Nine’s Big Ideas Store reveals research showing the rise of “living local”

living local

• “This is almost a complete turnaround for a world governed by globalisation.”

New research conducted by Nine’s marketing solutions division, Powered and Fiftyfive5, reveals local identity is becoming increasingly more important for Australians, and is having a significant impact on our culture.

Now more than ever we have adapted to “living local”, from travelling closer to home, to increasingly supporting brands and businesses that align to hyper-local community values. As a result, marketers will need to have a timely, tailored and responsive approach to their messaging moving forward, and play to hyper-local identities in their campaigns. 

“We’ve noticed for some time now that unifying moments of disruption, such as the 2019 bushfires and 2020’s pandemic, have accelerated the hold that local identity has on our culture, and so we wanted to dive deeper into the implications for advertisers, marketers and their brands”, said Nine’s director of strategy, insight and effectiveness, Toby Boon.

Hannah Krijnen, director of Fiftyfive5, said the objectives of the research were fivefold. “We wanted to uncover the different ways localisation manifests in Australia, determine how the last 18 months shaped the way Australians engage with their communities, and understand the expectation of Australian consumers of how brands should engage with them in the current climate.

“We also evaluated how localisation and hyper-localisation brand messaging resonates with Australians, and distilled the best way for brands to engage with consumers through this trend”.

The independent study utilised a number of methodologies to dive deep into localisation: cultural forecasting with three global trend experts, an online community study with 40 Australians, and four-day online community study with 16 businesses, qualitative vox pops with Nine content experts, plus a nationwide survey involving 1,035 everyday Australians and 651 Australian businesses.

One of the most dominant insights uncovered in the research was the fact that the global Covid-19 pandemic has made us look inward rather than outward.

“This is almost a complete turnaround for a world governed by globalisation. So, to seize this opportunity, marketers need to speak directly to Australians, in an Australian voice, about distinctly Australian issues and problems”, said Boon.

This development can even be taken a step further, with another key insight from the research finding there is an ever-narrowing focus from nationhood, to statehood. 

“With unpredictable border closures and differing directives from our Premiers,  Australians are finding themselves feeling more connected with their state than ever before. We’ve seen this in the past of course, from the noisy clash of State of Origin, allegiances are running even deeper,” said Boon.

“The research reveals however, that experiences can differ significantly from state to state and even from metro to regional, and suburb to suburb, with Australians finding a sense of community amongst those experiencing the same thing as them.

“This means homegrown brands will need to take greater ownership of their role within the community, and international brands need to harness some Aussie magic to connect with local audiences”.

The research conducted by Powered and Fiftyfive5 is part of Powered’s Cultural Conversation series. It was presented at The Big Ideas Store in the session ‘Neighbourhood watch – is local the new global?’.

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