Why it pays for brands to go local

In an age of turbulence, brands are seeing the benefits of a localised approach over a global one. Here, Ben Sillence, strategy director at Lewis Moberly, explores what this may mean for designers and creatives

We live in volatile times where events are creating a polarised world of utopian optimism and dystopian fear. For some this is a great chance to revaluate and reset, with hope for a better future. Others look at the Covid-19 pandemic as a slide into a more disturbing reality. We have seen a spate of new brands emerge and a flurry of creative campaigns respond to these conflicting tensions.

Utopia sees a tendency to hyper-locality, sustainability and ‘neo-hedonism’ as we look for meaningful connection and reengage with the natural world. Dystopia, by contrast, sees a retreat into the comfort of nostalgia, a desire to embrace the imperfect in a post-truth world, and the convergence of physical and digital worlds.

What does this mean for design and brand experience?

Say what you will of adversity but there has been no greater catalyst for change and innovation. We see a rapid acceleration of emergent behaviour; an attitudinal shift towards a better way of living and working that benefits all. Never has this been more apparent than in our perception of community and the way in which brands facilitate human interaction at a hyper-local level.