While the agility of startups often draws envious glances from established brands, the reality is that size offers unique advantages. This article argues against the futile attempt for large brands to mimic the startup environment and instead proposes three key strategies for mass marketers to thrive:

  1. Deepen customer understanding: While niche brands can personalize their approach, large brands need to find ways to connect with diverse audiences authentically and avoid generic messaging. McDonald's "eyebrows" campaign exemplifies this, capturing the relatable desire for a break in a relatable way.

  2. Embrace purpose, carefully: Leading with purpose can be effective for niche brands, but large ones risk alienating segments of their broader audience. Unilever's recent struggles with purpose-driven marketing at the product level serve as a cautionary tale.

  3. Innovate strategically: Mass brands can leverage their resources for impactful innovation. Cadbury's 200th-anniversary product launches demonstrate their ability to stay relevant, while Microsoft's partnership with Chat GPT highlights their potential to disrupt entire categories.

The article concludes by emphasizing the significant rewards achievable when large brands leverage their unique strengths – market share gains, impactful innovations, and employee pride in their work. In a world where startups are often lauded, this piece offers a refreshing perspective on the enduring power of effective mass marketing.