Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why The Giants Will Fail @Hyperlocal

Just been reading a few excellent blog posts about local at UTNE, Culture Spy and GRIST and I ran across this most excellent image...

Not sure what Citibank thinks Locovore means... but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve banking at a gi-normous multinational bank or eating cupcakes....
from Culture Spy
This is not the first time I have seen this type of thing. Citgo also hilariously failed with mockery and insults at this type of maneuver. At GRIST they were read the riot act.

Citgo: “Local. Loyal. Like it should be.” The crop of new billboards from the petroleum company owned by Hugo Chavez’s Venezuelan government makes sense only if the rather undemocratic president lives around the corner from you. Which he doesn’t.
This is the most humorous fail by the nationals and multi-nationals, that they think that they can localwash their way into hyperlocal. Whether its the criticism of national HUFPOST/AOL owned hyper-local content aggregator Patch seems to be stretching the definition of local, or the failure of national media chains that experiment with hyper-local like The Washington Post, once again Goliath in armor with spear is envious of David's stone.

This is the basic point, and rebranding or changing the name of your district office won't change this. Local is not something you will be able to market yourself as and actually remain a large company. Local doesn't, and can't be marketed. Local is the word of mouth about the best place to go, the place where you actually love what the people do. Its about actually loving and caring about the place you are. Its not a market, its life. This is why you hear about large companies failing at local time and time again, its because they just aren't part of the community!

So to succeed at local a company must look at the problem differently. If you aren't going to actually try to really participate in the community, to be active and contribute, you have to provide an eco-system for a large community of people who are. Provide a platform that enables that community of trusted members to collaborate, share in the love of the place they live. It must be authentic too, you have to really want to help them, because these people can smell a fake a mile away.

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