Buy Local campaigns are held to educate the consumers about the social and economic benefits a community enjoys because of independent and local businesses. The mission of these local branding campaigns is always to create a prosperous local economy by enhancing the potential of local businesses and maximize their market share by preferring them over non-locally owned businesses.
Do These Campaigns Make a Difference?
Buy Local campaigns do make a difference as they add value to the local products and provide the local merchants with a significant means to increase their marketing potential. With the help of this type of regional branding, the locally grown products and offered services are tied directly to their region of origin and become a step closer to access the consumer’s desire to support and encourage the local economy. These campaigns can serve an as a vital and powerful tool to help sustain the independent local-level businesses and neighborhood serving business districts. A buy local campaign can definitely boost up the consumer spending along with strengthening the local culture if well defined, organized and maintained.
How to Design and Organize a “Buy Local” Campaign That Actually Works?
Here we are describing the step by step strategy of how can you begin an excellent local branding campaign and bring it forward to the awareness of local people for the betterment of a particular regional society.
- Getting Started:
First you have to form a steering committee and initiate talking with main business owners about the reasons and benefits of launching your buy local campaign. You have to identify people who would like to get their selves involved and then ask them to join the committee, which should include from 6 to 15 people. The people should be local business owners and individuals of local organizations.
- Set a date for a kick-off event:
The kick-off event would be the concrete initial goal of the committee, so it can be a press conference about the announcement of the campaign. This will help you in your initial recruitment drive along with gaining the immediate media visibility. Another option is that you can organize a gathering for the local business owners and prestigious people of the region at a local restaurant or performance venue.
- Devise a name & slogan:
Keep your group’s name and slogan proactive and positive, not only that, your logo should also be professionally designed. You can also ask the local designers to volunteer in exchange for the free membership. You logo might incorporate with the beloved or recognizable feature of the community.
- Develop the campaign kit:
Campaign kit can be understood as the packet of materials that members receive after joining in. It may include the welcome letter, tips for promoting the campaign, a window decal of the campaign logo, a document stating valid reasons to support the local businesses, flyers for distribution, FAQs, list of involved businesses and a poster. Along with that, you should also establish your online presence and build a website.
- Define Membership:
Determine which businesses are eligible to participate and be involved in the campaign. You also have to decide how much it is going to cost local businesses to join. You can take finances from them, but the amount should be only enough to cover the basic cost of producing the kick-off materials and maintaining the beginning events, you can raise it in subsequent years when the campaign gains influence.
- Hold your kick-off event:
If this event is going to be a press conference, then make plans to hold it in a visually significant spot, you can have a large poster of your logo that you can unveil at the event. All, if not, then majority of the committee members should attend the event, ideally wearing the customized campaign T-shirts. Important committee members should brief about the ultimate goals of campaign and importance of the local businesses. You should send out a media advisory a couple of days ahead and then a press release only a day before. The biggest plus point of a press conference as a kick-off event is that local news media will publish a few stories and introduce your campaign with the business owners, which will definitely make it more convenient to recruit more members.
Another idea for the kick-off event would be to host the informal meal gathering for introducing the campaign to business owners. However, getting the good turnout in this case solely depends upon the committee’s ability to extend the invitations or promote their event to local merchants.
- Begin recruiting members:
Start by sending out an invitation letter to businesses, signed by the prominent members of your committee and ask them to join the campaign. A lot of people do not respond to a mass solicitation, so if you talk to the local business owners in person, your membership drive will definitely be more successful. Each of the committee members have to take the task of contacting a specified amount of business owners, who they may know personally or whose businesses are closer to their homes.
- Make arrangements for getting the message out:
For this, you can create posters, publish banners and advertisements, design T-shirts, distribute flyers, countertop thank you cards, stickers and other items, organize events and develop a dynamic website with ansearchable local businesses directory.
Once your buy local campaign is fully organized and settled, it then needs to pursue the two ways simultaneously. You can form two separate sub committees to work on each of the ways or you can do it under one steering committee. These two tracks are:
- Organizational Development:
This may involve forming a board, drafting a budget and performing tasks that legit help in establishing the foundation of the firm as the campaign grows and develops.
- Spreading the Campaign’s Message:
As you probably know that the more people will hear and learn about the buy local message, the greater and wider will be the impact of your campaign and the more it will succeed.