June/July 2008: The Buy Local Toolkit

Declare Your Independents! The SIBA Buy Local Toolkit

Marketing “Buy Local” campaigns in your store can be as simple as adding a tagline to your website and register receipts “Thank you for shopping at your neighborhood bookshop”) or as complex as forming a full-scale independent business alliance with other area merchants and creating a grassroots movement. (See http://bigboxtoolkit.com for guidelines on forming effective local business alliances and movements).

In reality, most bookstore owners are too busy owning a bookstore to contemplate spearheading a community “buy local” campaign – the mere thought is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be an all or nothing proposition. Stores can build buy local initiatives a step at a time, beginning with small, simple actions that can, as momentum grows, turn into an extensive community-wide movement.

  • Take the time to create a media kit for your store that emphasizes your role in the community. This can be included with press releases, kept on your website, and will become the starting point for future articles and actions. Visit the SIBA website and especially the Document Library for sample media kits and power point templates you can use to get started.
  • Be positive, not preachy. People respond to enthusiasm better than to guilt. “Thanks for supporting your neighborhood bookshop”
  • Be funny, even outrageous. People respond to humor even better than they respond to enthusiasm. “This money helps heal potholes. (obviously you need to buy a lot more books)”
  • Harness the power of your staff. Have regular meetings to come up with responses to comments like “I can get it cheaper at Amazon.”
  • Keep a list on website of charitable organizations your store has worked with, given donations to, or sponsored.
  • Include local news and commentary in your communications with your customers to underline the fact that you are a part of their community, and that you care.
  • Make sure your county and city elected officials are on your mailing list.
  • Create cross-promotional partnerships with other independent merchants – their coffee, your books; Coupon exchanges, mutual events, counter promotional materials, handouts and maps marked with independent businesses. Display plants from a local nursery with your gardening books, menus from local restaurants with your cookbooks.
  • Send regular updates to the business page editor of your local newspapers.
  • Do one promotion every month with a “local” theme—focus on regional authors, regional titles or publishers, reading lists and suggestions from members of the community.

By getting your customers involved in your shop, you make them invested in what happens to you.

Download the June/July 2008 Buy Local Toolkit

Bookazine Ingram Baker & Taylor



Web Extras!

Marketing Materials for Download

Item format size
Here's What You Just Did Poster (color) pdf 11" x 17"
The Buck Really Does Stop Here Poster (color) pdf 5.75" x 11"
Shopping Online Doesn't Computer Poster (color) pdf 8.5" x 11"
Put Your Money Where Your South Is Poster (color) pdf 11" x 17"
Shelf Talkers Buy Local Books (color) pdf 8.5" x 11"
Buy Local Reading Flyer (color) pdf 8.5" x 11"
Buy Local Bookmarks (color) pdf 8.5" x 11"

Helpful Links & Resources

Graphics Generators

Lady Banks PlateIndieBound Bookseller DIY

Postage Stamps

Slogan Generator

License Plates & Signs

Independent Business Organizations

Regional Buy Local Movements

Louisville Indepdent Business Alliance
Local First Arizona
Austin Independent Business Alliance
Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum
Stay Local (New Orleans)
Homegrown El Paso
Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance
Why Buy Local (Austin Op Ed Piece)

Fighting Urban Sprawl

Are you working to stop or prevent sprawling big-box development in your community? Are you looking for ways to strengthen local policies to protect your community and ensure that citizens control its future? Are you trying to expand locally owned businesses?

Big Box Tool Kit has the resources you'll need to both beat the big box and to chart a new course for economic development in your community.


(to come)


Baker & Taylor