Marketing the family business

Family business owners bear the responsibility of inheriting the family firm, navigating present day challenges and trying to safeguard a legacy for future generations. That’s no easy task and mere mortals may shy away from such Herculean challenges. The weight of history can be daunting. Overwhelming even. Yet within the past, lies the pathway to marketing the family business and a successful future.


For family businesses, yesteryear is more than a series of events; it’s the treasure trove where the stories and values that can drive the future of your business can be found.

At the very heart of marketing the family firm is a simple concept: storytelling. Each product or service becomes the next chapter in the multi-generational chronicle.

The true marketing ‘superpower’ of your family business lies in its origin story and historical journey. When articulated effectively, this narrative empowers your marketing team to craft a compelling story that cuts through the noise, resonating authentically with your customers and the broader market.

Central to this, is the role that your business and preceding generations of your family have played in your community. If your business is a second or third generation business, it’s likely to be held in high-regard and the business premises could even serve as a local landmark. The elder members of your community will reminisce about their personal connections with your ancestors and the business, reinforcing the legacy your family business represents.

This narrative isn’t confined to branding; it serves as the driving force behind the entire marketing strategy. From public relations to brochures and a website designed with storytelling at its core, each tactic communicates the family business’ rich narrative.

Family-owned businesses inherently possess another advantage over competitors – the intimate knowledge of the individuals who shaped the firm. Many overseeing operations today once lived and worked alongside those who passed them the reins. The fusion of the wisdom from older generations with the fresh perspectives of younger family members is a powerful collaboration that can protect the legacy and ensure it is passed on in an even stronger position.

Marketing tips for family businesses

  • Explore the family archives: Use photos and historical documents to celebrate significant milestones. Don’t forget to capture any modern achievements too, while also highlighting the challenges that have been overcome along the way.
  • Create a visual timeline: Showcase key moments of your family business history in the form of a timeline and use it in presentations, on your website, and other marketing materials. It could even be used as a mural on a feature wall.
  • Conduct personal interviews: Interview key family members and long-serving staff to capture their unique insights and perspectives. These personal stories add a genuine ‘human touch’ to your family business’ narrative.
  • Celebrate your roots: Incorporate local stories and testimonials into your marketing efforts and celebrate the positive impact that your business has had on the wider community.

By delving into your family history and embracing the unique narrative it holds, your marketing efforts will ensure your family business thrives for generations to come.

If you need assistance pulling together a marketing plan to make the most of your heritage please get in touch.

If you’re a family owned business you can find lots more resources on Family Business United.