Middle Child Day and Marketing Your Business

Mackenzie Sullivan on August 10, 2015 - 11:40 am in Holiday, Marketing

middle child day

Today (August 12) marks a holiday that often goes unnoticed. Ironically enough, it is National Middle Child Day and it was created in order to bring recognition to the sibling positioned between the idolized first born and the baby of the family.

As you may know, a couple’s first child will always be recognized as the first born. This child often receives the most recognition as they are the leader of the pack and the first to celebrate things such as the first day of school, learning to ride a bike and so on. The last child born into a family is then always seen as the baby. Parents often feel compelled to please this child by allowing them to get away with almost anything.

That leaves us with the middle child. Whereas the first child is placed on a pedestal and the youngest is coddled as the baby, the middle child is typically left with hand-me-downs, both in terms of items and attention. It is believed that such a situation causes Middle Child Syndrome, wherein the child feels as though he or she does not belong, suffers from a lack of direction and craves attention. So, what does this have to do with your business?

If you think about it, birth order mimics the layout of our current corporate world, meaning Middle Child Syndrome can also be experienced by many small businesses. Big-box corporations represent the first child since everyone knows and remembers their name. They are privileged in the sense that they have the means and abilities to self-promote on TV, radio, and billboards. The youngest child persona is then seen in start-ups or businesses that feed the latest fad; think cycling fitness centers, juice bars or farmer’s markets.

Then, once again, there is a middle child. The small business is stuck in a world that revolves around corporations and fads. They fight for attention and recognition, but still usually receive the hand-me-down customers of big-box corporations. Small businesses then feel unseen and seek greater attention, like the middle child.  So here are three quick tips on how to escape the shadow of your corporate siblings.

1. Get Involved.

Get more involved with your customers, your community or anyone who can help spread the word about your business. Whether it’s being a sponsor for a charitable event, getting involved with a nonprofit or simply talking with other small business owners, sometimes it’s the little things that count.

2. Try Something New.

An easy way to step out of your older sibling’s shadow is by doing something they have never done before. As a small business it is actually easier to change a marketing strategy, product line or service offering than larger corporations. So upgrade your logo, revamp your website or add a new product or service. Transform your small business into the next big thing.

3. Stay Loyal.

The most important thing a small business can do to gain more recognition is to show appreciation to any and all customers. It can be as simple as greeting each customer with a smile and a warm hello, and then sending them off with a hardy and sincere, “Thank you!” Or, why not try adding a rewards program or offering free sample products or services? You would not buy a car without test driving it, so why should your customers buy your product or service without knowing how they feel about it? Finally, make sure to not only listen to complaints, but also respond to them. If the customer feels that he or she is being heard, they are more likely to become a repeat customer.

What have you done to increase your customer base? Please feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments section!

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