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social media 101: holiday etiquette

cutting the wrong corners - local marketing 101

With lots of buzz around retail performance over the holiday season, I'd like to take a couple of minutes to analyze the state of retail and the future of truly local retail.

Spilled_milk Local mom and pop stores should outpace and outperform the mega-tailors any day.  The level of friendliness, familiarity and customizable service offered by local stores should put them miles ahead of the big box chains.

Local retailers however, often fail for one simple reason: they don't play the game by their own rules, rather they seek to outpace and outperform big box chains on pricing and range of offering. 

Consider my local pizza shop.  They cannot compete with the national chains on pricing, hours of operation, advertising or branding.  However, they compete VERY effectively in communications and personal relationship building.  The proprietor knows everyone.  He compliments you on a new jacket and wishes you a congratulations when you come in with a baby.  This guy was doing incredibly well.

Then I stopped by last night to pick up some pizza for a friend's birthday party.  This proprietor had run himself ragged.  He was dead tired, and was taking it out on customers.  And it only got worse.  He was using pizza boxes supplied for free from a company called PizzaAdz.  PizzaAdz places full color ads on the tops of pizza boxes.  The ad was for a film called Wrist Cutters.

Sure, the guy saved a couple bucks on ad-supported cardboard boxes.  But would YOU bring pizza boxes to a family event where kids would be present, if the boxes were advertising a suicide focussed rated R movie?  Now consider this: this is a kosher pizza store in a very traditional, politically conservative, orthodox Jewish community.  Ouch.