For Businesses

Moyne Shire Council's Love Local Strategy has been built with two distinct phases:

Phase 1: Direct support for you as a business owner.

Phase 2: A marketing campaign to encourage local people to shop local, play local, dine local and stay local.

Putting the campaign to work for you

Here are some of the ways you can make the campaign work for you and your business:

  • Wherever possible, choose local in your own purchasing decisions. 
  • For free promotion upload your business' deals, specials and features to
  • Use the hashtag #lovelocalmoyne in your social media activity 
  • Focus on creating an ‘experience’ for your local customers or clients. 
  • List your business for free on the Localised platform
  • If you are an accommodation provider, tour operator or event organiser, consider the Bookeasy platform.
  • Print and hand out the "Love Local" flyer(PDF, 1MB)
  • Download our posters and social media tile toolkits for your own use

Providing the 'WOW' factor

The ‘wow’ factor happens for your customers when you choose to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Satisfied customers are nice, but delighted customers can become your best brand ambassadors. No matter what business you’re in, here’s some tips on how to provide ‘the Wow factor’:

  • Invest in your team. Often, staff can make or break the consumer experience. Strong product/service knowledge, problem-solving capabilities and confident, friendly service will make all the difference.
  • Consider a loyalty program. Human beings are ultimately tribal beings that love to feel they belong.
  • When things go wrong for a customer, do whatever you can to set things right. This may involve a return or refund, an apology or another solution.
  • Be timely. We live in a fast-paced world and want immediate gratification.
  • Provide free information or advice that is of genuine value to your clients. If you are a fashion retailer, explain current trends or offer styling advice. If you're an accountant, provide business tips and advice. If you're in hospitality, tell your customers what's in season right now.
  • Offer overwhelming proof by capturing and promoting positive testimonials.
  • Shift your mindset from ‘selling’ to ‘connecting’ with people.

If you’re in retail:

  • Offer a personal shopping service (eg fashion styling or gift registry).
  • Offer a full refund or exchange, no questions asked.
  • Package purchases thoughtfully with a view to making your customers feel special.
  • Offer free gift wrapping.
  • Slip in a small gift with purchase. It doesn't need to be expensive.
  • Order items customers particularly want.
  • Ensure your store taps into all the senses – make it visually appealing; have appropriate soundtracks playing (the music should be a good ‘fit’ with your brand); consider what scents would be appealing to your customers.
  • Use visual merchandising as a way of inspiring your customers


If you’re a trade or professional service business:

  • Tell your back story. Use your website and social media to introduce you and your staff and to demonstrate your expertise.
  • Consider how you can add value. For example, a hairdresser might provide a head and shoulder massage at no charge. A travel agent might provide travel documents in a quality branded pouch.
  • Stay in touch with your customers to build a relationship (eg through newsletters).
  • Provide free information or advice that is of genuine value to your clients. 
  • Innovate to add new products or services that meet your clients’ needs or solve their problems.
  • Under promise and over deliver.
  • Tradies, keep your sites, vehicles and uniforms impeccably clean.
  • Offer useful branded products (eg. pens, mugs, key rings etc) that keep your business front of mind.
  • Say thankyou - a simple, handwritten note is incredibly powerful.

If you’re in hospitality:

  • Remember the names of your regulars. 
  • Remember what they enjoy or love to order. 
  • Concentrate on creating a wonderful experience through exemplary service.
  • The ‘style’ of your service should match your brand personality (eg energetic and dynamic or understated and sophisticated.)
  • Tailor your business to suit your best customers. For example, a café frequented by young families could provide a children’s play space.
  • Value add – instead of discounting, provide regulars with a free drink or coffee “just because”.
  • Consider all the senses when crafting your customer experience – sight, taste, smell, touch and sound. 


If you’re in tourism:

  • Provide a warm welcome – on your website, your social media and at your property.
  • Pre-empt their needs – know your customers so well that you can provide them what they need before they have to ask.
  • Remain flexible – work with your customers to meet their needs.
  • Value-add the experience. For example, create experience-based itineraries; provide your ‘local knowledge’ about secret places or favourite restaurants, etc.; provide local products for sale or as part of your experience (eg handmade gifts or chocolates, candles, wine, personal soap, etc.)
  • Connect your customers directly with other businesses they may find valuable (eg restaurants, tour operators, visitor attractions, etc.)
  • Provide flexible cancellation policies.
  • Consider implementing touchless solutions, where practical, to limit the opportunity for virus transmission while also enabling a positive travel experience.
  • Promote the cleaning protocols you have to deal with coronavirus.


If you’re in food production or small-scale agriculture:

  • Consider your packaging carefully. Does it reflect your business and what you stand for? Could it be more attractive to tourists seeking a keep sake, momento, souvenir, or something tangible to remember their experience with you?
  • Promote what is special about your produce (eg organic, low food miles, local, etc.).
  • Demonstrate ways to use your produce (eg free recipes or samples).
  • Use social media to tell a visual story about your products and how they can be used.
  • Connect with your community and prospective new customers by having a presence at farmers markets, community events, and in local shops and restaurants.

