Is there a better way to say buy local?I was recently talking to a friend about “buy local” campaigns.  He’s extremely passionate about all things local and was making his case for buying from local businesses.

Only one problem.

While he was passionate about the idea, I really didn’t feel anything.

What I mean is this; when he spoke about buying local I felt no passion in myself to run out and support local businesses.  It sounded like a good idea intellectually but the only passion I felt was coming from him.

Inside me, there was only very calm and placid agreement that we should do something soon.  I knew that even this agreement would soon fade into forgetfulness. That’s because the concept of “buying local” is only focused on solutions and benefits.

We usually focus on the benefits

I told him to stop talking about the solution (Buy Local) or the benefits (better neighborhoods, more local businesses, more local jobs).  When  people hear about “Better Communities” they are pleasantly supportive but hardly motivated or inspired.

To motivate people to action, you need to add conflict.

Conflict gets attention

Writing a slogan or tag line is just like writing a story. Whenever you are telling a story, it has to begin with conflict.  Something happens to motivate the main character to take action.  That something is conflict.

Think of the customer as the “character”, where is the conflict? Why would they need to take action? Why would people NEED to buy local?

If I designed a Buy Local tag line, it would go something like this

“We’re all in this boat together. Buy Local.”

Put it on every poster, bumper sticker, and button in every business you can. That story will start to spread throughout the community and soon enough the “In This Together, Buy Local” story will become their story.

First the Conflict, then the Solutions & Benefits

The key to the story is to first show the reader a REAL problem for them (“We are all in this together and if one falls, we all fall; we have to have each others back or we’re all dead”) and THEN you give them a solution (“But if you buy local, then we can avert this disaster”).  The beginnings of a great story are in place and people can sense when a good story is brewing.

If the Story is boring, add in some conflict

Conflict solves most problems in advertising, marketing, or writing.  If you are designing a campaign, a flier, or or just trying to come up with a cool slogan, conflict will be the key.

Remember to tell it like a story and include a healthy dose of conflict to grab your audience’s attention.


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