Have you ever heard of the term ‘glocalize’? If this is your first time then today you will learn something interesting. When doing business you have several options to explore. One such area is your target market. Broadly, you have the option of either focusing on the local market or the global market. Many businesses focus on the local market; nothing particularly wrong with that. Some businesses just cannot go beyond local after all. Regardless, and as much as possible, you need to glocalize your business. Let us look at what glocalizing is all about and why it is now important.
What It Means To Glocalize
The term ‘glocalize’ is a compound word made out of two words. The two words are ‘globalize’ and ‘localize’. To globalize means to make something global in scope. In the same vein, to localize is to make something local in scope. In our discussion, you must relate these terms to products or services in business or entrepreneurship. For most people in business, the sole focus is the local market. This means they localize their products or services. Then there are those who tailor their products or services for foreign markets – that is globalizing. To globalize is to develop or tailor products or services in such a way that they cater or appeal to both the global and local markets.
Understanding The Glocalization Approach
You must understand what glocalization is lest you mix things up. By comparison, the local market is often smaller than the global market. It is also commonplace for global standards to be more stringent than local ones. These elements are important because they direct the glocalization approach. You are essentially working from the apex coming down. In other words, we can say glocalization entails adapting globally tailored products or services to local markets. This is so because glocalization was and is typically coined with global businesses in mind.
However, it is also possible to enhance local products or services to become ones that appeal to global markets. What is important to note is that the determinant standards to be adhered to are often global ones. The thrust of this article is in part, yes, to encourage global businesses to glocalize. The most significant thrust though is to encourage local businesses to glocalize. Many times when I have discussions with you on business ideas I underscore the importance of tapping into export markets.
Glocalization Demands In-depth Research
Coming up with a product or service that appeals to global and local markets is not easy. What appeals to one market may not appeal to another. Applicable regulatory frameworks also differ from market to market. Cultural dynamics of the different markets can also weigh in on how you should tailor your offerings. For instance, a certain market’s culture may invalidate a key ingredient in say, a food product. Imagine having to sell burgers to a market they do not eat meat. This means you would have to tailor the burgers differently. General customs people follow also vary from market to market.
Languages used also come into play. Though English is mostly applicable to many markets, in some cases the use of native languages may be necessary. Even your brand and marketing messaging will have to be tailored with the dynamics of the market in question in mind. All this and more are to be done without diluting the overall brand image. As in, you have to homogenize and standardize your products or services. In more ways than one, glocalization may lead to product or service diversification or versioning in a way. In order to achieve all this you will need to conduct thorough research.
Keys To Effective Glocalization
The first key is to conduct a PESTLE analysis. This involves exploring the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental dynamics of a respective market. This should be in light of what your business offers or intends to offer. We just discussed in-depth research. That is the second key. Part of it is market research. From that, you will learn a lot about the local market in question. For instance, you will have a better understanding of the industry dynamics, your competitors, cultural dynamics, customer segments, and more. The other key is to hire, partner with, or outsource from local people. They have a greater understanding of the landscape than you. If you put all this together you will effectively glocalize.
If you want to best understand glocalization then look at businesses or companies that have mastered glocalization. Look at beverage brands such as Coca-Cola. Consider consumer electronics brands such as Huawei or Samsung. Look at fast food brands such as McDonalds and KFC. If you closely study them you will learn a lot about what glocalization entails. The Zimbabwean population is quite small. It is even much smaller when you look at those with buying power. That is why you need to glocalize in order to widen your pool of prospects. You do not need to stretch yourself. Simply start by setting your eyes on regional countries first e.g. our neighbouring countries. If you conquer that then anything becomes possible globally.