If you’re an event organiser:

  • Begin forming relationships with your patrons well before the event (eg newsletter and social media).
  • Appoint someone to take special care of your sponsors before, during and after the event.
  • Consider the entire customer journey, taking care to assess every 'touch point'.
  • Build your ‘wow factor’ around your event theme.
  • Issue a feedback survey immediately after the event to understand what patrons want and expect.
  • No matter what business you’re in:
  • Invest in your team. Often, staff can make or break the consumer experience. Strong product/service knowledge, problem-solving capabilities and confident, friendly service will make all the difference.
  • Consider a loyalty program. Human beings are ultimately tribal beings that love to feel they belong.
  • When things go wrong for a customer, do whatever you can to set things right. This may involve a return or refund, an apology or another solution. 
  • Be timely. We live in a fast-paced world and want immediate gratification.
  • Provide free information or advice that is of genuine value to your clients. If you are a fashion retailer, explain current trends or offer styling advice. If you’re an accountant, provide business tips and advice. If you’re in hospitality, tell your customers what’s in season right now.
  • Offer overwhelming proof by capturing and promoting positive testimonials. 
  • Shift your mindset from ‘selling’ to ‘connecting’ with people.



Resources for businesses

Why do people Buy Local?

What our survey told us

To help prepare for the roll out of the Love Local Strategy, Moyne Shire surveyed businesses and consumers to find out why they buy local, what the barriers to buying local are and how we might overcome those.

Key findings for business respondents:

Business owners believe that quality of products or services is the major factor influencing decisions to buy local.

Limited numbers of customers is the major challenge local businesses face (54%)

100% said they were “very likely” to buy from local businesses

Major factors influencing decisions to buy locally were:

Desire to support the local economy (100%)

Desire to support local jobs and economy (100%)

Quality of products/services (100%)

Customer service (100%)

Key findings for consumer respondents:

Almost 70% said they were “very likely” to buy from local businesses

The key things consumers currently source outside their local area that they’d prefer to source locally if they could included:

  • Groceries
  • Dining experiences
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Entertainment and recreation
  • Clothing was most commonly purchased outside the region
  • Major factors influencing decisions to buy locally were:
  • Desire to support the local community (93%)
  • Convenience (86%)
  • Desire to support local jobs and economy (76%)
  • Personality of local suppliers (52%)
  • Quality of products/services (52%)
  • Word of mouth is the most likely to influence consumers’ decisions to buy local (72% followed by previous experience of the business, 69%).


What the research says

Research in Australia and internationally suggests that people who are most likely to buy local are those who own homes or property in the local area and have stronger ties to the community.

Whilst most consumers understand there are sound economic and environmental reasons for purchasing local products and services, in reality they care more about themselves – their health, the quality of the product or service they are buying, convenience and the ‘novelty factor’ (uniqueness of the product or service).

Perhaps more so than any other generation, millennials value local products and services. Millennials – people aged 24 to 39 in 2020 – value authenticity and self-expression and want to wear and own things that set them apart. 

However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had considerable impact on buyer sentiment. The virus has pushed consumers to adopt new behaviours and habits that many believe will continue in the longer-term.

  • An increasing focus on health and hygiene
  • A rise in ‘conscious consumption’ (consumers are more interested in environmental sustainability)
  • A growing love for local.
  • Greater consumer comfort in online purchasing. If possible, adding an online purchasing option for your business can increase sales and competitiveness.

Source: Accenture COVID-19 Consumer Research, March and April 2020.

Human connections

People value human connectivity. They value relationships. Attentive, personalised service makes shoppers feel understood, cared for and connected with the business. 

Key takeaways for business:

Find ways to tell your back story (eg on your website and social media) to promote the human side of your business.

Find ways to connect more deeply with your customers and employees.

Use social media to express your business personality and character.

Take your customers ‘behind the scenes’ on your website and in social media.

Where appropriate, provide opportunities for consumers to visit your production facilities to see how products are made.

Capture customer details for later relationship-building communications (eg newsletter)

Capture and remember details about customers for future purchases (eg how they like their coffee, whether they prefer face-to-face or email contact, etc.)


Most consumers are willing to pay more for a locally-produced product because of a perception of superior quality. Consumers tend to associate higher price with higher quality. This is particularly the case in regional areas. 

Key takeaways for business:

Don’t be afraid to charge a premium price for your premium product. (Remember that an inferior product or service can be very damaging to your brand.)

Demonstrate how your product or service delivers premium value (eg fresher ingredients, greater understanding of local issues, fast turnaround, etc.)

Provide assurances to minimise risk (eg introduce warranties and guarantees, etc.)

Where appropriate, leverage the ‘bespoke’ qualities of your product or service. Talk about the love and care that goes into developing your product or the attentive, personalised service you provide. 

