In the ever changing business environment, brands have realized they need to accommodate and create new ways to fulfill the needs and desires of consumers. We have discussed the importance of partnerships, and how they are built with the goal of reaching a wider audience. With increasing frequency, companies have also begun to grasp the concept of localizing their marketing efforts as an effective way to target specific markets and cater their efforts to each community.

Sharing Resources

Airbnb launched their City Portal with the intention of investing in partnerships with local communities. With Airbnb’s City Portal services, it will transform the way they work with communities by providing relevant insights, such as Travel Trends, to help cities understand visitors’ interests and what they might be attracted to when they visit. The tool helps serve local communities by showcasing their unique sights and what travelers should not miss when they are exploring the area. Airbnb has taken advantage of their platform to provide resources to local communities through analyzing their consumer’s footprints. Not incidentally, this approach also positions Airbnb as being supportive of the local communities where they operate, potentially countering its unpopularity with existing residents.

Inclusive Community Building

Target emphasizes the importance of communities by changing their approach in engaging with their communities through listening and learning about what their communities need and what they desire. Black, women, and people-of-color-owned/founded businesses have been on the rise and consumers are actively seeking them out to support them. However, these businesses don’t always receive the spotlight that they deserve when there are big name brands that cause smaller businesses to be overlooked. Target has listened to their communities by creating a new program called Building Blocks for Better Products (B3P), which has the sole purpose of supporting those businesses and reducing the opportunity gap that most, if not all, the businesses suffer from. Target has teamed up with these local businesses to showcase their brands to give them opportunities to grow as well as reinforce and validate underrepresented communities.

Target has also created specific partnerships to support communities that were struggling. In Richmond, California, the Target team noticed the increase of people without housing near their store. Target had partnered up with their local nonprofit, Collaborising, to support the unhoused population that lived near the store and had their team volunteer to clean up around the encampment and give gift cards to buy necessities. Collaborising was able to provide counseling services for those who struggled from mental health issues and substance abuse. With these efforts, Target is able to use their platform to help and show that they deeply care about their communities. 

Giving Back to Communities

Nespresso partnered up with The Ali Forney Center in support of the organization’s efforts towards protecting LGBTQ+ youth from the threat of homelessness. The Ali Forney Center has many programs like: housing, job readiness and education, health services, and more for the youth in a LGBTQ+ safe environment. Nespresso launched a limited edition collection of mugs that were designed by Justin Teodoro which “celebrates self-expression and the affirmation The Ali Forney Center provides.” For every mug that is sold, Nespresso donated $24 to The Ali Forney Center for a total of $500,000. 

Understanding Your Consumer Wants and Needs

Barnes & Noble was not holding up in the eyes of consumers anymore when e-books were so much more convenient. Therefore, James Daunt, the Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, has put his focus towards handing over more power to local store managers. With this initiative, Daunt anticipates each Barnes & Noble store will be a better representative of the community they reside in. As Daunt mentions in an interview with the New York Times, local store managers will have the freedom to display the books, sort the categories, and price their books, and more- rather than having a consistent arrangement for every store. 

By understanding the specific needs and interests of the community, Barnes & Noble can offer a more relevant and valuable selection of books and other merchandise. In addition, Barnes & Noble also customizes its store layouts to reflect the local community. This will include incorporating local artwork or highlighting books written by local authors. This improves the shopping experience for customers and can also lead to increased sales and customer loyalty, while maintaining that connection with their consumers. Finally, Barnes & Noble hosts events and engages in community outreach that assimilates to the interests and needs of the local community. This might include author signings, book clubs, or other events that are relevant to the community. By doing so, Barnes & Noble becomes a more integral part of the community and strengthens its connection with its customers.


Through listening and being aware of what communities care about, brands are able to engage with and cater to local communities, as well as support them in novel ways. The resulting partnerships leverage each brand’s strengths to build trust with communities and consumers, while also encouraging others to understand and participate.