This article, ‘Thinking Big Matters in Marketing’ by LinkedIn’s Keith Browning, is thought-provoking and well reasoned.

It argues the bigger your company is – and is seen to be – the more successful it will become … and so on and on in a continuous virtuous circle.

Browning sets out a robust, if somewhat over-simplified, case and attempts to explain it. (I say over-simplified because of course not all large firms do better and better: some lose their way and get overtaken by smaller rivals.) Big businesses, he says, grow faster because their products or services are more available (physical availability) and more likely to spring to buyers’ minds (mental availability).

That’s true enough, though I think he overlooks one of the most important reasons of all: credibility – the perception that, since your business is growing and others are buying from you, you must be good. (This isn’t necessarily the same as being big, of course.)

And he’s certainly right that you can push perceptions of your size and success ahead of reality –  through intensive marketing. That way, you can gain a ‘share of voice’ that’s larger than your ‘share of market’. And Browning’s contention is that, in turn, will boost your share of market.

At the same time, I think he’s too dismissive of the benefits that often come with smallness – the personal touch, a human face and closeness to the customer. For many businesses, I believe these are core to their success.

There’s ultimately no single right approach, of course. It varies from business to business.

I agree that being seen as successful and growing – and sometimes big – will typically attract more customers and so drive further market share. But for many in the B2B world, I believe the best strategy of all is to balance the credibility that comes with growth, success and (sometimes) scale with a strong personal, human touch.

For these companies, pulling that off is where the real magic happens.