Why Business Owners Settle For Less

Good, better, and best, text on chalk board

As an account director for a digital marketing agency targeting small business owners, there are a variety of objections I get from my prospects when pitching our website and brand development services.

Among these reasons are budget issues, not having the time, having to consult with others, or not understanding how their business will benefit. For some, money is not an issue and they simply are happy with their current setup believing it to be fine as is (even though it’s truly not up to par). This can be the touchiest point to rebut so one must proceed with caution. When this is the case, I’ve noticed some common trends associated with their contentment with the imperfection of their branding.

The idea that ranking top of search results is paramount

Some prospects get so fixed on ranking #1 on search engines alone that they become wary of refreshing their brand or updating their archaic website, not realizing how much they are limiting their business. Extreme business success is built on a premise of entrepreneurs always doing their best, not mediocrely. Consumer engagement goes far beyond simply getting a prospect to visit your website. Consumers appreciate brands that value user experience. Businesses that take a holistic approach with calculated risks to ensure all the bases are covered are the ones that end up ranking highest in success after all.

Current setup is of equal caliber to competitors

Sometimes the business owner knows the current setup is less than perfect and is OK with that. It’s not even that perfection is being seen as an unattainable goal, but rather an unnecessary one. Businesses whose main competitors are lagging become complacent. It’s a shame when this happens given the opportunity to excel. Why not go above and beyond to establish yourself as a leader in your industry?

Not needing anything “fancy”

Many small business owners don’t see how refreshing their brand will positively affect the way their consumers perceive their business, especially the ones who have never experimented with brand development. They don’t think they need strong branding or a sophisticated website with custom integrations. They think an outdated or bare bones setup will represent their business appropriately and anything remotely cutting-edge would be considered overboard for their industry (which relates back to their current setup being of equal caliber to their competitors).

When it comes to branding, it is important to be objective and make design choices based on strategic reasoning, not subjective preferences. Effective design is purposeful and the reason professionals create modern websites that may seem “fancy” is because they’re built to send controlled messages to the user beyond the actual content itself that reflect value. Given that over half of communication is conveyed nonverbally, more often it’s not what one says that matters so much as how one says it. If your presentation is not thoughtful and strategic, many consumers may perceive your brand as negligent in some regards, especially when your competitors begin addressing broader user experience issues first.


Upon coming to an understanding with prospects from this position, I like to respectfully evaluate their reasoning by listening to their rationale. In doing so, I am able to rebut through presenting similar case studies and eventually the realization is had that there is actually plenty of room for improvement. The bottom line of what I get to is that design quality directly affects consumers’ perceptions of your brand. The design is an opportunity to compel action and potentially gain customer loyalty. Brands that have been designed strategically to send controlled messages will be the ones to maximize their potential to engage with their consumers. Upon establishing well-designed brand guidelines, the website should align with the brand to communicate value quickly and overall appeal to the target audience.

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