Go Glocal – The New Success Mantra!

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3616 , Published on 10 July 2013

You must have heard of a “Global Village” or a “Local country” but have you ever heard of something called as “Glocal”. 

Hint: Chandni Chowk is world famous in India. (Pun Intended)

Well yes, Glocal is something similar to that. Glocal is all about “Global + Local” and more so about moving from being the former to the latter. And this is the new success mantra these days. Brands are moving from high-profile global locations to the medium or low-profile locales. Reason being, they want to get rid off that “extra-expensive” tag and tap into the markets that have high potential, example countries like India and China. Another reason for moving from “being global” to “Glocal” is to attract that niche segment of customers in these regions who are now either in middle or upper middle class families but always look up to high or upper-high class societies when it comes to fashion, style and status statement.


Today one might be earning Rs 25,000/- per month salary but can be easily seem donning Tommy Hilfiger, Givenchy, Zara, Fossil, Calvin etc. and other niche brands, especially the youth segment. “We don’t want to save it all for the posterity, we believe in living it all for today. And we are fashion conscious, style conscious and status conscious. Passé is the trend when the “saving accounts” were the lifeline and we lived whole of the life dreaming big, but perhaps never actually living it that big. But today, in 2013, we do live big and in style”. This is the mindset that these brands wish to capture. And hence it doesn’t make a sense to cocoon themselves near and around the vicinity of those who can easily afford them. They now wish to attract those who would first look at them, then crave for them, then will say “let’s-give-it-a-try” and then finally into their list of customers. And once they try their products, they must maintain the status quo. This is one of the features of “Inbound Marketing”, discussed ahead.

But is it really that easy to go Glocal and tap such “unnerved” markets?

Yes. Perhaps it wasn’t so till few years back but now, it is. Thanks to the world of digital revolution. You have things at your fingertips. You can replicate real life experience to the virtual experience to the utmost possible.

Companies are now following the below mentioned marketing trends to connect your real life through the digital media and give you the feeling of being Glocal – Global, yet Local.

1) Visualize – “Jo dikhta hia, wo bikta hia” – Still holds true. Seen Pinterest? Yes, that’s what the world is talking about. Make your website, your digital media platforms visually appealing and interactive enough to leave your audience spell-bound. First impression is still the last one. Unless you can’t let them visualize what’s on the offerings, they wont make a smart decision to go with you.

2) Customize – Not just your offerings but also their experience. Suppose you are one of those Apparel brands that has a lot on offer for a wide variety of customers but what is the use if you’re not able to convert their in-store experience to the online-experience with 100% retention rate. Customize your offerings; let them know all the size, color, pattern details that they must know. To one extent, you can even transform the complete experience in a real time. Try putting in your picture at www.LensKart.com and see how your face looks at one of those many lens frames – wonderful example of one such transformation.

3) Socially integrate – their world; and yours too. Gucci started with its website nearly more than 10 years back and imagine the power it must be holding today. Before I could explain it further, would you mind paying a look at www.gucci.com? Do that!
Amazed? It’s not just visually appealing but well connected and stunningly socially integrated. You click on a visual and it shows the entire social media plugins that you could connect through. But why? Because today people love to “Share”. It all about making your friends, your family, and your circle know that you’re up onto something. And once you share and if you have 300 friends on FB (for ex), the notification goes to most of them, if not all. Doesn’t matter if those friends are not into buying such stuffs, but at least they know that one of their acquaintances did and hence they may refer this to someone else. Least of all, the information about one person’s buying got displayed with the “brand” name on the wall of 100’s of people. Today, all that a brand needs is a “Messenger”. And digital media does that magic.

So it’s like: If she has it, why can’t I?

4)      What’s your message? – You fail badly, if you fail to convey your message. Let’s take an example again. You’re a batch topper, 10/10 GPA but when you sit in Interviews, you shiver and are a victim to poor communication skills. You know everything but fail to convey clearly, even in “layman’s” language.

O o O, I am sorry, forgot to tell you; it’s a Marketing Interview. See you later (never actually) - Says the Interviewer.

That’s what happens to most of the brands. Epic-fail because they missed to convey the right message through the right channel.


Dove Real Beauty Sketches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

Vasan Eye Care – Harbinger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J6yqklkvws

Epic-Fail: There are many. The difference is - the above-mentioned brands were able to convey the right message. But why can’t others do so?

Reason being, many fail to convey the right message that they must. They rather prefer to convey what customers wish to listen and not know. If you focus more (than required) on your product, you lose sight of what your customers want or what they might want. Sometimes even customers do not know what they need until you show them. (Hint: Who asked Apple to develop an iPad? – The Visionary)

Of all the examples stated above, the best example of an apt message delivery is through this foundation against child abuse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zoCDyQSH0o

Remember, conveying message doesn’t mean that you need to be vocal about it. It could be silent, written or just a visual, anything that captivates the audiences’ attention and conveys what words, sometimes, can’t.

5) Go Inbound – The Buzz word is about the Inbound Marketing.

You see them. They are stranger. You bring them close and make them visitors. You take leads and convert them into customers. And now they are your promoters.” World is buzzed with the new form of marketing where you don’t take them on face, you let your brand do the talking. So you remain in the backdrop of the play but still run it and you do this by trying non-traditional ways of marketing that include BTL activities and campaigning, generally.

6) Mobilize yourself and empower them – Again the best would be if you could type  www.tommy.com into your mobile and desktop and feel the difference. The difference is literally nothing. Brands are customizing their whole look and feel, for their customers, depending upon the medium their customers wish to choose to join them. Today the world of Internet is on mobile and people surf Internet for just anything to everything in day-to-day life. Mobile applications and Internet service providers have paved the way for bringing the real power of desktop computing to our hands. And why should brands be left behind in leveraging this? Thus, apart from customizing their offerings, brands are doing a great job in customizing their overall experience itself, without losing their real identity and information.

Hence, brands worldwide are now pondering over on how to exploit these resources to reach to the masses. Going Glocal is easy but if a wrong path is chosen, chances are high that you’ll do more damage than benefit. Many have been successful so far and many are still in that rush. More importantly, the prime things brands must focus on are:

  • Conveying the right message
  • Choosing the right channel
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Focusing on customer needs (present and future)
  • Constant Innovation

And then you Go Glocal, but with caution!

The article has been authored by Rahul Verma,Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Udaipur


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