Say goodbye to national fast-food chains and Wal-Marts, and replace them with places such as the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, N.C. and Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, both open year round. Consumers don’t want to roam around a 5,000-square-foot building in search of a staff member to help them find the organic mayonnaise.
Instead, more are opting for quaintness, exclusivity, personality. Yes, it is cheaper for the consumer to have mass-processed, exported products, but where is the environmental and economic responsibility in that?
What This Means for Your Local Business
As consumer-consciousness rises in the U.S., there are a lot more people who want to keep track of where their dollar goes. Pretty much everything you need is available locally, and the benefit isn’t just that consumers find it healthy, but also, it brings together a sense community and personality to your town and gives you the opportunity to make people emotionally invested in your product.
Most businesses spend some time and money marketing to their local consumers and customers. But what does it mean to “shop local?” Here is some food for thought when branding yourself as “local.”
- Know Your Source – It is important for marketers to know the guidelines for which local products are actually considered “local” — or else they could get into some sticky situations. According to the 2008 Farm Act, buying “local” usually means that it must be marketed within 400 miles of the product’s origin.
- Maintain a Connection – The consumer wants to know where their product comes from. Take advantage of this by letting the customer know who and where that producer is. This creates a stronger connection to the product itself.
- Stay Up-to-Date – Selling local means that the products will vary by season, but also that the consumer’s mood will change with the coming months. Don’t get stuck; keep track of what is going on around the community in order to find the next campaign that appeals to your target audience.
Marketing locally has the capacity to bring communities together and help enhance the local economy by keeping time, money, and energy in-state. It enhances your brand personality by associating your brand with the town, and it opens the doors to a place the consumer can call Home.