One of the advantages independent (small) businesses has over big business competitors is our ability to socially engage with customers. We don’t have the rules of the 10 or 12 (or whatever) steps to a sale. We are not commanded by a head office to treat every customer the same. We are not trained to be bland. If we work for a good independently owned small business we are allowed to be ourselves and in doing so give something of ourselves in every contact. This is our obligation and it is our point of difference.

If we lived in a totally clone retail world with only global brands in our shopping malls and on our high streets we’d lose that individuality and with it creativity and eventually our passion.

So, as independent businesses we have an obligation to engage in a personal way with our customers. We need to tell stories, share a laugh and be individual with our customers. Each time we do this it keeps our independence alive. While we cannot match the advertising spend of the global brands we beat them on passion and hope tat one day that counts for something among those who count.

Independent retailers can prove that global brands = global bland by not being bland themselves. Embrace independence of the business and of each person in the business. Bring back personalities and celebrate!

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