American Independent Business Alliance

Designing and Executing an Effective Buy Local Campaign

After more than a decade helping more than 80 communities organize Buy Local campaigns and observing many more, it’s apparent most campaigns launched without experienced help tend to fade away within a year or two. But don’t let that discourage you! Those campaigns fail due to easily predictable and preventable reasons. AMIBA will help you avoid those pitfalls and build a durable culture of support for independent business.

The Buy Independent/Buy Local campaigns launched with the benefit of our experience, a long-term business plan, proper organization and a strong understanding of persuasion have made a powerful impact to help sustain independent businesses and neighborhoods. They truly can shift local consciousness, as shown the survey results noted here.

Our presentations and workshops offer you the benefit of our decade of experience to provide participants a clear picture of what works , what doesn’t, and why. Your participants will gain a solid understanding of effective “buy local” persuasion, awareness of the best practices for launching a campaign and may tools that individual business owners can implement immediately (action by one motivated business owner often catalyzes community-wide campaigns).

When you schedule a presentation for your community, conference or trade show, there is no additional cost to add a workshop that will help you establish concrete goals, timeline, recommended working groups and other key components of building your campaign. Here’s a sample workshop outline:

 

Brief introduction to national trends, pro-local organizing, and realms of work

1.  The Benefits of Doing Business Locally

  A. Benefits to individuals as customers

  • value = more than cheapness
  • the intangible benefits of going local that make a big difference on our well-being

  B. Benefits to citizens collectively

  • strengthening the local economy
  • beneficial environmental impacts of local business
  • maintaining community character
  • the role of personal interactions in building community cohesiveness and engagement
  • local business support for local organizations and events

2. What you can change through “buy local” educational campaigns and the importance of a sustained effort

  • delivering the message
  • identifying target audiences and the messages that can best reach each group
  • examples from successful “buy local” campaigns
  • selecting and using avenues for outreach, to include detailed discussion of:
    • Free media (op-eds, letters to the editor, talk radio, community TV)
    • Marketing tools that educate: bag inserts, window decals, bookmarks, cups, local directories and maps, Farm to Restaurant, etc.
    • Branding: why and how to create a brand for your independent local businesses
    • Social media: deciding which outlets best serve your campaign and how much time they deserve
    • Direct paid advertising
    • Public forums
    • Loyalty programs
    • Increasing local business-to-business commerce
    • How individual businesses’ advertising can reinforce and magnify impact of campaign as a whole
    • Building relationships between local businesses and community organizations

4.  Beyond education

  • the limits of buy local campaigns
  • pro-local procurement policies and other ways to positively direct government and institutional purchasing power
  • group purchasing, marketing, and other ways businesses can succeed through cooperation
  • “big picture” issues — a look at national and global trends and how they are likely to impact our community

In the course of these trainings, we’ll help you develop your organizational priorities as well as secure commitments from participants. AMIBA provides handout materials for all participants and offers templates for press releases, fliers and a publicity guide to help you maximize local media coverage and attendance. If you seek a workshop for your trade show or conference, we’re happy to arrange a block of time for personal consultations following a session to help participants plan effective actions while they’re inspired and focused (we also can arrange free follow-up consultations as part of an agreement).

Please contact us for current scheduling opportunities and costs via email or phone: 406-582-1255.

See Presentations and Workshops Overview

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