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USA Today reports that the hot buzzword in marketing these days is “neighborhood,” which has become a term of art because it gives people a sense of place and community.


• Starbucks stores brag about "the neighborhood's best espresso."

• Applebee’s says in its commercials, "You're not just our customers, you're our neighbors."

• Both Wal-Mart and Tesco have “Neighborhood Markets.”

• And the Lowe’s home improvement chain advertises, “At heart, we're still a neighborhood store."

KC's View:
It seems to me that saying you are a neighborhood store is one thing, but actually behaving that way is something entirely different…and delivering on the pledge is a lot tougher in a world where efficiency – especially if you are a chain store company, which all of these are – is prized almost beyond all else.