Wolverhampton is a staple city for virtually any place in the country. It is full to the brim of high-profile brands who draw the crowds in.
But, you know what? I find it boring. As a tourist, why would I visit a town/city that offers exactly that same as my hometown does? I ain’t traveling all those miles to see the same clothes on the same rails.
I WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
That’s why independent businesses need to ROAR! They need to come dominating over the brands to teach them a good lesson. They should not be allowed to muscle their way over industries.
But basic branding lacks in these independent businesses.
They lack basic marketing principles.
Firstly is in their names. I hate companies called Dave’s Fish and Chips and don’t exploit who Dave is. The whole essence of that name is based around Dave. Yet, quite often the owner will not be called Dave or more importantly, the character of Dave will be left to the imagination of customers.
This is where companies like McDonald’s work. We all know who Ronald McDonald. They have spent years building that brand that they don’t actually need to explain who he is anymore. In fact, I believe McDonald’s has become so successful, they’ve ditched him in the UK.
Anyway, back on point: have a story or at least a theme. Being generic is boring. The Cuban Exchange in Wolverhampton has a theme around the Cuban Revolution. I actually don’t understand the link, but it is a pretty cool and unique place to hang. It is a place that you will always remember.
Burger Priest, with its church-style decor and blasphemous signs, is another example. It is not just a burger place, it is a place where burgers are regarded as a religion. Oh, and I believe they’re Canadian by their poutine. Once again, many memories are created in such a unique place that customers are bound to come back. Oh, and the food is great too! That helps.
Secondly, it’s in their social media profiles. Some independent businesses don’t even utilize social media! In this day and age, social media is THE tool to compete with the bigger brands. There is no other tool like it. So, if you don’t have social media, get it now whilst it is still cheap!
And then there’s businesses who have social media who use it poorly. They update on a weekly basis and don’t really contribute. They may as well not have social media. To use social media effectively, you should be updating everyday with ENGAGING content. Prospects and customers need to be engaged in order to actually care about the business.
This post has been more of a rant than informational. I just want to get across how much independent businesses need to win. Our society and economy depend on it. Remember that episode of Family Guy where the big supermarket takes over the town and drives everyone out of business? Yeah, we don’t want that.