"Dealers may not have the time, or haven’t even thought about doing their own research on the benefits of supporting small business," says Mayfield. "They are thinking about business all day long, and an outside resource reminds you to promote and keep that message fresh. The independent movement is becoming very strong. Customers are beginning to understand that dollars spent at an independent store is much more effective in their community than a dollar spent at a national chain."
As a member of Independent We Stand, there are countless resources at the independent business owner's disposal. There are many marketing materials for the movement available, as well as a logo business owners are free to use in their own marketing. A logo door decal shows customers you support independent businesses as they enter your door or see your vehicle. As the movement grows and the logo becomes better known, it will be even more powerful on those marketing materials.
"It becomes a catalyst for us as an independent dealer to understand and utilize our independent status as a tool to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace," says Mayfield. "We use it to separate us from the chain stores and really talk about some of the extra value of why people should buy at independently owned businesses."
As his business expands next year, Kline plans to take full advantage of the marketing materials available. Getting the Independent We Stand message out helps him to not only show his support for small business, but gain a little more support from his community as well.
"Next year I will devote more time on marketing to generate new business as well as push the Independent We Stand message," says Kline. "It's really great because people appreciate me spreading that message for them, but it also spreads the message that I offer a local independent product to the community."
Mayfield has seen the same benefits. Due to his active work in the community and support of the Independent We Stand movement, he is often approached by individuals who recognize him from his marketing and appearances at events like the 4-H auction. In the streets and in his store, individuals have commented on his work and thanked him for his efforts.
"They may not know me, but they know the localization work I do. Whenever we are out and about in the town we hear from people that say they appreciate what we do," explains Mayfield. "Does that sell more power equipment? I think the answer is yes."