them. The logical details like how long they’ll last or how they wear might come into play but only after emotion has had its way with you. Usually that information just serves to reinforce our purchase decision based on emotion! 

Let’s look at another example…

Consider ads for perfume or high fashion brands like Louis Vuitton.

What do they show in their visuals and speak of in their copy?

Do they focus on utilitarian benefits such as functionality and ruggedness of the design, or make sure to point out the value, and how their item will make your day or life easier?

Of course not! But they can still get you to buy scented water at $100 for an ounce, or a purse for $30,000 when you can get the same function from one that costs $30. How do they do that?


Emotions are what drive purchase decisions and in the fashion world the emotion and feeling they want to evoke is that their products will make you sexy and you and your life will be interesting and glamorous. 

How’s a small brand supposed to compete with that kind of billion-dollar brand reputation? 

As mentioned above, you must make sure you are building a scalable marketing plan that works. 

How do you know if you’re doing that? Make sure that you are hitting each of the 7 Pillars of Marketing. If you follow the Marketing RAMP® that is an easy way to ensure you’re doing so. Sign up for the software for free below and then keep reading!) 

Try the Marketing RAMP®:

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For example, one of the 7 Pillars of Marketing is to Infuse Delight. 

And that brings us to the third way we can mimic what billion dollar brands do. 

Third, Billion Dollar Brands Know How to Build a Tribe 

Infusing delight into your scalable marketing plan means that you focus on building rapport, trust and creating experiences that people love. 

Disney and Apple have created some of the most powerful brands in the world by creating delight for their customers.

So much so, that Apple went from a company on the verge of bankruptcy to one of the most valuable brands on the planet.

Infusing points of delight might not seem like an “essential” pillar of marketing. However, it is a critical factor in providing consistent value that turns prospects into raving fans and a tepid customer base into a ride-or-die tribe. 

This is what Disney and Apple do so well.

The entire experience with their products or theme parks is full of extra attention to detail to create end-to-end delight. That’s how you get Apple fanatics who will not buy a tech product from any other brand, and Disney fans who ONLY go on vacations to Disney resorts or theme parks. All their spending dollars go to these brands. 

The more delight you provide, the happier they will be to pay more, refer you to friends, and provide you with lifetime loyalty.

How To Get A Marketing RAMP® For Your Business

If you’d like to learn about the Marketing RAMP® and experience it for yourself, you can sign up and get free access to the Marketing RAMP® online software. 

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Daniel Bussius

Daniel is the CEO for the award-winning full-service digital agency, Built By Love. He is also an award-winning Marketing Consultant that has been flown around the world to consult for and train CEO’s and marketing agency owners. He is one of the top Infusionsoft/Keap Certified Partners in the world. Daniel holds a number of acclaimed marketing certifications, including being the world’s only StoryBrand Certified Agency and Infusionsoft/Keap Certified Partner.

He is a member of the Infusionsoft/Keap Partner Advisory Group as well as a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, PandaDocs Gold Partner, Memberium Partner and PlusThis Certified Partner. Daniel’s agency, Built By Love, offers full-service digital marketing, strategy, creative, and execution.

You can learn more at:
Built By Love (full-service agency): www.builtbylove.com
Daniel Bussius Consulting (strategic consulting): www.danielbussius.com
In The Mix Agency (live events): www.itmpromos.com

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