The term “Glocal” has been a buzz word in the marketing world for some time. A combination of the words “Global” and “Local”, used to describe global brands entering new markets by using local societal norms to gain relevance and resonance with the new consumers in these communities, in order to attain brand success within that particular local context.
The question then becomes, if a brand enters a market and tries to adapt to local societal norms cultures and trends, doesn’t that move it from being a global brand into a local brand?
It is of utmost importance for global brands to seek local relevance. A qualitative research approach is the key into this. Uncovering insights through ethnographic and consumer behavior research will get brands closer to understanding societal and cultural norms, values and beliefs in their targeted local regions. This turns your global brand into a local brand, where consumers understand that as much as your brand may have international origins, it actually is local because it has relevance within their society.
In essence, every global brand is a global brand because it has local brand relevance in every market or region that it is present in. Yes, the heritage may stem from its country of origin however, the mere fact that it is adapting to its targeted local market makes it a local brand.
In my opinion, to successfully penetrate a local market, brands need a clean slate approach. This does not mean forgetting your brand heritage, values, positioning or even brand purpose, but rather approaching a market without the “one-formula-fits-all with some local tweaking” strategy. You cannot use the same formula or approach in different cultures and societies and expect the same successful result, because each region has its unique human insights and ways of living that might not necessarily relate to what has been done in other regions.
So for a brand to really become a true successful global brand, it needs to be a multiple local brand and the sum thereof makes it a successful global brand.
By Mogorosi Mashilo click to view his profile