marketing sustainability, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sustainability, scalability

Document Type

Proceedings Paper



Can Scalability be a Marketing Liability for Sustainability?

A common principle of modern business marketing is that growth is good. It is usually thought that all businesses should market themselves with the goal of increasing their revenues and gaining market share. Scalability is developing products or services that people want and figuring out how to produce and promote many of them for lower costs while selling more of them (Dudnik 2010). It is the purpose of this paper to show that some businesses, especially small ventures with unique value propositions, should not necessarily seek to grow or scale up. There are numerous examples of new ventures failing for various reasons, and many of these have to do with growth. While new ventures frequently offer creative solutions to market needs, there are also aspects of these businesses that will be crucial to maintain while scaling up. Consequently, some new ventures may succeed based on aspects of the organization that are not feasible to scale, and thus a more conservative growth strategy should be undertaken.