September 30th, 2012 → 6:45 pm @ beckymccray
Big-box stores are getting smaller.
Because so many big box retail chains are cutting back on store sizes, Barry Shlachter writes in the Fort Worth Star Telegram that this is a national trend.
It’s also one of the Small Town Rules, where we know that bigger isn’t always better.
A few juicy quotes from the article:
“Small is a big idea nowadays. There is definitely a trend to a smaller footprint.”
–Sheri Bridges, a marketing professor at Wake Forest University and faculty director of its retail marketing center.
“Best Buy calls it ‘community-oriented retail.'”
I can hear the Small Town Rules ideas in that one!
“Quite honestly, a lot of retailers have come back to the customer service days where the customer feels loved. If you can win on service, even if a product is online, people will come. They enjoy the entertainment factor of shopping in the store.”
–Charles Wetzel, CEO of the Fort Worth-based Buxton Group, which advises retailers on site selection.
That would Small Town Rule 4, where we all bring back customer service like small towns have maintained all along.
Read more from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Retail chains thinking outside the box.
[Photo of “The Biggest Store East of Skiyou” in Washington State by Becky McCray.]
August 28th, 2012 → 7:04 pm @ beckymccray
James Lowe interviewed Becky for his Talk Radio X show. We talked about where the concept came from, the process of writing when we were based in different towns, and about connecting customer service to culture and place.
August 2nd, 2012 → 7:06 pm @ beckymccray
Author Barry Moltz took time to join J.J. Ramberg on MSNBC. They talk about a few of the rules, and how J.J. has seen the trend towards thinking and acting small in business.
July 27th, 2012 → 9:39 pm @ bjmoltz
Early in the book, Small Town Rules, we mistakenly say:
“Events that “stick” to a large corporation can threaten to bring down a company. There are well known examples of Johnson and Johnson’s Tylenol (product tampering), Perrier (product contamination) and Honda (brake failures).”
One loyal reader rightfully pointed out that the brake issue was at Toyota not Honda.
Our apologies to everyone at Honda.
July 4th, 2012 → 6:13 pm @ beckymccray
“A big company can choose to remember that it was once a small company.”
Artist and Marketer Hugh MacLeod gets the small town rules. He grew up in a small town, and has lived in towns and cities world wide.
He drew this Cube Grenade for Rackspace, as they experience massive growth. It’s a Social Object, intended to get people talking.
Small Town Rule #6 is Be Proud of Being Small. That can mean keeping the company small, or keeping small workgroups, or keeping the best of a small mindset. It can be choosing to remember that this company once was a small company, no matter how big it is today.
June 10th, 2012 → 1:07 am @ beckymccray
Seen on the streets of Chicago: Rolling Rock is “Born Small Town.”
Stop by their website, and you’ll see that they are embracing the “small town character.” Rolling Rock clearly gets that consumers are ready to embrace small towns.
Is your brand ready for the shift in consumers?
May 31st, 2012 → 9:33 pm @ beckymccray
Another brand is recognizing the “small town” shift in consumer feeling: Delta Airlines.
Delta’s ground operations at the Atlanta airport are sporting signs with “Atlanta’s Airline,” “Proud to call Atlanta home,” and “Atlanta’s hometown airline for 70 years.” It’s a Small Town Rule 7: Build You Local Connections play by the brand.
Consumers are increasingly ignoring generic, mass market messages. They want messages that are relevant, and localness is one factor in relevance to people. (Source: Marketing Profs: Brands to Focus on Localized Content Marketing.)
Interestingly, we as consumers have more respect for localness, even when it’s not local to us. For example, we have a positive impression of brands like L.L. Bean that retain their local qualities, even if we are not from their home in Freeport, Maine.
With these smart signs, Delta Airlines is working one of their local angles as a global brand.
Another brand thinking about the positives of “small town” is ExpressJet. They’re offering reach to small towns. Air travel is part of being able to live and work “anywhere, anywhen.” Most of the U.S. population now lives within two hours of a major airport. (I’m one exception, over 2.5 hours away from my nearest airport.)
Delta photo: (CC) by Becky McCray.
May 29th, 2012 → 2:10 am @ beckymccray
We will have special guests, Chris Brogan, Liz Strauss, C.C. Chapman and Rieva Lesonsky as well give out 10 free copies of the book. Join us for an interactive event! You can call in to join us at (347) 426-3202, or you can join the chat on BlogTalk Radio: Small Town Rules Launch Event.
Thank you for all you’ve done help make Small Town Rules a success!
Here’s the recording, if you missed it.
April 25th, 2012 → 11:23 pm @ beckymccray
Carol Tice writes over at Entrepreneur that planning for the crash is something large organizations do well. Her background in risk management gives her a good perspective, though I’d argue that plenty of large organizations have missed this lesson, too.
Carol lists off seven key risks that companies should look at. Commentors have added a few from their own hard-won experiences.
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Built to Last and How the Mighty Fall, definitely believes this. Barry interviewed him recently, and he said:
“As soon as you can, I mean before you grow really big, your first priority should be to reach a point where you have enough cash that you could go a whole year without revenues if you had to because someday, you might have to.”
April 10th, 2012 → 11:45 pm @ beckymccray
Small Town Rule 7 is to build ties to your local communities. Dominoes Pizza is doing that with their commercial playing up the contribution of a local franchisee.
The commercial says that product ideas don’t usually come from the store level, but their new Parmesan Bread Bites came from Brian Edler, Domino’s franchise holder on Main Street in Downtown Findlay.
The commercial does a good job of featuring Edler, local car dealer Bob LaRichie, and even the water tower from Findlay, Ohio (pop 41,000).
This kind of local feature is just one way that national brands can effectively build local ties and better appeal to today’s local-conscious consumers.
Domino’s is following up by adding a Think Oven, an online suggestion box, on its Facebook Page, to build more individual interaction. Let’s hope they also follow up with more focus on the local, as well.
(c) photo provided by Domino’s Pizza Media Relations.