BEST OF THE BLOGS: An expert selection of the best Aussie SME brands

Spread over a couple of blog posts, SmartCompany’s brand blogger Michel Hogan has compiled a great rundown of her 10 favourite Australian SMEs.

Hogan’s selections are diverse, ranging from famed hearing implant pioneers Cochlear through to muesli makers Carmans, and showcase many of the qualities that smart SMEs should be looking to emulate in building their own brands.

It’s a great primer on brands that have done the right thing by their customers over time and have prospered to see the profits of their strategy. Read part one here and part two here.

The behavioural economics of nags and fillies

The Melbourne Cup has been run and won for another year, with former Crown Casino impresario and avid racehorse owner Lloyd Williams winning his fourth Cup when Green Moon galloped away from the rest of the field.

Of course, the Cup is about far more than just the gee-gees; it’s also about the C-grade celebrities, young guys in boardshorts and tuxedos, and fashions in the field.

In her blog this week, our behavioural economist Bri Williams sprints through the basic behavioural cues that motivate behaviour at the big race:

Restraint bias: We underestimate our ability to avoid temptation. “It’s OK, I’ll only have a couple of drinks.”

All jokes aside, observing the behaviour of people at big occasions such as the Melbourne Cup can give retailers, marketers and salespeople (as well as casual observers) many insights into how group behaviour works and what motivates people (aside from having had too much to drink) to spend money when and where they do. A complimentary in-store glass of sparkling? Don’t mind if I do!

What SMEs can do that big business can’t

Digital strategist Fi Bendall joined the TechCompany team of bloggers recently and has been making some very sensible suggestions for ways that SMEs can get their digital act together.

In her blog this week, Bendall outlines five steps SMEs can take to match and better big business when it comes to initiating and executing a digital strategy. Her take is that with a little effort and nous, SMEs can outmanoeuvre their big business competitors by crafting a digital niche to suit their marketplace:

Using all the free and low-cost social media and internet tools and apps, along with a nimble nature and an entrepreneurial spirit, means you can outmanoeuvre the biggest player in the market.

As consumers we are becoming far more comfortable trading with smaller online entities than ever before. There is evidence that we prefer to. We get better customer service and there is a feel-good factor about helping out the smaller fella.

While many SMEs are still reticent about embracing the online wave, reading bloggers such as Bendall, Craig Reardon and Richard Parker each week should provide SMEs with the impetus and inspiration to dive in and take on the big boys.

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