Local Branding Holiday Hangout Takeaways
Leading into the holiday season, we invited individuals from Local Brand Platforms to a Local Branding Community of Practice Holiday Hangout. They shared how they are supporting their networks of local makers and manufacturers the holiday season. Of course the conversation quickly expanded to include their work well beyond the holiday season. Here are some takeaways that you could work to replicate in your city:
- Local brands are being intentional in reaching out to makers from communities of color and women. Made in Baltimore partnered with Morgan State University (a Historically Black University) for their fifth pop up, leading into the holiday season. The result? Over 50% of their producers are from communities of color. (For further reading, check out this other HBCU partnership in Baltimore between a new makerspace Open Works and Coppin State University around encouraging black entrepreneurship.) Seattle Made is currently creating a coaching program for minority and women makers. It’s proven that like-attracts-like, and by highlighting underrepresented communities, they aim to cultivate a more diverse membership. Similarly, Portland Made is working to be more inclusive of women-owned and minority-woman-owned businesses through a member-led mentorship program to bring more women makers and makers of color into the Portland Made fold.
- Local brands are finding new ways to get people to support local production during the holidays. In New York and Seattle, existing pop up shops already dominated the local marketplace, so Made in NYC and Seattle Made have found other ways to support local makers: Made in NYC compiled a list of locally-made products and partnered with Instagram influencers to create curated collections to drive online sales; Seattle Made partnered with Seattle Met magazine to create special ad sizes and rates for Seattle Made members to advertise for their holiday sales, plus they created a list of where shoppers can buy from their members in person.
- Collaborations between large and small companies support both, but in different ways! We learned that Portland Made is supporting collaborations between small makers and larger manufacturers, like Tanner Goods and Danner. They’re finding that small producers benefit from the exposure the partnership brings, bigger brands benefit by reaching and staying relevant to a new audience of buyers.