It’s essential that customers understand when they support local businesses, they create a direct, positive impact on their community. Whether you are using storytelling via digital media, traditional marketing, or word-of-mouth, here are three story elements to share with customers to “think local” when they need to shop.
Highlight Community Connection. Show why your story is important to you, your family or community, and why people should support locally. Customers appreciate common connections and want to know how local businesses support the community.
- Do you or your employees volunteer at local nonprofit organizations? Tell that story.
- Do you hire locally? Share why that’s important to you.
- Do you collaborate with other local businesses or organizations? Your customers would appreciate knowing that they can support multiple local businesses by shopping with you.
Build Communities. If you see the same customers come in on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that they know your other regular customers. This is an opportunity to create community around your business.
- Host a coffee hour in your place of business and invite your customers to stop in.
- Do a pop-up at a local festival or event so your customers can see you as a part of the community.
- Use a community board to allow your customers to connect to each other. Think Facebook groups but in real life.
Show How You Are Unique. Whatever your business is, no one else can do it like you. That’s the aspect you should highlight. Sure, similar products or services can be found elsewhere but they won’t be delivered with your unique approach to quality customer service. That’s something only your local customers can experience. Highlight what makes your products so special. People often purchase products based on emotion, so if your products remind them of home, they will like keep coming back
- Do you create or produce a product that’s unique to your local area? Tell the story behind it.
- Do you order ingredients or parts from local vendors to create your products? Include their stories, too.
- Do you service a niche part of the local community? A small niche is a big reason why you are working in your local community.
A bonus part of a local business’s impact and story is to emphasize environmental benefits. Local businesses will have a lower carbon footprint if they don’t have to deliver products or receive deliveries beyond their local community. If this is important to you or your customers, you will want to be sure they know about it.
When customers understand why your community is important to you, they can relate better to you. If they feel that your product or service is unique to your area, they often choose to come back to you. Share your story to encourage customers to shop locally.