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True Local

by Adam Zack — April 26, 2017

Become personally involved

A lot of hullabaloo has been made about “local” in the last 5 years. Buy local, be local, eat local, shop local, don’t hassle me I’m local, locally grown, locally raised, locally sourced, come on baby, do the local motion. Whole Foods has been a big proponent of local, with photos and stories of local farmers and producers in their stores, even though their headquarters are in Austin, Texas, so their only real local stores are in and around there. It’s a great way to brand your store, feature the little producer, and connect with your community in a way the big chains can’t. But there is an aspect of local branding that goes far beyond signs and products and social media. It’s the aspect of actually, personally being involved with local events and causes. You may not want to attend the PTA fundraiser personally. Just writing them a check or donating food is good enough, right? After all, your name is in the program and on the banner and everyone sees it. Well, almost everyone. Well, some people. But actually attend the event and see how much further your $100 donation goes. Customers will be ardently thankful and vocal about your attendance. They won’t bitch about prices or problems they have had. They will treat you like the hometown hero because you, the owner of their local market, attended their event. They will introduce you to friends who don’t shop with you, but who now will. They’ll talk to their neighbors after the event about just how great it was that you attended. Yeah, I know on a Saturday night after working all day the last thing you really want to do is go out and shake hands and kiss babies. A nice glass of wine, a Prime steak and some Netflix sounds much more appealing. But to be local – true local – you have to do what the locals do and support what’s important to them.

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