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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Retail is Not Dead. The New David & Goliath

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Charleston, SC, Sept. 22, 2021– While Amazon continues its “scorched earth” obliteration of the small and local retailer, smart businesses are using their uniqueness as an opportunity to compete head on with the the big boys.

While companies like Amazon and Walmart may have acres of products and an infinite amount of selection, local businesses still retain some advantages the big box players may never achieve.


By infusing your personality into your brand, the shopping experience and customer service, a local business can compete and win against the big box players.

Your personality and “Mayberry” charm is desperately needed and wanted. And, it can be transferred beyond the in-person experience.

Competitive Advantage Possibilities

Local businesses are restricted by a geography and shelf space. Competing head on with the big box retailers, like David & Goliath, would become a business death sentence.

Instead, local merchants must use the perceived advantage of big box retailers against them:

  • Social Brand: By it’s very nature, companies like Amazon focus on their size and scope. Their ads are 100% branding at this point. If you’ve seen their TV advertisements, they focus on their employees and global impact. Nice.
  • Local Brand: A local business could do the same if they chose to. However, what Amazon could probably not do is bring their branding to the local level. Consider a branding campaign on what you do for your immediate community. Showcase your local involvement with the Chamber of Commerce or service organizations.
  • Solution-Based: If you are advertising online, target a specific problem and solution your customer faces. It may be best to ignore the “branding” idea and focus on how your flower shop can make your customer the hero tonight at his home with the “thinking of you, honey” arrangement.
  • Sponsorships: You are not alone. Consider the “valu-pak” strategy of bringing in the businesses next door to you or other affiliate partners to co-op on your advertising or an event. Building relationships with market verticals is always a good idea. Your flower shop should be intimately aware of the wedding planners in your area. Take them to lunch. Do an event. Donate to a local charity together.
  • SEO: What are your customers searching for? Do they type in “flowers for my wife?” If so, be sure to do serious keyword research on the extra words people may type in. By adding your location to the search, you may find hundreds of opportunities to rank for keyword strings. Focusing on 100 “long tail” keyword strings is much easier than trying to compete for those short ones.

Goliath was huge. He had armor and a shockingly impressive presence. David could never have won on a battle of pure strength and size.

So he didn’t.

He used his competitive advantage of agility and a single stone, sling shot approach to winning the battle.

Local businesses would be wise to do the same.

Doug Crowe is a brand specialist and focuses on “future-proof” marketing for his clients. For more information, go to https://dougcrowe.com

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