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.