The 3/50 Project
The 3/50 Project is a pro-local-business brand designed by retail marketing consultant Cinda Baxter. By educating consumers about the impact of their spending habits, the Project's goal is to increase consumer spending in a way that delivers the greatest amount of financial benefit to local community economies.
The Project's tag line, Saving the Brick and Mortars Our Nation is Built On, refers to its sole purpose—retention of locally owned, independent businesses, whose dollars provide a large portion of annual revenue critical to funding public resources and services.
Much of The 3/50 Project's success has been attributed to its simple, consumer-friendly message. Unlike traditional Buy Local campaigns, the Project speaks in what's been referred to as "dinner table language," avoiding technical terminology or mathematical equations.
Consumers are asked to think of three businesses they would miss if they disappeared, then return to them, with a reminder that those transactions are what keeps the doors open.
The number 50 ties to the fact that if just half the employed U.S. population dedicated $50 of their current monthly spending to locally owned independent businesses, more than $42.6 billion of revenue would be generated annually.
The 3/50 Project message then explains that for every $100 spent in local, independent brick and mortar businesses, more than $68 returns to the local economy; when spent in a big box or chain, the amount drops to only $43. Spend it online, and unless you live in exactly the same community as the e-tailer, nothing comes home.
By focusing consumers on only three businesses and $50, the Project message is viewed as simple, personal and achievable -- without being exclusionary, political, or protectionist.