Glocal: Global Strategy Local Execution

The term “glocalization” comes from the Japanese word dochakuka and refers to “adapting the farming techniques to local conditions”. But if you are reading this post you’re more interested in what this mean to a business and it’s strategies than the etymology of the word.

The idea behind the glocal concept is being able to produce a global product (and strategically benefit from expense cuts when mass manufacturing) but being able to sell-it as a local product (trying people to relate to it “as their own”).

Some years ago, there was an attractive thing about purchasing the same product everywhere in the world. This meant security (to find the chosen product every time, that the manufacturer was globally recognized or that several agencies had approved its go-to-market) but nowadays when the consumer is being led to think that local consumption is cleaner “greener” consumption, having a global strategy is not necessarily the best.

On the other hand, you can sell products such as Coca-Cola or Apple-related the same way in most parts of the world because they’re selling the experience in a way that any culture can relate to. But not every brand can be marketed as ‘a dream’ or ‘a desire’ and trying to build upon a global approach is difficult if not impossible.

Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kellogg, Colgate have made a living out of Global products and some of them are bold enough to centrally produce a one-size-fits-all TV Ad and just change the voice-over narrative of the spot to make-it local. Here is the same Ariel Actilift spot in two different languages.

Ariel Ad in English

Ariel Ad in Swedish


Ice Cream Unilever Brands

For some companies their approach is completely different. Your company may have the perfect know-how to understand and adapt your consumer’s needs with identical, similar or different products. The brands have usually the same “look and feel” but they’re named differently.

Here are some reasons to do this:

  • Protect your brand (if one falls; only one falls).
  • Adapt the meaning (different languages, different meanings).
  • Adjust to local traditions – local manners.

What is important to understand is that while the first approach can be tempting for most, not every brand can be managed globally (and for that sake it’s products). Some consumers might need different products from the same brand and perhaps doing different brands is easier than having such an ample scope.

Nowadays there is another trend to market your brand. Instead of leveraging on the power of a global brand, you might be bold enough to leverage on the local power. By using Location Based Advertising brands can deliver their message on due time.

For example, if you check-in a place with Foursquare or Facebook, you might have an offer delivered to you so you’ll engage with the place you checked-in at or somewhere nearby.

  • Same Product, Different Name (
  • Glocal Marketing Approach (
  • Global Location Based Advertising Market to Reach $12.8 Billion by 2017 (
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Posted in Decision Making, Innovation Pipeline, Launch Stage, Marketing 101

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