A brand is not just a logo. A brand is a culmination of the visual and emotional experiences an
individual has with a specific company. Today, the interactions consumers have with brands
are highly personal and immediate, thanks to smartphones, tablets and social media.
Global brands strive to create a unified brand
experience, creating a consistent interaction
that builds brand equity through the quality
of the relationship. But global brands face
the variables of local experience and local interpretation.
Certainly, many factors are at
play. These include language, cultural interpretation,
consumption patterns, competition
and market influences, legal and regulatory
environments, local media preferences, socioeconomic
factors and more.
The first step to transforming a global
brand into a “glocal” brand is to define a clear
strategy that embraces the best possible media
and message. Here's how:
Fight the Funnel
Often corporate branding and marketing reach
an impasse with local field marketers. The two
groups clash with one another rather than respect
each other’s strength. Corporate branding
and marketing can offer local marketers
considerable brand assets and equity, while
local marketers offer unrivaled knowledge of
local markets and their responsiveness to different
This coordination requires translation to
make the language of one group understand
the language of the other. For the ‘glocal’ engine
to run smoothly, it requires clear roles,
processes, analyses and strategies.
Make it Clear
The variables involved are different for each
brand, country and market. An integrated
communications plan, one that spans global
and local interests, should highlight the priorities
and tactics for each. The plan should
demonstrate the following:
Strong brand vision and passion. Brands are
built on forging an emotional bond between the
consumer and the brand through experience.
This entails both an understanding of local marketers’
needs and the overall global brand.
Firm brand values. These values determine
and drive the overall brand strategy.
Defined roles and responsibilities. A stated
definition of the way in which the organization
will operate and who will make decisions ensures
Clear feedback and understanding of success
and failure. The ability to learn from past activities
and to utilize this knowledge in future
actions reinforces success. It also gives all of
those involved the opportunity to improve on
areas in which they are less than satisfied with
A global approach to social media should be
reinforced by a local social media presence directed
by marketers who are in touch with the
characteristics of their local markets. The local
presence entails local market understanding,
timing and ties with its culture.
Mobility is the new kid on the block, and has
opened the door for location-based services
and applications that capture the attention of
the mobile, local customer. The ability for locally
targeted offers can provide a specific
value-add that reinforces the global brand experience.
After all, “glocal” is all about acting
locally while thinking globally.
About the Author: Ian Truscott is an experienced and passionate advocate of customer engagement, web experience, content management, digital marketing and social media -- having spent over a decade working in the web content management software industry. Formerly an analyst with the Gilbane Group, Ian is now VP Products for SDL Tridion and serves as a Director for the Content Management Professionals Association. Ian's experience has come from doing almost every job a techie can do in the software business - having been a CTO, a product marketer, product developer, pre-sales and consultant - from starting his career (surely as a child) changing tapes on a mainframe as a computer operator.