December 18, 2012

Localization - Franchising Does Not Mean: "NOT LOCAL"

Too often people think that "franchise" is synonymous with "out-of-town ownership" or "big company ownership".  In some cases this is true, but in most it is not.  The local Dairy Queen, Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's, and KFC are most likely owned by a local resident.  What franchise means to the consumer is consistency and if the consistency is acceptable to us, it also means quality - We know what the "Original Recipe" tastes like whether we are in Arizona, Minnesota or Maine.  Local, in my humble opinion, means local something; either local raw materials and/or local labor and/or local ownership.

ACE Hardware
Think about companies like Ace Hardware. They have made a business of giving the locally owned hardware stores a second life by providing collaborative and cooperative advertising and buying power under one recognizable brand - giving ACE a competitive chance against the big-box stores - without losing that home town ownership, service and feel.  This philosophy is similar to the charter and mission of Time4's Buy.Eat.Live.Local publication and the website.

What "Buy Local" will need to convey - to be successful is "Net Better"; a combination of a competitive price, quality, service, training, a meeting of expectations, a good economic decision, time to obtain, and last, but not least, the Feel Good Magic Dust that comes from knowing we are part of a better future - "Net Better".

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