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Big national or international brands are often busy focussing on global or national marketing campaigns. However, a single marketing strategy for multiple regions is often too generic and impersonal for the modern consumer. If you really want to make a difference, local marketing should be a key component of your marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, a local marketing strategy is often overlooked by larger brands. Here, a lot of potential goes to waste because local marketing is highly effective in reaching the right audience and it can create a tremendous amount of attention for your brand. It will bring new customers to your brand, helps to retain existing customers, increase your local online rankings, and helps establish your brand in local communities.

Big international brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald's already reap the benefits of shifting from a generic, international marketing strategy to a “glocal” strategy. What are the exact reasons customers respond to brands that act locally? We explain it to you in this article.

Consumers are local

It's very simple: everybody lives and works at a certain place. So do consumers. This means it's not only important to be present where your customers are, but it's also crucial to be locally relevant. Here is where local marketing enters. Which products consumers like, need, and want and how they expect brands to interact with them, is very location-specific. For example, customers in Miami have very different product preferences than people in Portland. And if you want to target people in China, the original message shouldn't only be translated, it requires a very different communication style because of cultural differences. If your marketing campaigns are too genetic, this will ultimately result in failures. One size fits nobody.

Consumers expect a personalized brand experience

Due to new technologies, consumers nowadays expect relevant, personalized shopping experiences from brands. Here's where small businesses have one big advantage over big brands; a personal relationship with customers. Think about it; would you rather go to Great Clips or the hairdresser you have known for years and happens to be your mother's neighbor? You might think it's impossible for big brands to reach this level of a personal relationship. However, with a local marketing strategy, building a relationship with customers is indeed possible.

The “shop local” trend

Since the pandemic, a significant shift is going on from shopping at big brands to shopping locally. This “shop local” trend is one of the biggest trends that entered in 2020 and is expected to stay in the coming years: research shows that 41% of consumers intend to buy more locally in the future. Consumers are more and more exchanging the big shopping malls for the local grocery shops. This all has to do with the growing awareness for sustainability; consumers are more conscious about their community and want to support their local economy.

This doesn't mean national or international brands are directly excluded from this trend. In fact, consumers love it when brands also care about the communities where they're located. So think about letting the local stores of your national brand collaborate with local suppliers and adding locally produced products to your product range as a part of your local marketing strategy.

Goodwill within the community

What do you think consumers like more; brands sponsoring a big national sports event or brands that sponsor the local soccer club? Exactly.
So, no matter how big your brand is, blending in with the local community is essential to become a preferred brand in the neighborhood.

Creating local goodwill can be executed in many different ways but will only work when it's genuine and authentic. If done correctly, consumers will remember brands that do good to their community. When your local franchisee, for example, sponsors his kids' hockey team, he not only gets awareness for the brand, he shows that this brand truly cares about the families in his community. This will ultimately lead to more traffic to your local store.

The bottom line of this story is that consumers are more likely to prefer brands that act local because it's more personal, relevant, and fulfills their wishes and needs. So to get closer to your customers, every brand, big or small, national or international, should implement a local marketing strategy.

For more examples on how local marketing can be beneficial for national brands, also read Why Your National Brand Needs Local Marketing.