Brand & Marketing Strategy

5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business

5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business

There’s nothing I love more than seeing really good marketing – especially when it comes from a local business. And what better than looking at what other businesses are doing to kick-start some marketing ideas of your own? So let’s check out some great examples of marketing strategies from local, Scottish businesses!

Isle of Harris Gin

5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business: isle of harris gin
Photo (c) Isle of Harris Distillers

Isle of Harris Gin burst on to the scene a couple of years ago, and it’s had a loyal following ever since. With so many gins being produced in Scotland, it can be hard to stand out.

But Harris Gin has managed to do exactly that. And that’s why they made it onto my list of great examples of marketing strategies. They have such great visuals, so the brand and product really stick in your mind.

Firstly, the bottle looks beautiful and very unique. Who wouldn’t want to have that on their drinks trolley?! This is backed up by high-quality photography which shows the product against the backdrop of the Isle of Harris.

This stunning imagery helps to create a story. And this is used throughout the brand’s website, social media, newsletters and other marketing channels. Having a visually appealing products helps customers to connect with (and get to know) the brand.

Another thing Isle of Harris Gin has done well is to team up with other small businesses. For example, they collaborated with Eteaket to create the Isle of Harris Gin Tea, using the gin’s botanicals to create a tea.

This introduced their product to a whole new audience and meant that both companies could benefit from each other’s marketing.

Find out more about how to set up a successful marketing collaboration with other small businesses.

What can you learn?

Invest in great photography and visuals to help strengthen your brand identity and make your product memorable. Use this to create a story which connects with your audience.

Also, work together with other businesses that share your brand values. It will help you to reach out to even more potential customers and clients.


5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business: freeagent
Photo (c) FreeAgent

FreeAgent is an Edinburgh-based online accounting software company. They focus on making accounting quick and easy for freelancers and small businesses. And they definitely stand out among the examples of marketing strategies to learn from.

Although they have customers from all over the world, they really make an effort to get involved with the local business community. For example, they sponsor lots of local events aimed at freelancers and small businesses, such as Creative Mornings.

They always make sure a few of their staff members are at the events for networking. And they’re always happy to answer questions about the business or accounting.

This ensures FreeAgent is very visible within Edinburgh’s small business community. And it also shows that they’re providing value – even if you’re not a customer.

That’s a big part of FreeAgent’s brand identity. They position themselves as a friendly, approachable and helpful company who are there to support you.

Even if you’re not based in Scotland, FreeAgent still tries to provide this helping hand through an online knowledge base, informative webinars and speedy customer service.

What can you learn?

Getting involved in events can help make you more visible to potential customers. Go above and beyond to make people feel valued and supported. And focus on potential clients as much as on existing ones.

They’ll be more likely to enjoy using your service and recommend you to others if you actually care. And that you understand their challenges and goals.


5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business: stoats
Photo (c) Stoats

Stoats was launched back in 2004. And over the past decade, they have grown to become one of the most successful Scottish snack brands. They specialise in porridge products – from oat snack bars to breakfast porridge pots.

What has made them so successful? Why are they among the great examples of marketing strategies from Scottish companies? I think a big part of it is again to do with their brand identity.

Their marketing team have done a fantastic job of creating a unique tone of voice. And they added a quirky, distinctive visual branding, both of which makes Stoats instantly recognisable.

Everything about their marketing is really fun. From the animated illustrations on their website to the colourful packaging of their products and even the way they chat with customers on Twitter.

Being consistent like this has helped to create a strong brand identity. By being fun, friendly and creative, they’ve even managed to make something unexciting like porridge interesting again!

What can you learn?

Having a consistent and strong brand identity will help you stand out from other brands. Be creative and do something a little bit different to make yourself distinctive.

And don’t forget to be personable in your marketing communication. Especially on social media, it’s important to be personable and show the people behind the business on a regular basis.

Read more about how to add personality to your small business’s social media marketing


5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business: trakke
Photo (c) Trakke

Based in Glasgow and taking inspiration from the Scottish Highlands, Trakke creates stylish and practical outdoor bags and accessories. They’re on this list of examples of marketing strategies, because of how they use video marketing to generate new business.

Their marketing really reflects their ethos. They’re focused on using British-made materials to make durable, contemporary products for the “everyday adventurer”. In particular, Trakke makes use of stunning visual content to show their products being used out in the wild.

Video is by far the most engaging type of content on social media, yet few brands make the most of it. Trakke uses video on social media really well, by using different styles of video on each platform.

For example on Vimeo, they post beautifully shot videos which tell the story of the company and the products. They’re almost like mini-documentary films.

On Instagram however, they post shorter videos. They also share gorgeous photos to show their products as well as some personality behind the business.

Additionally, they use photo slideshows, stop-motion style videos and short, informative clips to grab people’s attention on Facebook.

What can you learn?

If you think they can help you achieve your goals, embrace new trends, like video marketing. They can help you to get ahead of your competitors and encourage customers to connect with your brand.

Another lesson from these examples of marketing strategies is to make sure to tailor your content to each platform and target audience.

Innis & Gunn

5 Examples of Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business: innis and gunn

Edinburgh-based craft brewers, Innis & Gunn, are great at tongue-in-cheek style marketing. They have a great sense of humour and use this to pull off quirky stunts that get a lot of attention.

They’re featuring among these examples of marketing strategies because they’re really going all out. For example, they’ve launched an SAD-light sunshine pop-up bar in the middle of winter. And they offered free beers to people who owned up to nick one of their pint glasses from a pub.

One of the best things about Innis & Gunn’s marketing is that it’s so reactive. They pay attention to what’s trending, what’s going on in the world, and what their customers are saying.

Recently, the company installed adverts with humorous messages on digital billboards across Edinburgh. This included one which read “Unexpected Sunshine on Leith” on a billboard on Leith Walk.

A man who lived opposite the billboard tweeted a complaint that the advert was too bright and it was keeping him awake at night.

Thinking quickly, Innis & Gunn changed the advert to read “Unexpected Sunshine in Ruari’s Room” and sent him beers and sunglasses as an apology. The stunt became a viral success and was talked about in the press and on social media.

What can you learn?

Do something unusual to get people talking about your brand. Businesses don’t have to be corporate and professional all the time. So show your funny side through your marketing.

One more lesson of these examples of marketing strategies is to always keep an ear to the ground. Find out how people react to your brand. Use your target audience’s perception and interaction with your small business for your marketing.


To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
3 Examples of Great Marketing Campaigns to Learn From
8 Great USP Examples for Your Small Business
4 Ways to Grow Your Small Business With Video
Is Your Small Business Branding in Need of an Update?


Denise Strohsahl brand and marketing consultant for small businesses

Hello, I’m Denise from sandstonecastles, a brand & marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I help small business owners like yourself to find the right marketing that’s in line with your brand and values.