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By Liam O’Neill

If you are thinking of setting up a brick and mortar shop, one of the most important decisions you will have to make for your business is to think about what location best suits your business, given its size and the market it serves.

You can start the process by understanding that deep within a culture lies a subculture. As defined by Oxford dictionary, subculture is “a self-defining group within a society which holds different values and norms to those of the majority.”  Shared experiences and beliefs among a company group, can collectively determine its culture.

Once you understand the importance of subculture, the next step is to immerse yourself within a subculture. Many companies do this today is by analyzing vast pools of customer data. This is especially important in this era of advanced customer personalization. According to Microsoft, brands that use customer data to inspire insights, generate 40 percent more revenue than their competitors.

Finding the right location is only half the battle. It’s just as important to leverage the positive aspects of the physical environment and local community to build a positive reputation through word-of-mouth. One strategy is to align your mission and values with those of the city in which you are located. By associating your brand with an aspect that resonates at the core with the local community, and showcasing this in your marketing, you can put your brand and your community in the spotlight as an advocate for your community. NYC’s famous Katz’ Deli is a perfect example of this. Founded in 1888, this local (and now national) favorite embodied the hardworking, can-do attitude and lifestyle of New York City’s immigrant population throughout the early 20th century and, amid growing national recognition, has remained true to its roots to this day.

The community in which you operate isn’t just useful for getting a steady supply of customers; it’s also a valued resource for building brand recognition and growing your online presence. By partnering with local influencers, you can create relationships that will help your brand garner a positive perspective among local community members. Collaborating with charities to host events and fundraisers goes a long way in showing that you care about your community and that your presence will make a positive impact. Take an agency client, the Invited Celebrity Classic, which is preparing for its second annual celebrity golf tournament in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Their prime location within the DFW area allows the tournament to effectively tap into the world of Texas golf. By inviting celebrities and former players of the hometown favorite Dallas Cowboys to compete in the tournament, Invited Celebrity Classics is able to generate meaningful interest in their event and augment its position as a prime destination for golfers and entertainment fans in the local area.

Strategic planning as to choice of location, is vital for brick-and-mortar companies/stores to be able to take advantage of all the benefits it provides. Subcultures are fascinating sociocultural phenomena that contain vast insights from which you can develop new initiatives that will help grow your business. Leveraging this aspect of your physical location can give you a leg up in an increasingly competitive business landscape.