The Totally Locally campaign is all about Independent Shops and Businesses. These are the things that make your town and area different from any other town in the world so they are a precious commodity.
These are your Hidden Gems in the town.
Totally Locally was created, and continues with passion, to celebrate the fantastic shops, businesses and people that we have in our local areas. Shops and businesses like yours, and people like you. These (you!) are the Hidden Gems in our towns that make the place that little bit different, that little bit more colourful, and that little bit better to live in.
Writing about a Hidden Gem
Example of a Hidden Gem:
Saker is one of those classic Hidden Gems. If you know about it, you will love it, and visit it it at every opportunity. If you don’t……… well here’s where that stops.
So here’s us telling you all about a bakers co operative, based in Todmorden & Hebden Bridge, creating beautiful organic breads, cakes pies etc. So far, so worthy you may say. But just TASTE their food! It’s wonderful. And before you say, it’ll cost a fortune, do a price comparison with the supermarket. A hand crafted, organic loaf for the same price or less than a bland supermarket sliced (or LOADS cheaper than supermarket ‘taste the finest, difference, whatever’, stuff)- we kid you not.
The breads (everything from white bloomer to wheat free rye) is just like bread should be – unbelievably tasty, filling and eaten best on it’s own with a big lump of butter. The cakes are melt in the mouth amazing. The Caramel & blackberry crumble cake is said to do “strange things to women” and the shortbread….well we’ll leave it to you to discover. Find Saker on Market Street in Hebden Bridge, try their food & be converted. Join the queue…..
The Hidden Gem Photo
The Totally Locally campaign is all about fantastic pictures that capture what each business is about and that mean nothing that makes it look like an Estate Agents window! Take a look at our guide to Totally Locally Photos.
Files from the Kit
We ended up creating a bit of a form for getting information about Hidden Gems. It’s in the kit.
Can Chainstores or Franchises Get Involved. Take Part?
Totally Locally is made specifically for INDEPENDENT shops. It is a branding project with a marketing strategy.
It isn’t for use with national chain stores and even franchises.
It goes without saying really. Chainstores have their place on the high street, and they can help small businesses thrive, by bringing a certain presence to a town. It can also show that there is confidence in the town has allowed big decision makers feel that the town is right for their big store. BUT one of the main reasons for the demise of the high street is the unfair competition that the big guys bring (Amazon & Starbucks not paying UK taxes anyone?). They have huge marketing budgets, central marketing teams. They don’t care about the little guys, so it goes……
(This may seem ludicrous to even think that they would be interested, but when we tell you that we’ve had requests from Tesco, Dorothy Perkins and WH Smith and many others to join in in town Fiver Fests, it makes a bit more sense why we mention this!).
What about a Franchise?
This is our grey area and in the end it is down to the champions in the town to decide…but you need to be careful. The Post Office might be a yes due to its place in the community, something like Vision Express probably not…but that doesn’t stop them helping out or contributing.
Why not? Because Specsavers and McDonalds, although usually owned by and employing local people, have their own marketing budgets, campaigns and advertising. They are linked to a big machine. Everyone knows about Specsavers (not singling this or any other ocular company out) and what they stand for, but probably don’t know about that 3rd generation family run optician at the bottom of the street.
If you add well known high street giants to the campaign, it de-values what people think about Totally Locally.
A good definition of brand is the “The gut feeling that someone gets when they think about you, your organisation or what you do“. If that gut feeling is confusion (Why is Thorntons in the Totally Locally campaign, but not that little sweet shop?) you fall at the first hurdle.
BUT, if someone running a franchise understands this, they can still get involved by helping. In Retford this happened. The wonderful lady running Specsavers helped tremendously by working with businesses, helping with the launch day etc. But she can’t be on the publicity. Sorry, it will lose credibility in people’s eyes, and you WILL cause the campaign to stumble. But she helped, and their launch day was the busiests the town had in years. So her shop was busier. Simple really?
Remember this is about independent shops and businesses. That’s it.
In the kit there is a template for Hidden Gems Posters. Once you’ve written your Hidden Gems, as well as put it on your website, you can drop the write up into the poster template.
Don’t display your own. How much more powerful if every shop had a Hidden Gem that was someone else in their window! Your shop recommending another shop. Pretty special we think.