Everyone loves a good underdog story—where the “little guy” overcomes the “big guy” by turning what seems like disadvantages into advantages.

However, the story seems a lot less appealing when you’re the underdog. It’s easy to think the odds are stacked against you and that you’d never be able to compete with the bigger brands in your industry.

If you’ve ever doubted your ability to compete with the giants in your industry, here’s some good news: The challenges you see as disadvantages could also be the very opportunities that allow you to compete with much larger competitors.

3 Marketing Principles to Compete with the “Giants” in Your Industry

Here are three marketing principles that underdogs should remember when trying to find new ways for competing for business against industry leaders.

  • Use your ability to be human as an advantage. Big brands can often come across as very “corporate.” The larger a company grows, the less “human” the brand feels. Brands with the best marketing are those that communicate in human ways. By using your ability to be human as an advantage, you can forge stronger, more authentic connections with your intended audience.
  • Always be ready to pivot, and stay ahead of the change. There’s a reason the saying “it’s hard to turn a big ship around” is a common phrase in business. Big things turn slowly, and big businesses are no exception. It’s hard for a big business to adapt to changes in the market. As a small business, you have a level of flexibility and responsiveness no giant company can hope to match. A big change in your market is rarely fun, but as an “underdog,” you should look at change as an opportunity. Always be on the lookout for changes in your industry, and be ready to pivot when you recognize an opportunity.
  • Find creative ways to make your brand seem bigger. One of the greatest benefits of social media is that it allows the “little guy” to be just as capable as the industry giant. It could be as simple as listening to what people are saying about your business on Twitter and engaging or responding to them. Posting instructional videos about common industry questions on YouTube is another great way to get noticed. You don’t need a five-figure social media budget to build connections with potential customers.

Remember, David beat Goliath by doing what Goliath couldn’t. He didn’t try to beat Goliath at his own game. Instead, he got scrappy, found his opponent’s weakness, and made the most of his own strengths.