BestSouthwestNews: “Alternatives to ‘Buy Local’ Campaigns”

Recent research shows that buying local campaigns provide only limited and short-lived results for small businesses. So, as budget-conscious consumers turn to mass retailers, Internet and malls for bargains, what can small business owners do?

Tell a story

For consumers to view your shop as unique and deserving the premium that small businesses often need to levy, offer unique or even one-of-a-kind products and services, says Paul Kurnit, a business consultant and clinical marketing professor at Pace University in New York.  Then, make sure those items have a story to go along with them, he says.

Perhaps a store carries porcelain dishes that were hand-painted by a local artist. If that’s the case, include that person’s story with the plates. “The handmade idea is good, but it’s not the whole story,” Kurnit says. “In a tough economy especially, play up the customer connection.”

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