1. LOCAL SUPPORT GIVES THE LITTLE GUYS A FIGHTING CHANCE AGAINST THE TYRANTS
Most people purchase alcoholic beverages not really knowing how these beverages are selected, delivered, and displayed on store shelves. In this heavily regulated industry, manufacturers of alcoholic beverages cannot self distribute or own retail stores that sell alcohol. That means that manufacturers must rely on a distributor to sell and deliver its product into the market. Unfortunately, there are very few distributors and the very large manufacturers that have billion dollar brands control the few that exist.
To complicate things further, distributors essentially control what is placed on store shelves because the buyers of retail stores do not have time to meet with manufacturers unless they are one of the very large ones. If you have connected the dots, this explanation is an over simplification of how large manufacturers control the few distributors that in turn control what is placed on retail shelves. As a result, small brands only have a chance when their local communities decide to support them and force retail stores and distributors to make some space for the little guys. As a consumer do not underestimate the power of asking your local grocery chain or liquor store to carry a small local brand. Like they say, the customer is always right!
2. LOCAL BRANDS PROVIDE PRODUCT DIVERSITY
If you have walked into a large chain store in two different states such as a Target, you might have noticed that their product assortments are almost the same at both stores. This occurs because most retail chains decide their product selections on a national level rather than on a regional or local level. The problem is that a state like Texas is very different than a state like New York or California. Local brands are created by members of the community and add to the culture and history of the community they live in. Supporting local brands by demanding them will force retail chains to acknowledge that there is a need for product diversity among the different communities they serve.
3. NEW PLAYERS DRIVE INNOVATION
Although major manufacturers have done an excellent job of commercializing alcoholic beverages since the prohibition era ended, they have never had the need to innovate or substantially improve. Their primary focus has been to saturate the market with those brands that made them successful. On the other hand, small local brands are at the forefront of innovation because they are searching for an opportunity to differentiate and create a unique experience. Remember that the local brand you support today may be the Coca Cola equivalent of tomorrow!
4. LOCAL BRANDS SHARE THEIR SUCCESS LOCALLY
Aside from the mere fact that local companies create jobs in the community and stimulate the local economy, they give back to the community by giving to charities and participating in community events. The alcoholic beverage industry is one of the most competitive that exists and owners of small brands understand that their success could not be achieved without the help of their communities. After all, supporting each other is the essence of community!
5. COMPETITION MAKES EVERYONE BETTER
Who doesn’t like a little competition? Giving local brands an opportunity to compete in the market place creates more competition that in turn incentivizes established brands to improve the quality and pricing of their products. Competition creates a system of checks and balances!
Thank you for reading and giving local brands a chance!