Guide to Local Branding: Definition, Benefits, and Examples
Local branding offers numerous benefits for the companies. Dive into its definition, strategies, and examples to see how it can help you achieve success.
While a decade ago, when people were talking about brands, they mainly referred to big names and international conglomerates, today the situation has changed dramatically, putting small companies and startups in a strong position.
According to recent studies, half of the mobile searches were for local search results last year, whereas over 70% of brand engagement happened on local pages. On social media, the situation is even better. Almost 70% of Facebook users visit a local business page, while 90% of people on Instagram follow their beloved companies regardless of their scale and popularity. This means that local brands and the global ones, irrespective of their age, niche, and target audience, have a fighting chance to emerge victorious and work successfully in their respective fields despite fierce competition and constant fluctuations in the economy.
Today, whether you are a digital startup seeking investment or you are a butcher who offers the best pork medallions, with the professional local branding company at your disposal, you can quickly turn your small enterprise into a local brand and start to enjoy all the benefits that branding offers to their owners. For instance, you can expand your target audience, increase revenue and improve your business' position in the market by establishing an unraveled reputation.
Let us dive into this area deeper to clear up what is local brand? What are its advantages, and what are the best local brands campaigns to get hints on creating your own successful local branding strategy?
Local Branding Definition
Local brands definition is not as complicated as global branding or branding itself. However, still, it has some pitfalls and a tricky intertwining of assets and tools that should be mastered to enjoy the benefits. So, what does it mean to brand local?
What Is Local Branding?
A local brand is a brand that operates in a small geographical area (usually, it is a distinct region, city, or country). It targets its ideology and products/services to a limited number of consumers. It uses a set of promotional techniques to position a business in a specific geographic area, form strong relationships with the local audience, actively engage customers and partners, and establish a firm position in the local market.
As you can see, the local brand definition is obvious, yet still, it requires undivided attention from your side to unravel its true potential.
Advantages Of Local Brands
Turning your company into a local brand offers numerous benefits. The most important of them are:
- It is a pocket-friendly venture. You do not need to break the bank to establish your name.
- It makes it easier to create local partnerships with other companies to reinforce your respected positions in the market.
- It makes it easier to build relationships with the community.
- It makes it easier to inspire trust and elevate loyalty among the consumers.
- It makes it easier to improve reputation, boost credibility and run successful nurturing campaigns.
- It makes it much more effective to run campaigns on social media.
- It makes it easier to collaborate with popular online marketing instruments like Google My Business, Yelp, and SEO.
- It makes it easier to overcome fluctuations in the global arena.
- It makes it easier to stay legal in your region.
- It makes it easier to turn a company into a global brand.
- It makes it easier to find investors or raise funding.
- It makes it easier to reinforce user experience and provide value to the customers, thereby improving customer satisfaction.
- It makes it easier to extend customer lifetime value and increase revenue generated by the person.
- It makes it easier to gather marketing resources to be more productive in a specific area.
- It offers higher and faster penetration of the market.
- It increases the level of brand sympathy that helps to acquire new customers much more efficiently.
- It improves its competitive edge and gives a solid chance to get ahead of the competitors.
Disadvantages Of Local brands
Local brands have some shortcomings. For instance,
- You are restricted to a small region.
- You are restricted to a small target audience.
- You are restricted to a limited amount of partnerships.
- Your profit is limited.
- Advertising costs can be high.
Advantages Of Local Brands Over Global Brands
While it may seem that global brands surpass local brands, studies show customers rely on local companies rather than global ones, especially when something goes wrong in the market or the World. Therefore, when it comes to the confrontation of global brand vs local brand, the latter may benefit the companies. For instance,
- It offers companies more opportunities to discover their target audience and become familiar with their needs, requirements, and expectations.
- It leads to a better user experience.
- It lets improve product or service.
- It triggers word-of-mouth more often.
- It allows establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with other businesses.
- It allows establishing close and healthy relationships with the community.
