The new buzz word for consumers is ‘local’. Once used as a byword for something that was either convenience or quaint it is now used to describe destination hubs rich in cultural character and societal diversity.
What’s the difference between local and global?
Until recently, ‘global’ was the catch-all term for all things worth aspiring towards. Brands wanted to be as global as they possibly could, embracing many different ethnic and cultural influences along the way. Fast-forward to the present, and ‘global’ is becoming a homogenous term which lacks distinction and individual appeal.
Take for example of the rise of ‘local’ in the food industry; just using the word itself adds a higher value with consumers because it is linked to quality, wellness, taking pride in heritage, ingredients and distinctive taste while supporting something very distinct from the world of the massive global conglomerates.
So what is the trend for local?
This shift in societal thinking is closely aligned to de-globalisation, a trend that has been on the rise. This type of uncertainty in socio-political areas has created a revival of nostalgic thinking, as people have started to look to like-minded communities to experience culture, diversity and a more free society. Creating a local connection is a way to communicate with like-minded people and share ideas openly both in society and business.
As people seek out and form new local connections to fulfil their emotional needs, they are opening up new markets for brands. These markets are filled with new cohorts of people who celebrate culture and any form of creation that defines what our society is starting to become. Brands are emerging and aligning themselves with these groups in order to target their consumer better. By demonstrating based similar ideologies and exhibiting local uniqueness, the world of branding and digital is becoming more human than ever, as people seek to reconnect with their wellbeing and what makes them feel special.
So what’s next for global?
This doesn’t mean that the term ‘global’ is lost forever or that brands will lose their global ambitions, but perhaps in the future the term will be rebranded as an allegory for a multi-local approach where even the brands with global reach define themselves differently depending on the audiences they find in different places.
It’s no easy task to align both local and global audiences within a single strategy but with today’s access to multi level data we believe this will become much more the norm and far less the exception.