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Why Your Neighbour Is Becoming the Biggest Influencer That You Haven’t Met

Trends and Insight 22 Add to collection

Moira Gilderson, SVP GAD, dentsu X Toronto, on why the influence of the neighbour is the digital version of “that guy down the street knows a guy who..”

Why Your Neighbour Is Becoming the Biggest Influencer That You Haven’t Met

dentsu X has recently launched “Ahead 2022: The Return to Why” – a short exploration into the motivation and rationale behind some of the key societal and media topics of the moment. Little Black Book is diving into this content to unearth new views and insights from dentsu X experts from around the globe, ending with a thought starter on how hyper local influence is changing the global mindset, out of Canada…

“Does anyone know anyone that can fix…” is the start of a lot of questions on socially oriented, hyper local sites.  The fact that the person asking the question, and the people providing suggestions have ever met is not as important as the level of trust placed in the response which results in creating new opportunities for local businesses. Influencers, especially family and friends, have been shown to have a great deal of weight on key purchasing and media consumption behaviours. In a unique way, the influence of the neighbour is the digital version of “that guy down the street knows a guy who..,” 

In urban centres and smaller towns across the globe, the trend has been developing in interesting approaches.  People living near each other that have never met, are helping each other out on a regular basis through Yelp, Facebook and local social groups such as school systems and condo groups. When NextDoor a neighbourhood connection site, launched, it started extremely slowly but has recently grown at a furious rate. In Canada alone, NextDoor, has grown by over 1,419% since its local launch in 2019 – a considerable jump considering that registration is not instantaneous due to a need to qualify the new joiner. Most people are aware of the power of Facebook Marketplace to connect to local markets, and which has expanded considerably from selling or giving away items to providing a forum to sell local crafts and art. 

Covid has had a strong impact on the increase of these types of connections. Neighbours and local businesses are connecting in new ways to overcome lockdowns, such as helping to deliver items from a store, or changing how a local store that wasn’t digitally savvy before sell to a larger, less mobile population. But globally, there have been big successes in a hyper local approach, all driven by the need to still purchase items or services supported by the growth in technology and adoption of ecommerce. 

An example of that growth is shown in Walmart’s recent partnership with NextDoor, by setting up a "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program that allowed customers to shop for their neighbors, while doing their own shopping at Walmart. A great demonstration of a larger activation being created out of a more local adoption.  

Mintel has been actively tracking this trend and features key reports on the rising power of the neighbourhood.  Examples exists from simple delivery systems from a local store, to creating meals for a neighbourhood, to launching out a new business from a home.  Their report Identity 2021: Coming Together (November 2020) predicts the influence of community in coming years and how it will continue to develop beyond my local street into a global presence.

To uncover more thought starters and to explore some of the other views within Ahead 2022: The Return to Why, visit and download the free whitepaper from

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dentsu X, Wed, 25 May 2022 07:12:39 GMT