I’ve watched with some amusement of late the growing trend for mega-corporations to push the concept of supporting independent product producers and retailers and buy locally programs as a marketing tool. Amused because this feels like really strange bedfellows, and curious to see if there’s some hidden cost to giant corporations touting localization. Maybe I’m too cynical. Maybe these kinds of partnerships can work well.
The first to come on my radar in a big way was the Small Business Saturday Campaign, a partnership between Cinda Baxter of The 3/50 Project and American Express. A massive Facebook campaign gave incentives to card holders and merchants to participate in creating another shopping day after Thanksgiving targeted at small business.
The second is Seth Godin’s partnership with Amazon to create The Domino Project , an initiative that promises to stand the last vestiges of the publishing industry on its ear. Something about the author of Small is the New Big teaming up with a behemoth like Amazon struck me as curious.
Now both these folks have great ideas they have leveraged into some pretty phenomenal success without the backing of corporate America. Spreading good ideas in bigger and better ways can’t be a bad thing, can it? Still, it feels like the buy locally and independent movements may well be turning into an odd episode of Mad Men. I mean really, who’s seducing whom here?
I guess we will just have to stay tuned to find out.