Written by: Toni Stratis, Marketing Pro

Nike is a household brand that we all know and love. The brand has achieved successful universal marketing until the end of time – “Just Do It”. The success of Nike revolves around the brand’s constant willingness to incorporate this message into the daily lives of its customers.

Something Torontonians don’t take pride in, yet we all know it comes with the territory, is the influx of raccoons. Nike took advantage of this local insight and leveraged it in out of home (OOH) ad creative:

I love this example. It was so relevant at the time and reminds me to leverage local insight to bring our clients’ national marketing strategies to the streets.

As you begin thinking about how to bridge the gap between national and local, here are a few thought starters from my experience managing Local Store Marketing for brands like Boston Pizza and Extreme Pita.

#1: Ensuring Success in a Crowded Marketplace

Segment your market areas and create pockets of opportunities. Think about residential vs. commercial or industrial areas and parks. Start to create a core target demographic for the local area. A focused marketing plan in a specific area, such as the streets of Toronto, targets particular groups of people or other businesses and allows you to create more locally relevant content in order to earn their attention. Now you may be saying, the issue isn’t targeting, it’s finding the time to create a plan, execute and measure it. I hear you and encourage you to consider internal support (Local Store Marketing Manager).

#2: Generate Internal Support

As a marketer, I see it clear as day. Many global, national, multi-unit or franchised brands struggle with Local Store Marketing. Most brands rely on local operators to plan, execute and measure these endeavors. Again, from my own experience, those local operators just do not have the time. When big brands provide local operators with tools and support from head office, they find much greater success at the local level. That does not mean delivering the resources on a silver plate and leaving. Your HQ team needs to support Local Store Marketing from the inside, with a dedicated manager or third party support (we know someone 😉). When your local operators see that someone from HQ is doing the research, testing programs and creating tools, they will be more likely to get involved. Especially when they start to see results.

#3: Create Community Based Connections

LSM does not have to be feet-on-the-street style marketing all the time either. There is a huge opportunity to create community connections from a national level. Take a hint from Nike and start to create locally relevant content/creative for your mass media campaigns.

For those who may not have Nike size advertising budgets, think about getting involved in national charities (specifically, ones with local chapters). Look to food banks, kids’ programs (sports, arts, education, etc.), disease awareness, or create your own charitable fund aligned with your brand values.

Having a community-based partnership has been proven to build a physical and psychological connection that turns into brand loyalty (beware! This must be done right and authentically). I’ve seen great examples from Extreme Pita and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Boston Pizza and Kids Help Phone, as well as the Canadian Tire Jump Start program.


When it comes to marketing, there is a national veil that drapes over ‘big brands.’ To remove the veil, create resources, rely on community involvement, and create a marketing plan that empowers the local operators and their teams to get involved.

When a national brand gets involved in Local Store Marketing, sh*t happens.