Sell Big to Small-Biz Lovers

The millions of Canadians who have strong confidence in small business are a natural target market for your company. Here’s how to reach them

Written by PROFIT and Environics Analytics

Small business fans

Here’s a way you probably haven’t thought of to boost your sales: market to people who love small business. About 20% of Canadians—5.7 million people aged 15-plus—have strong confidence in small business, according to Environics Research Group. These people see small businesses as generally ethical in their practices, committed to providing quality goods and working in the public interest. All other things being equal, they’d rather buy from you.

Small-business fans are a divergent lot. But as a whole, they’re solidly middle class, with average household incomes of $91,000—7% above the national average. And most of them are married homeowners with children.

Small-business enthusiasts are only average consumers of traditional media, so to reach them in this way, you should use some of the tactics at right. But your best bet is digital marketing, because these folks spend more time online than the average Canadian does.

To market to small-business admirers, you could highlight unusual product offerings (they love originality); interaction with friendly, familiar faces (they crave social connection); and, if you’re a retailer, the speediness of finding what they need in a smaller store (they yearn to escape from time stress).

PrizmC2 cluster€  single city renters asian affluence back country folks
Young apartment dwellers concentrated in mid-sized cities. Most are in modestly paid entry-level jobs, so they entertain themselves in low-cost ways such as billiards and bowling. Spend long hours online on YouTube, Facebook and buying products. Large, prosperous families with chinese roots concentrated in upscale neighbourhoods in greater Toronto and Vancouver. Savvy shoppers for tech gadgets and designer clothes. Frequently travel abroad. Attend ballet, opera and investment shows. Blue-collar traditionalists over age 45 in remote towns and villages, especially in Atlantic Canada. Enjoy hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Love TV, especially home-improvement shows, infomercials and country music programs. Not big internet users.
index€ €  224 154 143
Total Population, 15-plus/average household income 226,000 / $47,000 229,000 / $129,000 580,000 / $66,000
€  Environics Analytics classifies Canadian households into 66 lifestyle types based on demographics, behaviour and values.
€ €  Small-business fans’ share of each cluster’s population, indexed versus an average of 100 for their share of all Canadians
Infographics by Glenn Taylor
Originally appeared on

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