July 22, 2013
GO LOCAL has built incredible brand value over the past five years. The shared brand generates hundreds of millions in market impressions each year.
The North Bay Business Journal recently wrote,
Sonoma County Go Local Cooperative co-branding program allows members to use their logo through a license agreement while benefiting from shared promotion, rewards card programs and other initiatives. The program is nearing its fifth anniversary, and currently counts over 300 members, said Terry Garrett, operations manager at the organization.
The Go Local brand also incorporates service-type companies, and can be seen as part of marketing for industries like banking, food manufacturing, waste collection and restaurants. In addition to a number of anecdotes concerning the way that consumers have responded, Mr. Garrett also sought to determine a dollar value for the brand based on its presence throughout Sonoma County.
“It would be equivalent to spending $8 million on advertising, just in Sonoma County,” he said. “It shows the power of aggregation from a diverse membership.”
The brand has also begun to expand beyond Sonoma County, with adoption for a “Grown Local” application in Marin and a “MendoNoma” application along the coastal region incorporating Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
One adopter, the Sonoma County-based supermarket chain Oliver’s Markets, has itself seen measurable results after redoubling its focus on locally sourced goods and services approximately four years ago. The company was an early adopter of the Go Local branding, part of a push to market its existing emphasis on Sonoma County products and respond to competition from chains like Whole Foods, said Tom Scott, general manager.
The company developed a point-of-sale system that would list locally sourced products on a customer’s receipt, also allowing those products to be tracked independent of other items. While the 5,200 Sonoma County products represent approximately 10 percent of the store’s inventory, Mr. Scott said that they now represent more than 27 percent of its overall sales.
Oliver's In-store GO LOCAL and Made Local Branding Produces Amazing Results
Those product categories have experienced year-over-year sales growth between 10 and 20 percent, helping to drive an overall sales growth for Oliver’s that has grown from 4 to 6 percent to between 10 and 13 percent since that branding emphasis began, Mr. Scott said.
“If all things are equal — if I’m offering the same quality good at a competitive price from a local company — it’s a real game changer,” he said, noting also the greater induced job creation from using regional suppliers versus larger national companies.