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Is Your Brand Making A Difference Locally?
Customers trust brands that make a genuine local impact, says breakthrough data-analysis firm, Signoi

Mobile phone with a screensaver saying support local brands instead of a global brand
October 18, 2019by Clare Warren

Think global, act local may be a truism, but it’s one that remains a vital part of building consumer trust. That’s one of the findings from The Trust Cultural Weather Report, a major new piece of research, carried out by the breakthrough data-analysis tech firm, Signoi.

Using first-of-its-kind technology, Signoi has pioneered a new form of data analytics that gathers, crunches, analyses and interprets vast amounts of unstructured data at pace and at scale. As well as performing all standard forms of analytics, Signoi’s unique metrics and modules draw on the insights of the human sciences – psychology; semiotics; ethnography – to track and analyse big, complex, highly-dynamic and very human concepts (like trust) that other approaches fail to pick up.

To explore what builds brand trust in today’s fast-paced, diverse marketplaces, Signoi drew on unstructured data from social media; social forums and reviews. We analysed 297,000 publicly available data points about brand trust to reveal the dominant and emerging trends about trust. This unstructured data was drawn from social media; social forums; and reviews. Going forward, we’ll ingest the websites of the top 500 companies in the US, the UK and Australia, plus challenger brands, and incorporate a trawl of newsflow. 

What unstructured data reveals about trust

What was most interesting is that the idea of acting local came through not as a dominant, but as an emerging trend for trust. This suggests that despite the slogan of ‘think global, act local’ being embedded at a cultural level, what consumers are beginning to look for now is concrete evidence that brands are acting to benefit their local community.

In other words, the messaging has stuck. Now consumers are looking at brand actions. Those markers include:

  • Providing local employment
  • Sourcing from the local area
  • Volunteering within the community
  • Sponsoring community initiatives
  • Taking part in community initiatives

But it doesn’t stop there. True local authenticity isn’t just about what you do: it’s about why you’re doing it. Local action that substitutes as a covert form of advertisement (in effect, exchanging an amount of money in return for branding opportunities) will never gain as much traction as local action undertaken because your brand genuinely feels a commitment to the community.

This is what tomorrow’s consumers are looking for

Tomorrow’s consumers are interested in long-term, value-driven community action that speaks about true investment at the local level. This is two trends converging – the zeitgeist mistrust of faceless ‘big business’ and the desire to rebuild communities that care for their own.

To gain this kind of trust, your business has to be taking positive action at a grassroots level. And you have to be doing it because you believe that it’s the right thing to do for your community – not just for your brand.

Reserve your free copy of Signoi: The Cultural Weather Trust Report here.

Read the other articles in our trust series here.

Along with all traditional forms of data analysis, our platform combines cutting edge technology and human sciences insights to analyse unstructured data at pace and at scale. We call our approach quantitative semiotics. It’s different to anything else that’s out there.

Discover what Signoi can do for you.