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  • Why do people shop locally in times of uncertainty?
  • Why do people shop locally in times of uncertainty?
    Uriel Mont (2020) ©

Think global, buy local! The science of identity shopping

In times of uncertainty, people often make purchases that reaffirm their identity – yet many ‘global citizens’ championed local firms during the pandemic. Canvas8 spoke to Sharon Ng of Nanyang Technological University to understand the impact of global-local identities on shopping habits.

Location Global

When Anthony Joshua appeared in Google’s ‘Dear Local’ campaign in 2020, he immersed the audience in his experiences of local businesses that define his neighbourhood and his identity. The ad showcased a variety of firms situated in Golders Green, London, where the boxer grew up, and encouraged people to leave Google reviews. Although he’s a global sensation, the campaign strategically highlighted his local identity, aiming to win over the 40% of people in the UK who believe the COVID-19 crisis has enhanced their sense of community.

The pandemic has been characterised by constant uncertainty ...



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