What Goes Around Comes Around…

Whether it’s bottom up, or top out, expanding brands by connecting them to *community* is nothing new — but curiously, now something that is “hot.”

We all know that not every brand is born BIG. Most begin in a local niche somewhere, filling a simple need, and build from there — some to Superstardom and some to “just enough” success. And, of course, many never make it out of the neighborhood.

Well here’s a great example of making it out of that neighborhood — a couple of times!… The Danbury Fair in Danbury, CT was once itself a strong brand that started in the 1820s as an annual agricultural “county fair” and grew into a 100-acre venue with substantial recognition (and  a racetrack, too). In their heyday, County Fairs were both the “malls” and amusement parks of their day. Sales and attendance records were the *Nielsen ratings* of that era for food, agricultural, and household products. A first-prize win in any competitive fair category could ensure sales for the winner’s business, at least for that year or season. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)

In 1981, after more than 100 years in business, changing times and ownership finally caught up with The Danbury Fair. Its rides, attractions, and holdings were auctioned off and the former fairgrounds became the home of The Danbury Fair Mall shopping center. And yet…

On June 1, 2011, the old became new again when the outdoor Elite Farmer’s Market opened for business in a parking lot… on the grounds of The Danbury Fair Mall!  An open-air market of vendors, selling meat, fish, dairy, produce, artisan foods, etc., will be reviving, in its own au curant way, the history of the fairgrounds.

Elite hopes to partner with shopping centers across the country to provide “a family based market experience for their customers and visitors,” as well and to provide its vendors with a pathway from local success to national recognition.

Don’t you just love when that whole “what goes around comes around” thing happens before your very eyes?!! And for such a wonderful reason!

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