“I think that culture is one of the few problems that you have to address before they’re problems,” says TechStars co-founder and co-CEO David Brown. “If you’re struggling to figure out how to grow sales, you can wait until sales are in trouble and still turn it around. But if you wait until you’re in trouble with culture, it’s really hard to turn that boat.”
“Our secret sauce is our ability to connect brands with consumers on a local level, via authentic local influencers,” says Macaroni Kid co-founder Eric Cohen. “Other media outlets can plug into an algorithm to target an audience. We have local moms telling other local moms the scoop as they hand out samples.”
Look at the menu board at Cousins Subs, and you’ll immediately notice how important local is to the restaurant’s brand. But the commitment extends beyond the Wisconsin cheddar cheese featured among the Midwest chain’s list of local ingredients—it goes all the way back to how the brand chooses to represent itself on social channels.
In a bid to help retailers take advantage of the growth in user-generated reviews, the product discovery and reviews platform Influenster recently launched its own service to continuously supply organic, non-incentivized reviews to brand and retail websites like Walgreens, Target, and Bloomingdales.