Can a brand which has grown by celebrating its local roots then turn the corner and grow past them? My hypothesis is that if the locale has a strong positive identity before the brand was launch, growing beyond the local market is possible.
We probably need to see a natural match between the values of the locale and the values of the brand. Who wants Picante from New York City? Well, if a Hispanic family had launched the brand with an authentic story, then maybe it could work.
However, we will probably always have categories where we want to buy from a neighbor.
GenPop: Buy local? A Q&A with MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake President Peter Marino, 2018-Nov-28 by Kate MacArthur
Peter Marino is president of Tenth and Blake, the craft and import division for MillerCoors where he also serves as chief communications and government affairs officer....
"We need to test the boundaries of what local means by pushing out beyond the direct home market. How can we become more local and more relevant in the communities that have already adopted us and already think us as part of their community?
Then for our big national brands, Miller Lite is a brand that was very much born in the state of Wisconsin, but it’s very locally relevant here [in Chicago] with the Bears, a longtime partnership. Is there a way to lean into those with alliances or other parts of the marketing mix where we’ve got a lot of legacy and equity to make sure that we hammer that local connection in a more relevant and resonant way beyond our home towns?
GenPop: Do you think the concept of local will still be relevant in the future?
Marino: If local artisans and producers can continue to make high-quality products, I think local will be a tiebreaker for consideration for many people. There will be a segment of people that will pick local offerings far into the future. It doesn’t mean that they’re not going to pick nationally scaled opportunities, either. But I do think local will be a part of their repertoire."