How Medium-Sized Companies Can Strengthen Their Brand

Do you know the world market leader for automotive turntables? Or shoe insoles? Hidden champions – medium-sized companies that lead their industry – often surprise us, even when they are right around the corner, like BUMAT in Hockenheim or Rhenoflex in Ludwigshafen. Unless you happen to know someone who works there, you may not even notice them. They can also be invisible to potential applicants, which can be a major disadvantage in times of skilled labor shortages.

Ginia Schuckert
27. June 2024
Reading time: 7 min


These hidden champions or "normal" medium-sized companies are an interesting challenge from a brand development perspective. They have compelling stories to tell; they just need to be heard. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the potential of strong medium-sized brands and how you can use it to your advantage.

Positioning vs. Brand Management in Medium-Sized Companies

A strong brand hinges on two crucial elements: effective positioning and ongoing brand management. Many medium-sized companies have already mastered the first aspect quite well. They know the value of their brand, the advantages they offer their customers compared to the competition, and understand the importance of clear market positioning. However, there is often considerable room for development in brand management and communication.

Despite facing multiple challenges like labor shortages, raw material scarcity, and supply chain problems, many medium-sized companies are economically stable, enjoy brand recognition, and have loyal customers. But like a lot of things these days, marketing, has become hypercomplex. Countless competitors are fighting for the attention of the same customers and potential employees. Managing various touchpoints in an omnichannel manner demands extensive expertise and resources. The marketing department, often staffed by only a few people, faces a daunting array of challenges that can only be overcome with management's willingness to invest and commit.

Mission: Focus in a Complex Marketing Environment

The current dynamic business world makes it even more important for medium-sized companies to focus on what is essential to stand out from the crowd. Companies must continue to develop and future-proof their brands and successfully place their messages where it’s the most relevant to the people they want to reach. The mission: reduce complexity and focus on what is truly important to remain relevant and grow.

The Path to a Strong Medium-Sized Brand

It all starts with the company's goals, which inform marketing and communication objectives. Brands and communications are developed strategically across channels in phases or sprints, ensuring long-term competitiveness and adaptability. Short, intensive planning and implementation cycles enable the necessary agile response.

Broken down into a procedural model in individual sprints, it might look like this:

Business Strategy Sprint

This phase forms the starting point for defining the fundamental company goals and strategic orientation. In this phase, we examine the business’ unique (short-, medium-, and long-term) challenges and goals. This is the time to delve deeply into target groups, as well as trends and changes in the market.

Brand Strategy Sprint

Now it’s time to align brand development with the overarching business goals. Here, brand positioning and differentiation (in the portfolio and from the competition) are dealt with, as well as USP and added value communication. For best results, this is a good place to simplify instead of bloating and inflating the strategy.

Communication Strategy Sprint

This sprint is essential for creating a coherent communication strategy that brings the business and brand strategies to life. It involves developing personas to represent different stakeholders, crafting brand messages, and creating initial mood boards and sketches to visualize the brand's appearance.

Digital Ecosystem Sprint

In this phase, the necessary technological tools and platforms (such as websites, newsletters, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) where business and brand strategy will be implemented are defined. The existing brand ecosystem is examined, evaluated based on our goals, and distilled into what is truly relevant. This should be anchored on a channel and touchpoint analysis/audit with a subsequent strategy and the development of customer journeys. Relevant KPIs for success measurement are also established in this step. Goal-oriented thinking is fundamental here to turn budgets into investments.

Then, the most important projects are identified and planned. It serves as a starting point for goal-oriented and focused implementation.

Execution Sprint

Now, it all comes together: Creative ideas are developed and implemented, marketing concepts are worked out, and the technical ecosystem is set up—depending on the requirements of the previous sprints. Tracking and monitoring are also included in this part, to optimise the communication, and revise if needed.

Expertise for Sustainable Success

These proven methods help companies quickly move from strategic planning to operational action without lengthy delays. By structuring and continuously developing their brands and communication across various channels, they’ll carve out a unique and memorable niche for themselves. This ensures that they reach the right people, maintain long-term competitiveness and adapt more easily to market changes. 

Medium-sized companies, in particular, can benefit by relying on a team of experts that offers consulting, creation, content marketing, social media management, technology and development, and strategic consulting from a single source. This concentrated expertise ensures that tailored solutions for specific challenges can be quickly identified, and implemented easily. A close partnership where goals are clearly defined reduces coordination efforts, allowing for fast, effective action.

By combining strategic planning and operational implementation, medium-sized companies can more efficiently achieve their business goals and sustainably secure their market position.

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Ginia Schuckert

Im Zollhof 1
67061 Ludwigshafen