An award winning Social Enterprise
Totally Locally is an award-winning social enterprise and shop local movement. We support independent retailers with a free branding and marketing campaign for their town. Teams of volunteers use the campaign to promote the value of local shopping, celebrate their high street, create community events, and ultimately lift their local economy. Totally Locally is more than a shop local campaign, it’s about working together to lift a whole town.
Why do we do it?
We love our independent shops and businesses, and realised that the competition from the big multinationals was killing our high streets. Our background is in branding, marketing & business consultancy. We realised that what is missing from our towns is a structured branding and marketing approach (sorry this is sounding a bit corporate but bear with us), something that everyone can get their teeth into.
We’re a very small team, and most of us do this as a sideline to our jobs. We don’t charge, we don’t do advertising, we don’t ask for anything. If you want to give something, great, but that’s not what it’s about. We love what we do. We get excited that we could possibly make a big impact on the towns of the UK by being a bit clever, working with great people who care and playing the big boys at their own game. Totally Locally is our “unreasonable passion” – and everyone should have one of those.
If you haven’t already, please take a second now to read our latest, big news.
So how did it start?
Totally Locally started as an answer to a brief by Marketing Halifax (funded our Council) to create a campaign about the great local shops and businesses in Calderdale. Chris has a background in branding, design and campaigns, from very big organisations to small businesses, and he created the Totally Locally concept in April 2009. It was launched in October of the same year. Nigel has helped over 500 businesses to grow and in particular take their businesses to the overseas market. He joined Chris to work out how to roll it out to any town 18 months later.
There’s a few of us at Totally Locally Towers now. We all love living the Totally Locally way. We all came at it in different ways, and have our stories and our reasons for being involved.
“On holiday in the North Portugese town of Viana Do Castelo, I came to wondering how a small town, miles from anywhere else, seemed to thrive as it did. I sat in the square and noticed that the cafe owner would walk over to the bakery for bread, the baker would walk over to the accountants with her books, the accountant went to the stationers, the stationers went to the cafe and the the circle started again. It was then I realised that when everyone uses each other, the money in the town circulates round and round, each person supporting the other.
I realised that in Britain we’d lost this simple way of living. With my obsession with all things marketing, I started thinking of how this could be brought into the place I live (sad I know – even on holiday…..). I’ve long been a user of markets, but like most people I’d come to rely on supermarkets more than I wanted to.
It was a few months later when Marketing Halifax put out a brief for a shop local campaign I jumped at the chance (I’d been mulling it over since). I’d even come up with the name and all the concepts beforehand. I just didn’t have a vehicle to hang it on. So this was a big chance.
I won the pitch and, to be honest spent the next 6 months of my life working solidly (I had other clients too, but I knew this was something special). The campaign has been a huge success and I never get tired of hearing about how people’s businesses are doing and how Totally Locally has affected them.
Another thing that put me on the path was hearing Alan Sugar (Sir or Lord? who knows) speak at a dinner. He wasn’t the brash Apprentice man we all know, but a mild mannered and very interesting speaker. He said he’d met with then PM Gordon Brown and “had words with him” for having French telecom systems & Japanese computer systems in the House of Commons. GB said “We are part of Europe and must act in that way”. Sugar said “Have you ever tried to sell anything British to the French!” And he had a point.
Sugar then went on to say that his ideal was that when someone went into a shop to buy an apple he wanted them to stop and think, then buy a British Apple. Not for protectionist or Nationalistic reasons, but for the fact that if 100 people did that regularly, somewhere down the chain, an apple grower would keep his job, which meant the post office in his village would have anther customer to help keep it open, which meant that his village school had more of a chance of surviving…… You get the picture.
So after all that analysis I can say I’m really proud of what the great people of Calderdale have achieved through this campaign, and now how many towns have taken it to their heart. I’m proud we’ve built an instantly recognised and loved brand on next to no money, and most of all I’m proud to hear from people who have changed the way they shop, even just a little bit, because THEY are proud of the place they live in.
An immediate benefit? We featured the local shop and post office in my village in our campaign. They have 29 local suppliers. The campaign helped them re-focus their business to become the centre for local produce. Which means I have a little shop at the end of my street that sells lovely, locally produced food, who know my son’s name & what he likes for tea, and in turn they support our local school and they put back into the village we live in.
To steal a phase from the Big T – Every Little DOES Help!”
Totally Locally Chris
“I remember when Chris started the Totally Locally campaign and thinking at the time… there is something in this. A few months later the thought was still there and I kept being drawn to it like a moth to a flame. After a night of discussions in my home with Chris, a beer, and a bit of bravado, Totally Locally Ltd was created with the intention to celebrate, promote and help local independent businesses and shops around the world.
Why do I love the idea? Well for me it is simply that when I think back to my childhood the shops that I remember were not supermarkets or out of town stores, it was the interesting little, quirky shops in the town I grew up in. I remember the toy and model shop which seemed to have hidden alcoves everywhere to discover new fun things, and I remember the shop where we went for school stuff…
Memories are great but what I care about now is that I want my town to be different to everywhere else. I want the shops to be great. I don’t believe in protectionism (very strongly actually), and I won’t shop somewhere local for the sake of it if I can’t get the standard that I want and expect.
Totally Locally for me is about giving people options, reminding them of what they have under their nose (which is all to easily forgotten now due to time pressures and that most people don’t necessarily work in the town or village that they live)…but mostly it is about creating conversations.
It is the discussion with a business about the printers down the road, it is the chat that starts “Did you know about the local brewery…” that turns into a new supply for a restaurant, and its the shopkeeper that tells another that they used social networking on the web to help drive up revenue…and then they show them how they did.
This is Totally Locally for me just as much as people spending £5 or $5 or 5 whatever’s a week extra in their local area to help its future to prosper.”
Totally Locally Nigel
MEET THE REST OF THE TEAM
Faces to names & all that. This is us, and a handsome bunch we think you’d all agree. We’ll have more stories up soon…
SOME OF OUR TOWN CHAMPIONS (MORE TO FOLLOW!)