By 2044 the U.S. will no longer have a single ethnic majority.  This means our customer segmentation models and messaging will need refinement.  If we just look at a snapshot of America, according to a 2018 study by Wallet Hub, California wins the prize as the most diverse state while West Virginia was found to be the least diverse.  This year  Adobe sited multi-localism as one of their top six visual trends of the year.  Celebrity examples like Marcus Samuelsson best personifies what this means.  He was born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, lived in Japan and currently resides in Harlem.  This eclectic background is now far more common than ever before, and even for humans who haven't lived all over the world, many have a deepened global consciousness. Appealing to consumers today requires authentic, local imagery and messaging to drive true meaning and value, but that is just the beginning. 

Think Beyond Customer Segmentation

Everyone wants to feel unique yet feel connected, so it is important to understand where your customers feel a sense of belonging and connectivity.  This concept of tribes popularized by the likes of Sebastian Junger, Seth Godin and many others is crucial to understand as a business owner. If you think beyond segmentation, you can understand your tribes from deep insights derived through advanced customer analytics or simply by giving your customers the ability to self organize and discover others with similar interests.  A trusted social media platform could be a natural catalyst to let this take flight. 

Custom Products for Key Cities

This summer, global brand Adidas launched city-specific running sneakers leveraging user feedback and terrain data from New York to Shanghai.  The notion of mass customization also enables consumers to enjoy the version of your product that best meets their individual needs and location. Beyond shoemaking the shift to local will have manufacturing and marketing implications for years to come.  Adidas has a goal to create 50 percent of its shoes using a digital manufacturing process.  What are your localization goals?

Content Challenges and Design Invitations

Make your content marketing soar by thinking like GoPro.  The company's challenges ranging from India Living Local to New Zealand Winter Wonders, create a competitive platform to fuel a multi-local content machine.  In a more targeting and curated way Gap tapped prominent activists and artists for an authentically styled campaign this year that celebrate being transgender, queer, deaf, Jewish and Chinese.  Another retail innovation is Nordstrom Local, the retailer's merchandise-free hyper-local concept store model complete with "bars" and grab-n-go local cuisine. October 12 is the launch of the latest location in Brentwood Los Angeles.  

All of these examples point to the fact that you will drive superior growth with a multi-local strategic mission.  Being inclusive with your brand imagery and messaging is an easy place to start, but challenge yourself to create a real, genuine sense of community for your varied range of customers, and embrace the fact that we all live multi-layered daily lives that do not fall within discrete segments or categories.  

Published on: Sep 30, 2018