Glocalization is the combination of both a globalization and localization strategy. It creates a universal global brand while also adapting to local culture. It differs from globalization because globalization emphasizes product standardization. Glocal marketing strategy involves adapting aspects of a marketing strategy such as tone of voice, social media strategy, brand names and colors, and word choice. The benefit is by modifying to local taste, it should make the offering more attractive to customers and therefore increase sales. With this strategy, it is important for companies to allow their business units to be flexible and make decisions based on their specific market and its competition.
Understanding culture is extremely important to the success of a Glocal marketing strategy. Culture is a large umbrella that covers many aspects of how customers will view a product or service. A company can use Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory which uses six dimensions to generally describe a country. Examples of this include collectivism vs. individualism with the United States scoring very high on the individualism side. Hiring local talent is a good idea to gain insights into how to operate operations in that specific country. Some countries may even require the use of local labor or to work with local partners.
An example of Glocalization is Mcdonalds which operates in 119 countries. Its overall strategy is to offer affordable fast food however they add or modify their menu depending on the country. For example in the Japanese Mcdonalds, they have a Teriyaki burger that adapts to local preference in taste.
However, Glocalization can be difficult to achieve for companies. It requires large investments or resources to adapt rather than just offering operating the exact same internationally. This may involve lots of time and research on local markets and competition. Also in some countries, there may be resistance to international companies coming into the market. Some customers may prefer to support their local companies.
An example of a failure of a glocal strategy is when Target expanded to Canada. Target's slogan of “Expect more, pay less” is their overall global marketing strategy that they attempted to follow. However one of the big reasons they failed was that their pricing was higher than then in the United States. 75% of Canadians lived within 100 miles of the US borders so could bring back products. They also had poor inventory planning and management with certain items always out of stock while others were in excess.