Global Marketing

Global Branding vs. Glocalization

Global Branding

Global branding uses a standardized strategy to maintain a consistent brand image and identity around the globe. Global brands seek to standardize their positioning, advertising, personality, and product offering. (Harvard Business Review). Prime examples of companies using global branding include Google, Apple, Amazon, and Nike. Further analysis of Apple will illustrate the company's ability to release one iPhone model for all countries (standardization).

Global branding, while limiting the amount of adaptation, allows companies to achieve economies of scale. On the contrary, companies that seek to adapt their branding strategy for every country/culture will incur added costs. Additionally, global branding helps firms maintain consistent brand identity across geographic borders.

Advantages to global branding include consistent brand identity, economies of scale, and being global adds to the brand's perceived value. Global brands tend to be more visible than local brands. Firms utilizing global branding can rely on the following strategies: solo branding, hallmark branding, family (umbrella) branding, or extension branding.

What is Glocalization?

Glocalization is best characterized by firms that create a product or service for the global market (standardized product/service) but adapt to local cultures. McDonald's has adopted a glocalization strategy in Arab counties. In India, McDonald's has adapted its menu options to include chicken, lamb, and vegetarian options to address religious differences. ( Rather than provide a standardized product to countries worldwide, McDonald's is taking a proactive approach in adapting its product to meet local customer demands. Another company using glocalization is Starbucks in India, where they adapt their food menu options to restrict beef/pork options and increase the variety of vegetarian alternatives. Using a standardized approach may have impacted each company's success and brand image in these specific examples. The product adaptation was critical to their success.

McArabia has launched a pita sandwich with grilled chicken.
Starbucks India food options

Companies that use glocalization think big but act locally. Companies looking to expand internationally should consider if their product or service is well suited for standardization. A higher level of standardization allows for brand consistency and lower capital expenditure for adaptation. However, some companies must use glocalization to build their brand globally because their product or service requires adaptation to meet local customer demand. Global branding and glocalization are effective strategies, and a firm must decide what strategy best suits its needs.