We came across a business last week and – surprisingly – they were located right down the street from our home. We walk by their location, drive by their location and visit other businesses near them on a weekly basis.
But we had NO CLUE they were there. None.
We work pretty hard at staying up-to-date with what’s happening in Columbus, OH and specifically the Grandview area.
We’ve watched brands do this for years. They pop-up with an inspiration to go national or international so they don’t want to be too locked into their location. They’d rather seem like they’re everywhere rather than anywhere.
The problem with this – ESPECIALLY WITH A NEW BRAND – is that you’re missing out on those folks right next to you. Often your neighbors will champion your cause first and loudest and longest.
(We understand this doesn’t apply to ALL brands).
But look at brands like Facebook, Uber and TaskRabbit. Those brands started with ULTRA geographic-centric launches. Uber and Task Rabbit aren’t even available everywhere yet. Even our own local Jeni’s Ice Creams started that way (we live right down the street from their first scoop shop, YUM!) though they now have a much more national presence.
7 Reason Not to Neglect Your Neighbors When You Launch Your Brand
1. Your Neighbors are Forgiving
The person down the street will be okay with you if you slip up. Strangers from across the country aren’t the same.
2. People LOVE Local
Some people go out of their way to support local businesses. Why miss those people when you launch?
3. Your Neighbors Have Friends in Other Places
When Jeni’s moved to Nashville, all of our Twitter and Instagram friends had seen us post about them for years. They were first in line to try it out. Be awesome for people locally and they’ll talk about nationally.
4. Your Neighbors are Perfect for R&D
If your gym wants to try out a new training program, it’s much easier to roll it out to neighbors first. You can test out your new ice cream flavor in one location easily. You can even invite people over to your office to get quick feedback.
5. New Customers Can Be Made Over Coffee
When you bump into someone at a coffee shop, there’s an opportunity for new business. This isn’t the same if people don’t think you appreciate your community.
6. You Can Redesign Later
A few brands we worked with took our advice and started with a local focus. They included neighborhoods and specific local language to signal to their audience that they were part of the community. They can easily remove that language as they expand.
7. Your Initial Crowd Will Celebrate Growth
When you grow and expand, you’ll have a whole crew of folks who will be high-fiving and cheering you on!
8. Stimulate Your Local Economy
The local economy is strengthened when you support and others support local businesses. Don’t miss out on being a part of that!
Head to the comments below and share what local businesses you’ve seen love on their communities.