Glocalization: How Brands Stay Globally And Locally Relevant

by | Aug 22, 2018

When you are a company that wants to go global, the challenge of touching the hearts of your international consumers becomes real. Being able to balance your global feel and identity while trying to seduce the locals is much easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.

There are many global brands that have already walked the tricky path of scaling themselves for international audiences and still managed to remain locally relevant. But how did they do it?

#1 Glocalization

Don’t think there is a typo mistake here. We are really talking about Glocalization: a mix between Globalization and Localization.

Remember the phrase “act global, go local”? Well, this is what Glocalization or “going glocal” is all about. To succeed at this, big brands adapt their global products to fit a local market, and some others even create new products from scratch with only the local market in mind. This approach not only considers the product itself, but also all the social strategies and marketing efforts involved.

A good Glocalization strategy considers Transcreation of course. Transcreation is the means that will finally make all of your glocal ideas come to life by adjusting your message and making it meaningful for the local consumers.

#2 Human and consistent message

A great marketing approach speaks to the world, but most importantly it speaks to humans.

Consumers are getting more knowledgeable, more aware of their decisions, and therefore more demanding. Successful global brands acknowledge this and take it into account to create a clear message with a purpose based on universal human interests and values. Having a humanized message beforehand will guarantee that your brand is able to translate well into other cultures while remaining consistent across all of them.

Coca-Cola sets a good example for this focusing its efforts on values like “happiness,” “joy,” and “sharing.”

#3 Local market sensitivity

Besides being consistent and human, another important factor that your company needs to consider is to be locally relevant at all times. You need to understand specific regional needs, dreams, and beliefs. You need to go out there and take the time to get to know the people and their culture to truly connect with them and live up to the local market expectations.

McDonald’s takes this to the next level by adapting its menu according to the target audience food preferences. This is why we can see food items like the Greek Mac in Greece, the Veg. Pizza McPuff in India, or the Mc Pollo Italiano in Chile.

#4 Decentralized teams

While some multinational companies have a main team that creates everything in a centralized way, many others choose to give more power to their local teams allowing them to manage their own marketing decisions and budgets.

This tactic considers using local professionals that can help you transmit your message correctly without losing anything that your brand is and wants to convey. Having decentralized teams in place is another way of acting global but going local - in short, Glocalization.

#5 Sub-localization

We know all about localization and how it’s necessary to work with translators and professionals who specialize in this. But there is another approach that some companies are adopting that digs a little deeper to something we would like to call going “sub-local.”

Going sub-what?

We might be getting a little bit creative on this one, but this is actually really important to keep in mind because it can step up your game big time.

“Sub-localization” refers to the consideration of working with professionals that not only have a full domain of the target language, but also know all about the culture, that have expertise on the subject, area, and product they are working with.

Now that you’ve learnt what Glocalization and Sub-localization is you can start implementing these tips to establish an international brand while still staying globally and locally relevant.

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