I love local. It’s the heart and soul of a community, our neighborhoods, and our social circles. The term brick and mortar actually means something to me. Now, I am not that person who doesn’t like a good online deal despite my local retailer, but I am that person who feels there is a happy medium.
Recently my wife of two weeks and I shared some fish and chips at our favorite family owned Irish pub. While sitting at the bar a gentlemen next to us was reminded several times by the bartender “Sir, (pointing at the sign above the bar) this is a family friendly restaurant, absolutely no cursing!” I say several because on the forth attempt to remind him, the bartender cashed him out and asked him to leave. I must admit, this was a first for me.
The whole time I was in awe of how professionally the employee stood her ground – stern yet sympathetic, understanding yet consistent. What does this have to do with local you ask? Everything! To me, local is an experience – the food, the employees, the décor, and the front line employee talking to the owner on a daily basis. In this situation, I was most impressed by the employee and her actions. She consistently took the high road, she knew the brand “family friendly”, she spoke the brand with not only her words, but body language. This is what every owner, every customer service trainer, every parent would be proud of. And all because she had a connection with her workplace or shall I say passion about her customer’s experience.
In the typical marketing environment, we tend to lean toward outbound channels. So, take this wonderful example of why we as marketers should never forget about the experience within our own “brick and mortar”. Internalization of the Brand should always be first. Your employees are the best brand ambassadors in the world. If the marketing message on the billboard, website, email, etc. is not being fulfilled upon arrival – Houston, we have a problem! Fiddler’s Hearth understands that every employee has the opportunity to “market” to their customers.