How locally owned businesses work togther to strengthen local economy
By: Terry Garrett
Dec. 24, 2015
GO LOCAL started with a very simple goal—spread the word among Sonoma County’s population that if everyone looked at local businesses first, and shifted even a small amount of spending (say 10%), we could boost the revenue of our local economy by over $500 million per year.
It’s so simple and obvious that high school students in Howard, South Dakota generated a revitalization plan for that economically devastated County that called for just that—shift 10% of their spending to the local businesses. That was in 1995. They were high school students, not economists. The County’s population embraced their solution and saw immediate positive results. (This story was brought to our attention in the book, Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip Heath).
We asked ourselves, “How do we tell the general public about this idea of choosing local businesses first?"
The simple solution: get businesses working together to distribute the local first message under a shared brand—GO LOCAL. In a new world of phenomenal social media growth, a shared brand concept is easily understood and embraced. But still not everyone understands exactly how it works or what to do. That's where the GO LOCAL team and inspired members help. You can learn how to make a shared brand work for your business.
7 out of 10 people say they would support local businesses if they knew who they were. Don't assume everyone knows, you have to tell them you are locally owned.
Use the brand in everything you do.
Point them to the GO LOCAL website so they can discover all members.
Watch this video to see the what a shared brand is and the power of group dynamics. You can also read more about it here on our site.
Many GO LOCAL Members Get It
Many GO LOCAL business members know how to get the most from their membership. Tom Duryea, CEO of Summit State Bank, when asked “Regarding your GO LOCAL membership, how did you make it so successful for Summit?”, answered, “You have to work it consistently”. Summit has done just that by integrating the GO LOCAL Bank Local logo into every facet of their marketing.
We want to share a few of these bright spots with you. These are the members that really understand the power of the shared brand and have used it successfully to drive growth in their respective businesses. You can do this too. You benefit, and so do all other GO LOCAL members.
(Go to Oliver's GO LOCAL listing here for their contact and location information. This GO LOCAL List is the easy way to find certified local businesses.)
Oliver's contribution to the Shared Brand Value
Annual gross impressions: 18 million
Dollar value: $350,000
In short, the conclusion of Oliver's experience is that when a member fully embraces the GO LOCAL brand by using it in every conceivable way, it can make a difference in sales increases.
Here's a short video that shows the in-store branding from the past year's campaign. The new campaign is rolling out now with even further sophistication and refinement.
We have to say, Tom Scott and the gang at Oliver's have set the standard for retail co-branding with GO LOCAL. Not only have they integrated the shared brand at multi-touch points within the store; they have also modified their POS system to measure sales of Made Local products. When a customer checks out, the receipt shows the dollar amount of Made Local products she purchased. Tracking also helps Oliver's compare the effectiveness of their marketing by contrasting Made Local sales vs. national product sales. The sales of Made Local products continue to outpace national brands by nearly a 2-to-1 rate of growth.
Summit State Bank
Summit State Bank's contribution to the Shared Brand Value
Annual gross impressions: 66 million
Dollar value: $1,318,000
In short, the conclusion of Summit's experience is that when a member fully embraces the GO LOCAL brand by using it in every conceivable way, it can make a difference in attracting new customers as well as strengthening existing relationships.
Summit State Bank has fully embraced the co-branding concept with GO LOCAL and Bank Local. Additionally, they have gone the extra distance of supporting GO LOCAL Cooperative through financial donations and by participating in coop activities. GO LOCAL staff can always count on Tom Duryea to pitch in when needed. It's that spirit that a healthy coop needs from its members. Indeed it's what makes a coop work. We applaud them for their service and success in using the brand to communicate with their customers about the importance of choosing a local financial institution and fellow business members.