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Brick and More-tar: Combining the In-Person Experience with Online Branding

Brick and Mortar isn't going anywhere, but online branding can help it thrive.

Small town entrepreneurs are often enticed by the prospect of tapping into the online market to boost their sales. A common initial thought is to launch a website for their store to kickstart this digital venture. However, without a broader strategy, this step might not reap the expected rewards.

Here’s a simplified perspective: Instead of merely extending your physical store online via a website, consider transforming your business into a brand that customers can interact with both in-person and online. This shift in mindset could be a game-changer in how you approach the growth of your business.

work store GIF by NBC

Gif by thebachelor on Giphy

Shifting the Focus to Customer Experience

By transitioning from a store-centric to a brand-centric model, you prioritize the overall experience of your customers. It's no longer just about the physical location or online storefront, but about how customers feel and interact with your brand, whether they are browsing through the aisles in your store or clicking through your website. This approach caters to the modern consumer, who often seeks a seamless shopping experience across multiple platforms.

Crafting a Unified Brand Identity

Creating a consistent brand identity across both physical and online platforms can foster a stronger connection between your business and your customers. It's about presenting a unified image and message, irrespective of where your customers interact with your brand. This consistency builds trust and recognition, which are crucial for cultivating customer loyalty.

Social Media: Your Digital Handshake

Integrating social media into your brand strategy is like extending a digital handshake to your community and beyond. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to engage with customers in a more personal and informal manner. Social media provides a space to showcase what makes your small town business unique, share your story, and build a community around your brand.

Engaging and Growing Your Community

Social media isn’t just a platform for promotion; it’s a two-way street for communication. Engage with your followers by responding to comments, sharing local events, and even collaborating with other local businesses for joint promotions or events. This engagement can foster a sense of community and encourage local support, while also reaching potential customers beyond your town.

Integrating E-Commerce: An Extension, Not a Replacement

Launching a website for online sales should be viewed as an extension of your brand, not just a mere sales platform. It's about providing an additional convenience for customers who prefer shopping online, while still offering the in-store experience for those who enjoy the traditional shopping ambiance.

Learning and Adapting

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and there’s always something new to learn. By monitoring the performance of your online and in-store sales, along with customer feedback, you can continually tweak and enhance your strategy to better serve your customers.


Transitioning from a traditional retail mindset to a more holistic, omnichannel approach can significantly propel the growth of your small town business in the digital era. By embracing a brand-centric model and integrating digital tools like social media and e-commerce, you're not only keeping pace with modern retail trends but creating a more enriching and engaging shopping experience for your customers, both near and far.