It is not an unrealistic aspiration for a local company to set itself the objective of being famous locally. Media can play a major role in helping small and medium-sized businesses to become global in their local marketplace through creating and reinforcing a strong brand identity.
It is now easier than ever for business owners to reach out to potential customers but it is also important to remember that especially in a local market place, it is the people that set the agenda. If you are claiming to be an authentic, local company then make sure you are walking the local walk.
Being local impacts whom you employ, how you manage your customer service and how you engage with the local community. Most importantly as a local company, you will need to constantly demonstrate that you are engaged in the conversation taking place and remember those conversations could be happening about you on local platforms.
I read a remarkable thread on a local `spotted in...’ Facebook page recently which was shared, viewed and commented on many hundreds of times. The thread was about a well-known and popular barber’s shop in a Surrey village that had allegedly declined a request from a customer for their young child to make use of a staff only toilet. As the conversation unfolded on Facebook there were many strong, negative views expressed and also a number of contributors recommending alternative barbers who would definitely offer toilet facilities.
Regardless of the topic or the rights and wrongs, an intervention from the company - an apology or even a sympathetic understanding and explanation would have helped to protect a local company’s hard-earned reputation.
Being local in a modern world means engaging with our community in ways we might never have imagined, even eighteen months ago. You cannot please all the people all of the time but being aware, agile and ready to be part of the conversation should play a growing part in your approach to marketing.
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