Consumers love to buy local. You can't walk into a supermarket or restaurant without seeing homemade goods, ecologically friendly items, and locally farmed food on the menu or shelves. It's not just good for the regional economy and environment; locally produced products offer customers a way to relate to what they buy in ways they can't with branded, imported products. Customers can drive out to the farm and walk through the fields, or chat with the vintner while at a tasting.
But these experiences will become less unusual and in time will be considered just another commodity. A more effective way to tap the local movement is through local service—the emotional connections that companies and their employees make with their customers by demonstrating empathy and building a sense of community.