Think Globally, Market Locally
Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are frequently at a disadvantage when competing against larger corporations that may possess either regional, national or worldwide name recognition. Brochure writing services, internet marketing and traditional advertising methods can prove to be a boon to many SMBs, but, in many cases, the best means of generating a solid base of customers is by reminding them that you are a local business that is a member of and a provider to the community.
Most SMBs are or strive to be pillars of the community in which they are based. Consequently, advertising methods that attempt to market to large swaths of the national demographic are often ignored because many consumers have no ties to the brand or have no connection to the community of which the company is a part. By stressing that you are a local business employing and serving the people of the area, however, you can attract the attention of people within the community and, if you are lucky, receive national attention as a staple within the locality. If a business manages to establish itself as such, especially in a region or city that is often in the national spotlight, people from other areas may seek it out in order to better understand the locality in question. In places as disparate as Michigan and Brooklyn, NY, this type of marketing has had an immense amount of success.
Made in Michigan
Michigan faces several challenges in the postindustrial economy. With urban centers like Detroit, Saginaw and Flint suffering from severe levels of unemployment, and the state as a whole facing a demographic shift that is beginning to look like a diaspora of the young and college educated, there are many reasons to think that the Michigan economy will remain depressed for some time.
However, many people in Michigan are beginning to recognize the importance of supporting the local economy, and numerous small products ranging from cherry preserves to craft beer have begun labeling their products with a Made In Michigan stamp. This rather simple designation tells consumers two things. First, it informs individuals that they are supporting a local economy. Second, it allows consumers to partake in a regional flavor, something that is unique as opposed to the homogenized, corporate products that many are beginning to find flavorless.
Furthermore, as a consequence of a growing number of individuals who are interested in supporting locally-based businesses, there are numerous sites on the internet that freely promote small businesses, provided these businesses clearly proclaim their allegiance to a specific region.
Made in Brooklyn
Brooklyn, or at least the public conception of Brooklyn, has become its own brand. Due to an influx of members of the creative class, many of them being from places like Michigan, Brooklyn has come to be known as one of the hippest places in America. As a consequence of this increase in popularity, many products are now proudly displaying a Made in Brooklyn stamp in order to show their support not only for local products, but for the Brooklyn community.
Once again, many sites and articles on the internet have begun focusing on Brooklyn-based industries. In other words, their association with Brooklyn results in free advertising to people who would like to partake in the Brooklyn experience or those who would prefer to support a SMB instead of a faceless corporation.
Jay F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.