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Developing a Local Brand – 1 September 30, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in business strategy, Local Brand Development, Marketing Buzz.
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If you want to find a local business that has found the gold that lies in branding a business effectively, just look around you.  Do you know of a business that has been around for a long time and is still very successful?  I’ll bet you do.  It could be your local deli or maybe a local tailor who’s been around for what seems like forever.  Local businesses with a strong brand appeal are businesses who have seen all kinds of economic conditions and still keep going.  The people who build these kinds of strong local brands have the ability to keep their eye on the branding ball.

The Big Dogz have long understood that building a lasting business requires laying a foundation of branding the endures because it endears customers to their products and/or services.

What are they doing that most businesses are not?  Here are a few of my observations:

  • They pay attention to the details.  They take no customer for granted and extend themselves to the point that customers instantly recognize the value they get from purchasing their products or services.  They not only know your name but they learn more about your likes and dislikes over time.  If they make a mistake, they attend to it immediately and make the customer whole or better.  They are not in the transaction business; they are in the relationship business.
  • They provide an ‘buying experience’ that is well-above the norm.  People don’t just go there to shop, they go there with the intent to ‘live’ through the experience of shopping.  Have you ever been to Stew Leonards?  Grocery shopping there is an ‘experience’ that reinforces their local brand.  Started in 1969, it has revenues over $300mm with just four stores!  Most importantly, they have done exceedingly well despite the growth of mega-grocery stores and severe competition from national chains.  Why?  Because customers value the ‘experience’ that Stew Leonard provides them each time they come.  It’s a local brand that stands for more than just a place to buy groceries.  Oh, and they aren’t the cheapest place in town either but they continue to thrive just the same.  Want to learn more about Stew Leonards?  Go to www.stewleonards.com

Local brand development is another way to create lasting market differentiation and beat your competition into the ground.  Stay tuned for more on local brand development!

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