Glocal: Aligning Cultural Insights with a Global Brand

While quickly making my way up the Delta Medallion program, I get the amazing opportunity to see some great things, talk to some interesting people, and think about how brands interact with consumers all around the world. It’s amazing how different the world is and how varying the cultural dissimilarities. As digital and social continue to make this world smaller, global companies can no longer hold to the “blanket” approach to global distribution or operations. No longer can a company hold strong to “mass cultural complexities, they must now shift down to the individual consumer level in their areas of global operation. It’s amazing see what AG Lafley did in the US to propel P&G into a bold turnaround simply by sitting and understanding his consumer transfer across their company globally.

We have at our fingertips a great capability to begin this transformation. Digital and social media isn’t just permeating the households of the US but now is estimated at reaching 1.2 billion people worldwide. A great place to gather tremendous insights and begin the journey to cultural and individual understanding. But is this enough? Is the mask of 1.2 billion people enough to make a segmented observation? I challenge that it is not.

Tangible human touch will be the driver for true, individual consumer understanding.

In each culture that I’ve had the opportunity to engage with has provided one common theme, human touch. There is and will never be a replacement to sitting with and communicating with the individuals in a particular culture. As a digital native, I like to think that I understand the benefits, but more importantly the limitations of digital and social. Tangible human touch will be the driver for true, individual consumer understanding. Then with this information, we, as brands, can deliver the messaging and value needed to become a catalyst for their life.

Puma garnered this information with that tangible human touch, derived specific insights, aligned these insights with their brand mantra and delivered this highly relevant, highly local experience that elevates their brand to the global scale.

As an example, one thing that Puma does at the retail level is to really understand the architectural livelihood, the consumer passions, and shopping personalities of each of their demographic locations, then marries this understanding with the brand mantra to create highly local experiences with a global brand connection. Matching this with the engagement capabilities of digital in store and out, they are able to engage on a very specific promise with each individual consumer. Puma garnered this information with that tangible human touch, derived specific insights, aligned these insights with their brand mantra and delivered this highly relevant, highly local experience that elevates their brand to the global scale.

Photo courtesy of Flickr – Etrusia UK

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