Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Making of Small Business Saturday

How did the day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday come about?

Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade published a two-part interview with Scott Krugman, Director of Communications at American Express about the origins of "Small Business Saturday".
  • Part One: talks about the creation of the event in 2010 in a matter of weeks.
  • Part Two: covers the evolution of the program in its second year.
The summary points:
  • Big Ideas can happen fast. It shouldn't take two budget planning cycles to get approval from stakeholders and implement.  In fact, if you're getting resistance then either the idea probably isn't quite right or the timing is off.
  • It's about their brand.  This is a case of using your strengths to help your customers achieve their goals; in this case the growth of small businesses.  If you see and talk about the problem thru your organization's glasses, change them - or at least clean them.
  • Pay to get talked about.  While s**t might happen, social and viral exposure need to be activated and that means paid media.   Advertising stimulated the conversation - and in this case partners like Facebook added inventory to the mix for small businesses.
  • Doing good can't be about control.  "Shop Small" is a rallying cry that resonates well with a lot of potential partners, audiences, and even competitors.   Even so, there is the potential for commercial success - a fair amount in AmEx's case if you like to see transactions up 23%.
Given even the political support it has, the idea can best be described as a movement creating a life of its own.   And in honor of turkey-day, paraphrasing Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" seems appropriate since I'm sure she participated.
They may think it's an organization.  And can you, can you imagine fifty (million) people a day, I said fifty (million) people a day walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out.  And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

Actually, the number last year was over 100 million.

I've enrolled my cards for this year....looking forward to meeting small business owners passionate about their craft.

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