Shop Small – 3 letters that would make all the difference

Shop Small – 3 letters that would make all the difference

I'm sorry, but Shop Small campaigns disturb me.

While I applaud the Shop Small® initiative, I have to say that seeing signs around town that say “Shop Small” has a double meaning that muddies the message.

If I'm not familiar with American Express' initiative, I could take it as a warning to not spend as much money to keep from going into debt.

Yeah, I know you're probably thinking “good grief, people aren't that stupid.” I'm not saying they're stupid, but why give them anything else to think about? One of the first rules in marketing is to communicate clearly. Just adding the 3 letters b-i-z removes any question of the intent of your message.

If you're a community or business that is promoting local shopping and small business shopping this holiday season, “Shop Local” and “Shop Small Biz” should be your mantras. Sure, it doesn't promote Amex's registered trademark initiative but it certainly communicates more clearly with your customers.

This is the time of year that is make or break for retailers. Why add anything to the mix that might work against you?

See you later – I'm off to #shoplocal and #shopsmallbiz for the holidays!

ps - don't look for me at Black Friday sales, though. I'd rather be poked with a cattle prod.

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Free booklet to simplify planning marketing campaigns

Free booklet to simplify planning marketing campaigns

Being faced with a never ending parade of new social media platforms and other tools for marketing often makes it overwhelming when it's time to create a marketing plan. How do you know what to use and when to use it? Should you just go ahead and use everything to avoid having to make a decision?

We're big on analogies, and in this case we liken it to making a sandwich. There are a myriad of toppings, breads, meats, and condiments that you can use on a sandwich, but you don't use everything at once - unless you're Dagwood Bumstead. Instead, you choose what fits your budget, your hunger level, and your mood.

We've created our illustrated Sandwich Marketing concept to walk you through the basic steps of creating your own marketing sandwich. Download the booklet here, and let us know if it helps!

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Join our economic and community development podcast to share your success story

Join our economic and community development podcast to share your success story

Are you one of the following types of people?

Economic Developer
Community Developer
Main Street Director
Planning District Commission Director
Workforce Training professional
Chamber of Commerce Director
...or anyone else who works in revitalizing America's local communities?

If so, read on.

This fall we'll be launching an exciting new project to help professionals like those above share stories of how they are successfully revitalizing their communities, and we're looking for interesting people to interview for our podcast. We will also be looking for guest bloggers, so if you prefer writing over talking, let us know! Or, you can do both if you're really brave (don't worry, we can guide you if you're not used to writing).

The podcasts will be short conversations about the initiatives that are making a difference for communities across the US.

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How Facebook helped prevent identity theft!

How Facebook helped prevent identity theft!

Well, I might be stretching it a bit, but you never know...

This morning we had an envelope from the Social Security Administration in our p.o. box that didn't belong to us so I returned it to the mail counter. It was a social security card, but the address ended up not being a good address (though very close to ours) and they didn't know how to find the person. Being in a small town and knowing the Post Office staff (they're great, by the way!), I asked them to hold it and said I would see if I could find the person on Facebook.

Within several minutes I found a local woman that I thought must be her, messaged her, got a reply that she was indeed the person it was addressed to, and arranged for her to pick it up at the Post Office!

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