Neighborhood Marketing Strategy from Sesame Street

In a puffy little piece, USA Today points out that quite a few international consumer chains are emphasizing their links to your local neighbourhood (neighborhood for you Americans): - Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets - Applebee's - Kelsey's damnable appropriation of the Cheers theme song* - Lowe's - still a neighborhood store

It may just be me, but if your employees have to read a hundred page jobsite manual and order their pants from a central distribution facility, then you are not a neighbourhood company.

If your signage is designed and produced in another state or province, you're not a neighbourhood company.

If your general manager is rotated through your store and/or region once every two years, you're not a neighbourhood company.

Do you have to debate the real meaning of "locally grown"? Not a neighbourhood company.

Do you want a real definition of neighbourhood? Look no farther than Sesame Street. Who Are the People in your Neighbourhood, indeed.

Aside from that short period where Maria converted the Fix-It Shop into a Mailboxes Etc. franchise, I don't remember a lot of characters complaining about their regional sales quotas or the "word from HQ."

You remember the lyrics from that catchy ditty, don't you? If not, here's a short video, from back when Bob McGrath had sideburns and a spring in his step.

That clip is really quite old and inappropriate, actually: one of the people you meet is the neighbourhood news dealer.

*really, words cannot express how angry I get when I see the Kelsey's ads overlaid with the theme from Cheers. It's such a seminal part of my youth - and the development of television - that it would be like seeing the theme from M*A*S*H used for a national chain of funeral homes.

** In fact, if I was Kelsey Grammer, I might even think about a cease and desist order, since the link between his role on Cheers, the name of the chain, and the song are so in-your-face.

*** I'm that upset. Really.

[tags] Kelsey's, neighborhood, neighbourhood, local, community, retail [/tags]