Ahead 2022 Blog Spinoff
It’s no secret that brands with the most authentic storytelling that support their brand mission achieve tremendous success with consumers.
The rise of hyperlocality started during the pandemic, where communities relied heavily on focused geographical communities, including neighborhoods, hyperlocal news sources, Facebook groups, and small “Covid” circles. As we move past the pandemic, we’re continuing to see how hyperlocal influence is defying conventional notions of marketing to the masses and creating new opportunities for brands and people to connect naturally with the right value proposition to support their needs.
The power of hyperlocal experiences is an opportunity for brands of all sizes to look beyond mass exposure and build genuine connections by inserting themselves into consumers’ lives through local, customizable channels and formats.
Keep it local
The shift to hybrid working has influenced consumers to structure their lives within the areas they inhabit. From shopping to socializing and personal hobbies, people are more immersed within their local communities. The time that was previously absorbed by commutes and in-office work is being dedicated towards activities in their neighborhoods.
During the pandemic, people sought out interests online, spurring the growth in TikTok and popularizing niche interests such as #rugtok, #lifehacks, and cooking trends. Now, people are looking towards their local communities to create those connections, using sites like Nextdoor and MeetUps.
Localized messaging gives brands a unique chance to authentically connect with consumers to build relationships, loyalty, and connection.
What brands can do:
Look beyond scale and see how localization is driving consumer intent.
Scale isn't everything. Deeper consumer connection and localization are key factors in driving consumer intent. Brands should focus on delivering business outcomes, rather than solely campaign outputs.
Create experiences for consumers to engage with your brand beyond your product.
A brand community is populated by its customers and exists to create an environment where consumers can give and receive value, feel supported, and be inspired to give back to the brand. For example, an athletic apparel retailer offering a community yoga class during the opening of a new store to bring together a local, passion-based community.
Incorporate convenience and connection into your brand experience.
The need for connection is fueling the rise in popularity of niche Facebook groups, restaurant review sites, and local chat apps. From immediate delivery to take home cocktails, customizable choices provide opportunity for brands to engage with consumers in unexpected ways, while prioritizing convenience.
Your local neighborhood influencer
Local influencers have been shown to have a great deal of sway on purchasing behaviors. In a unique way, the influence of the neighbor is the digital version of “that person down the street knows a person who...” A local neighborhood influencer has hometown pride and connections, just like the consumers that brands are trying to reach.
We see the increase of community gardens, “buy-nothing” item swaps, shared tools, and street parties as the realization of a long-term shift toward predominant neighborhood influence. There are various ways brands can contribute to this movement by facilitating opportunities for consumer engagement and community development.
What brands can do:
When thinking about influencer marketing, consider nano influencers.
The use of celebrities and professional athletes for promotions can lack the authenticity that comes from local, approachable content. By taking a hyperlocal approach, brands can collaborate with multiple personalities who have a strong local following and can influence purchasing decisions in their area.
Be a positive force in community contributions.
Build brand equity by empowering local areas to collectively improve their spaces, lean into the eco-friendliness of community living, and participate in fostering positivity. For example, brands can connect with local organizations, invest in local media outlets, or source from local producers (i.e., supermarkets supporting farmers and community gardens.) Brands who can champion this positivity and further empower local areas to collectively improve the community spirit have multiple ‘ways in’ to build brand equity.
Although the world has opened back up, it’s clear that hyperlocal is here to stay. As consumers look for authentic connections, hyperlocal brand messaging can have a powerful impact on shaping consumer experiences beyond simple exposure to an advertisement.
As a society, we find ourselves in a moment of transition with a heightened need for experiences that defy convention to foster more meaningful connections. Ahead 2022: The Return to Why explores the motivational shifts leading the most impactful changes across media today. To learn more, download the report here.