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How Glocalization Helps Global Companies Win Local Markets
July 5, 2017 - By: - In: Multilingual Web - Comments Off on How Glocalization Helps Global Companies Win Local Markets

If you pop over to a Starbucks, you can always order a Caffe Latte or a Caramel Macchiato. And that’s true whether you find yourself in New York or Buenos Aires. If you’re in Peru though, you could also try ordering an Algarrobina Frappuccino. It’s Starbucks’s take on a flavor popular in Peruvian cuisine. But why would Starbucks offer this?

Companies Leading the Way

Many businesses with global strategies rely heavily on standardizing their products for multiple countries. Like that Caramel Macchiato I just mentioned. However, tastes are not the same the world over.

Can you imagine McDonald’s, a hamburger fast food chain, selling their beef in India, a place where over 80% of the population identifies as Hindu and honors cows? Yet McDonald’s has locations in dozens of cities across India. They sell Indian-inspired vegetarian burgers like the McAloo Tikki and the Masala Grill Veg (which they call “as Indian as it gets”) alongside chicken and fish options.

Glocalization has helped McDonald’s, Starbucks and other global players to win more customers and achieve higher sales internationally. But what is it exactly and how can other companies replicate their success?

The Secrets of Glocalization

Glocalization is the process of adapting global products to better fit a local market, or to create entirely new products with the local market in mind. In other words, glocalization is all about market customization. Glocalization helps companies connect with foreign demographics in a way that “one size fits all” just can’t.

This isn’t limited to product creation or adaptation; in glocalization, marketing is equally important, or even more important I would argue. Effective marketing is how global brands have become recognizable around the world and more financially successful – truly adapting their marketing and advertising messages to local tastes and customs.

This doesn’t mean simply translating headquarters’ marketing messages into multiple languages and then disseminating them uniformly. Great glocalization requires transcreation. Here localized strategies are created for each target language and target audience, and designed to elicit the desired action through the most effective medium.

These strategies should fit within the framework of the business’s goals, yet the messages will resonate directly with local consumers on a deeper level. I invite you to read our white paper on transcreation to learn more about the process.

How Your Company Gets More Customers, Higher Sales

Would your company like to reach global audiences more successfully? Responsive Translation specializes in helping organizations make deeper connections with international audiences. We have an extensive network of experienced translators, marketers, copywriters and editors who work in over 150 languages and dialects. Please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or

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