- It allows variations of quantity and quality across markets.
- It helps to stay consistent in its philosophy, message, user experience, and quality level.
How Local Brands Are Different From Global Brands?
The answer to this question is hidden in the very meaning of the locals brand.
Unlike the global one, it is distributed and promoted regionally. It has a perfectly segmented customer base and operates within a relatively small region.
It serves the local population rather than the mass market, winning it over faster and more efficiently.
It focuses on quality rather than quantity and provides the best user experience, meeting not only the expectations and requirements of the target audience but also speaking the same language and becoming a part of the community and subculture. Finally, a local brand might have just one owner and rely on partnerships with neighborhood businesses.
Top 7 Strategies For Building A Local Brand
Local branding companies have a vast arsenal of tools to establish themselves in the market and acquire a strong position among the regional competitors. Depending on such factors as scale, age, niche, and target audience, these tools and assets vary; however, there are the top seven time-proven strategies applied by each company regardless of these factors. They are:
- Local market research. The local brand starts with an in-depth analysis of the audience and its preferences, needs, and expectations. It is one of those spheres where local branding outperforms global branding due to its meticulous approach and thorough, relentless, and constant examination of the consumers that brings about an accurate profile of the ideal client.
- Localization of the brand message. Local brands adapt their messages to meet the target audience. They choose the best tone and style for communicating their ideology and values thanks to exhaustive regional market research. They make it more native to the area, thereby creating the brand message that resonates with the community the best.
- Strategic partnerships with the regional companies. The essential advantage of local brands over global ones is that it is easier to form cooperation with some local businesses to take your products to the next level and provide consumers with the best experience and value.
It is also a way to reach out to more prospects through alternative distribution channels. In a word, building strategic partnerships allows the business to grow, reduce production costs, increase revenue, stay stable during the economic crisis, carve a niche for itself, and most importantly, prolong the life of the company and product, ensuring much-needed revenue.
- Becoming a part of the community. Traditional methods of winning over the target audience shine in local brands. You can easily benefit from running local campaigns or participating in regional events. They are an excellent opportunity to show that you care about the clients. This strategy helps build trust, increase credibility, enhance loyalty and provide excellent customer service, thereby increasing customer satisfaction. Plus, as a part of the community, you can easily benefit from referrals from family and friends and rely on authentic feedback that is an excellent source of insights for enhancements.
- Capitalization on social media. Like it or not, social media is a massive part of any community these days. Consider this: according to recent studies conducted by Pew, over 70% of seniors in the USA use some social media, with YouTube and Facebook occupying the leading position. As for millennials or the younger generation, they visit their pages every day, spending hours on sharing and reading information. Therefore, you cannot stay ignorant of social media; it is an absolute must-have for any company.
As a rule, local brands run small yet thoroughly targeted campaigns that aim at the specific segment. They also closely interact with their customers, promote products and nurture loyal clients with discounts.
- Improvement of SEO presence. Search engine optimization is crucial for a local brand, much like social media. It helps raise awareness, extend the market and promote the product more efficiently. According to surveys, mobile users prefer location-based searches. This means they favor dealing with the businesses around them simply because they might instantly sort out their issues. Therefore targeting mobile users is a top priority for local brands.
Finally, note your website is an excellent platform for interacting with the target audience, implementing marketing campaigns, telling your story, and delivering messages. Therefore, it should be SEO optimized.
- Conducting Ads Campaigns. Much like social media and SEO, traditional marketing tools like running ads campaign is vital for every business, whether it is a local or global brand. It has proved its validity and served well millions of companies across the globe, helping them scale through various distribution and media channels. The great thing about this tool is that you are spoilt with choice. You can run Google Ads, Facebook ads, website ads, digital email ads, and even classic TV ads. As the studies show, businesses make double when pay-per-click internet ads are involved.
Top 3 Local Branding Examples
We will examine the top three local branding examples provided by big names to show you that even goliaths of industry appreciate the power of targeting their products to specific regions.
