Paps Shaikh
Paps Shaikh 23 February 2022

From Forming to Norming: How Brands are Getting to Know Newly Established Neighbourhoods

Paps Shaikh is the Commercial Director at Nextdoor, the online neighbourhood network. In this feature he writes about how a record year for home moves will change neighbourhoods and impact hyper-local marketing.

The housing market was on fire last year, with the ‘race for space’ driving house price increases of 10.6%, according to the ONS. New research by Zoopla also reveals that 2021 will see the most moves by homeowners since 2007.

Up and down the country, people are getting to know their new neighbours to build stronger, more vibrant communities. And it’s slowly dawning on marketers that they need to go through a similar process...

Forming Neighbourhoods

A high level of movement will fundamentally change the DNA of communities. Families, couples, and single people all had different reasons to make their move and many have put down roots in areas they may have never previously considered - driving significant changes in the demographic and culture of neighbourhoods.

Brands need to pay attention to how residents’ needs are evolving and update their local marketing strategies accordingly. There is, for example, little point advertising mobility scooters when the local area has been taken over by an influx of young families.

Local businesses which stay close to communities in a state of flux can capitalise on the opportunity to build high levels of engagement. This is because newcomers are more likely to want to forge new connections and support local companies.

Home movers are also less likely to have go-to tradespeople, hairdressers, cleaners and local retailers – making them more receptive to advertising, recommendations in local newspapers, and endorsements on online forums and sharing platforms. 

National companies should also consider how they can use insights around home movers to their advantage. For example, at Nextdoor, we’ve worked with Zoopla to categorise homeowners into segments based on how long they’ve lived in their house, enabling better targeting and personalisation.

Norming Neighbourhoods

After 18 months of frenetic activity in the housing market, things are expected to become a lot calmer. This will be the year when people nest in their new neighbourhoods and settle into their new routines.

The affinity people feel to their local area, however, is expected to stay strong. Twenty-eight percent of consumers are more likely to make a point of shopping locally following the pandemic, according to Nextdoor research, and more than a quarter (26%) will pay attention to ads if the information is relevant to them and their local area. 

This means brands need to stay close to the situation on the ground: country by country, postcode by postcode, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. As local communities shift from ‘forming’ to ‘norming’, this will lead to stronger engagement and better leads.

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