Local color

In a contracting world, people have the greatest trust in the companies that are close to them. Local companies and brands have a greater understanding of local context and culture and can therefore be present and responsible in a locally relevant way. The challenge for international companies will be to understand how to act local in coming years.

Studies show that we have become less trusting of things far away from us since the pandemic. This is also in line with the tendency towards de-globalization that we’ve seen over the past decade and the rise of nationalism in many parts of the world. We live in a contracting world.

When comparing the top local companies and brands with the top global corporate brands in the study, we see that local ones are impressively on par in the total Purpose Index™ with (and in subindexes outperform) global companies and brands when it comes to responsibility and trustworthiness. People seem to most trust the companies that are close to them.

In the current economic situation, it is also important to bear in mind the inherent sustainability aspect of being local – both in terms of locally produced and available goods, and in terms of effect. Environmental and social effects are experienced most strongly locally. This presents a great opportunity for local companies.

Local companies will always have a greater understanding of local context and culture and can therefore be responsible in a locally relevant way. For international companies, the challenge in coming years will be to create a sense of closeness with customers. Understanding and acting local will be key: global brands must understand individual life situations and share local values.


Local companies scoring high Purpose Index™ scores.

Data deep dive

Relying on local

The local companies with the highest purpose indexes, an average of 70 companies in a diverse set of industries, are clearly characterized as trustworthy and responsible, compared to the equivalent average for top scoring global companies and brands. In contrast, it’s clear that the local companies are struggling to be seen as innovative.


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