Snickers provide us with an excellent example of local brand.
We all remember their TV commercial with the slogan "You're Not You When You're Hungry." However, what you might not know is that this commercial was created in 2009 and revived several years ago. Plus, since hyper-personalization had become an integral part of marketing all over the World, this campaign was successfully adopted to some huge regions to resonate with the target audience better.
For instance, the ads for Australia were centered around a dirt bike track, while in the UK, it was centered around, surprise-surprise, soccer, and Mr. Bean.
This massive step towards localizing the brand and thinking small, not big, helped boost global sales up to 16% and even grow its market share during just one year. In addition, the commercial won a series of awards and was acknowledged as one of the best ones among its competitors that year.
By diversifying the campaign's themes amongst the core markets, employing celebrities local to their respective regions, and staying true to its roots, they managed to tailor their advertisement to the local crowd and achieve tremendous success for a pretty short time.
Activia also offers one of the inspiring local brands examples.
Danone-owned yogurt brand that is present in more than 70 countries across five continents also decided to win the local crowd by tailoring their brand to each region almost a decade ago. For this, they launched a campaign called "It Starts Inside."
Based on the premise that almost every woman aged between 25 and 55 is her own worst critic, they tried to deliver their message to each person by individualizing their campaign for each country. They localized products, touched such a burning issue as women's health, and most importantly, teamed up with local celebrities by featuring their interviews about their experiences with self-doubt and determination to achieve goals.
These efforts allowed them to build radical empathy towards the company and its products and position itself as a company that cares about the gentle sex. As a result, Danone reported a dramatic increase in sales and interest in the product.
We have mentioned McDonald's once or twice in our guides and articles dedicated to ways of nailing branding. And it seems that even in the local arena, no one can beat its ingenious marketing and branding team.
So, what is their secret? McDonald's can be easily considered the best local brand in the region because of its well-thought-out localization campaigns. Although the interior and exterior of their restaurants stay true to their roots and their values and philosophy are incorporated in every inch of marketing campaigns, when it comes to products and menus, we can see the constant adaptation to the local market.
For instance, in Spain, they have the "Patatas Deluxe"; in the USA, they have "McRibs;" in Japan, they have Teri Tama Burger as a spring addition and relatively small portions; in China, they have Corn Soup and Vegetable and Seafood Soup; and In India, they have the "Dosa Masala Burger."
The company always does extensive research of the local market to add new menu items and remove those that do not meet the local crowd's tastes.
This strategy of prioritizing local branding shows that even despite being a multinational conglomerate in over 119 countries, it is still a faithful servant of customers' needs and preferences that respects the differences between cultures. This builds up a strong reputation and easily cements position in the market.
If you believe that the only way for your company to succeed is to turn it into a global brand, spending a bulk of the money, effort, and time, then think twice. Local brands that are much easier to handle and less expensive to bring to life may become your key to triumph.
The deal is local branding offers numerous benefits for companies regardless of their scale, age, target audience, and sector. For instance, it cements the company's position in the market, helps it stand ahead of the competitors, assists in building a solid reputation in the community, establishes a close and fruitful connection with the target audience, and takes business to the next level turning it into a reliable vendor.
Plus, it is the first step towards global branding. If you ever decide to conquer new regions and extend your sphere of influence, then a well-established local brand will give you a solid foundation to move forward.
Also, remember local branding is not just a prerogative of small enterprises or startups. Such big names as McDonald's, Danone, or Nike that have already conquered the World, from time to time, get back to local branding to cement their position in the core markets. They promote and target their products in the local crowd by making them appropriate for the specific region.
Even though you do not have to fight in the global arena that requires serious financial investments, building a solid local brand requires total devotion and commitment. If you want to nail this sphere and emerge victorious, do not neglect the top seven strategies that we have already discussed. Also, always delegate this task to a professional branding agency to take the right direction towards success.
Updated: Dec 26, 2022