I participate in a study about our towns and cities, looking at the year 2050 when population growth suppose to hit 9 billion people. How does it impact our towns, cities and communities. What can we do about it? So we have all kinds of discussion going, which among others, at one time there was discussion surrounding how do we support local businesses. Is buying local the right thing to do?
Still remember the conversation we had, when a participant said that sometime there’s this question, even though – yes! he knows that buying local is good for the local economy, tax dollars are collected, support local jobs, etc. – but often times he had to go against his own beliefs because of price. Price is still a driver for some people. Unless they figure it out the cost/ benefit analysis.
Interestingly, this morning I came across this article on Marketing Daily about the very same thing that we’ve talked about in our meetings. Communispace did a study collected from 1,000 consumers across 10 different countries on how consumers view buy local. Buying local is a big business. McDonalds’ in it. Triscuit riding on the wave also.
What does buy local mean?
Based on the survey, when it comes to purchasing decision “buying local is not a top priority for most consumers”. Instead, buying local falls close to the bottom, below the traditional attributes like safety, quality, dependability and price. However, buying local does become attractive when it provides additional value. When consumers buy local across product categories, they do it because of personal and contextual choice. Buying local gives consumers a sense of pride and civic responsibility in addition to the traditional attributes such as trustworthy vendors, quality and safety.
Despite differences in geographical location, people are using the same language, making the same connections.
Here are the four buying local themes:
#1. The definition of ‘Local’ is personal, contextual.
The first word that come to people’s mind when asked what buy local means: FOOD. It’s associated with fresh, produce, vegetables. Fresh is the main selling point for food. If you go to your local grocery, sometimes they do have food comes with that label “home grown locally.” But local here doesn’t mean it is close to your location. Instead it can be geographically close. Sweet potato sold in our local Harris Teeter have that label, but the potatoes come from somewhere in North Carolina, yeah neighboring state.. some 326 (something) miles away. Not that close, close!
#2. Consumers are increasingly tuned-in to ‘Global Concerns.’
Consumers are concerned about the social, economical and political factors. This have impacted their buying decision. When they do buy local, some of the added benefits of buying local comes weigh into the equation, i.e. great customer service, a transparent experience, and superior quality. So when they don’t buy local, it is an informed and intentional decision.
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