It’s better for the environment

The rise in consumer interest in buying local provides opportunities for businesses to show how they align with their customers’ values. Specifically, some of the perceived advantages of buying local are:

  • Fewer ‘food miles’
  • Fresher produce
  • Know where food comes from
  • Less packaging
  • Seasonal produce.

Key takeaways for business: 

Encourage re-usable bags and packaging (and creating your own re-usable bags and packaging).

Promote the use of locally-derived products via story-telling on your website and social media.

Redefine your relationships with ecosystem partners. Are there opportunities for cross-promotion?

Use seasonal produce or ethically-sourced materials wherever possible and then promote the fact.

It helps the local economy

Many locals are concerned about the state of their local economy – whether they will continue to have access to products and services, whether there are local jobs available, etc.

Key takeaways for business:

Find new ways to connect with the local community (eg sponsorship of local clubs or events, personal involvement in local groups, etc.)

Build your brand around people – provide flexible working options, employ locals, procure goods and services locally, etc.

Encourage loyalty through customer retention or loyalty programs geared specifically for local people.

Assert your ‘localness’ through geo-positioning (digital marketing).

It’s convenient

As important as community, quality, environment and local economy are to consumers, their purchasing decisions in the end will come down to “what’s in it for me?” As a local business, you can make life easier for local customers.

Key takeaways for business:

Find out what your customers what or need from you and show them how you can solve those problems or meet those needs.

Remove as many ‘barriers’ as you can – make it easier for your customers to find you (in person and online) and offer a great experience.

Some final marketing tips

Commit to marketing as a daily business function.

Know your non-negotiable business values and build your brand around those.

Apply your marketing messages consistently. 

Avoid giving in to the temptation to try to be all things to all people – instead, identify your ideal customer and then work to develop an authentic relationship with them.

Get to know your ideal customer as well as you possibly can. Understand how you meet their needs, solve their problems or fulfil their fantasies/daydreams. 

Benefits before features – always! By this, we mean focus on the benefits your products or services create for your customers, rather than focusing on the features of your business, product or service. 

The ‘Localised’ platform

What is it?

Localised is a Geelong-based business that creates online communities for businesses to promote their products, people, events and services in specific areas. It acts as an online business directory, also providing information events and other local news.

In the Great South Coast region, Localised has the support of Moyne Shire, the City of Warrnambool, the Shires of Glenelg, Southern Grampians and Corangamite and Wannon Water.

Who’s it for?

All businesses in Moyne Shire (and in the Great South Coast region).

What does it cost?

It is free to list your business, a job vacancy or an event on the Localised platform. Simply go to and click the ‘Join the network’ button. You will automatically be subscribed to receive the Localised newsletter.

What else?

Aside from listing your business or event, you can also submit articles for the Localised website and newsletter. These then form part of the online library of ‘expert articles’, providing further opportunity for you to promote your business and/or your expertise.

The ‘Bookeasy’ platform

What is it?

Bookeasy is a promotional tool and booking platform embedded on the website and used over the counter at Moyne Shire Visitor Information Centres.

It is a software system specialising in travel and tourism throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It is available for Moyne Shire businesses through a partnership between Moyne Shire Council and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT).

Who’s it for?

Accommodation businesses, attractions, tour operators, events.

What does it cost?

Bookeasy is free to register. Your business will be charged a 10% commission for each booking made via this platform. But unlike other online travel agents, your commission fees are channelled back into our local economy to help market our region.

There are no lock-in contracts, so you can remove your business at any time.

What tech support is available?

The Bookeasy Operator Support Team provides unlimited technical support. Council’s Visitor Support Team can also help you set up your listing.

Can I connect my existing channel manager or booking system to Bookeasy?

Yes. To connect your current channel manager or property management system to Bookeasy, you will first need to have set up your listing on Bookeasy. The Bookeasy website has a help guide to step you through this, or you can speak with your local Visitor Information Centre staff.

Anything else?

You can also choose to list your accommodation, event, or tourism products on the Bookeasy Network, which opens up your listing to Visitor Information Centres across Australia and New Zealand. There is a commission of 15% for bookings taken via this network (payable to the agent that makes the booking).

How can I find out more?

Visit the Bookeasy website,, or contact Ashley or Renee at the Port Fairy and Region Visitor Information Centre, or phone 5568 2682.

The #buyfromthebush campaign

#buyfromthebush is an online social media (Facebook and Instagram) movement that connects regional retailers, service providers, makers and creators with audiences right across Australia – especially metropolitan regions.

It began with a focus on supporting businesses impacted by drought, later expanding to include bushfire-affected regions. COVID-19 has seen the movement to expand to include all parts of regional Australia.

It costs nothing to participate. You can get in on the action by doing these things:

  • Use the #buyfromthebush hashtag on your social media posts. This will connect with all followers of that hashtag (several hundred thousand people).
  • Tag @buyfromthebush on your social media posts to be considered as a feature business on its social media pages.
  • Accommodation businesses can subscribe to be listed on the website and can use the hashtag #stayinthebush.