With the advent of disruptive technologies and the penetration of Internet, the polarising concept of local and global is gradually fading away. The world has turned into a single market, which means the competition has no limit. To survive in this scenario, it has become mandatory for new age entrepreneurs to think globally and act locally. In other words, the solutions offered by a company should embody a universal appeal but at the same time have immediate relevance to every local niche it caters to. This concept is called Glocalization.
For an entrepreneur, having an in depth understanding about the target consumer base is imperative. The deeper you delve into the socio-economic status of the target consumers, the greater value you can deliver with your product/services. This however, does not mean that the relevance of your solution should be limited to certain pockets only. It should carry the potential of addressing any market, irrespective of geographies.
How to Build a Glocal Business
1.Name it Right – Let’s start with the basics. The most important element of a business is its name. What’s in a name? Actually a lot. Be very careful about naming your enterprise, for you wouldn’t want your brand to carry negative connotations in any language. Hence, it’s always better to cross check. Remember the story of Chevy Nova? Take a lesson.
2.Research cultural differences– it should be carried out on two levels. First, within the country, and secondly, across countries. Cultural disparities can have a great impact on your offerings. For example, when Amazon entered India it adopted the CoD path followed by its Indian counterparts, given that Indian consumers were initially very skeptical about making prepaid payments online.
3.Study native businesses– It is mandatory to look into native businesses that offer solutions or that may share the same targeted consumer base as your business. Figure out which of their product/service sells the best, and what is the consumer opinion about that offering. Also, study the businesses that failed in the area recently, particularly businesses from other countries looking to establish their presence. It is always good to take lessons from other’s failures, so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
4.Understanding Regional Government Policies– It is imperative for an entrepreneur to have an in depth understanding of government policies which vary from country to country. Hence, entrepreneurs are expected to be well versed with the rules and regulations formulated by the government of the target country, before venturing into its market.
When Uber entered India, it had to face some serious challenge from the RBI mandate 2-step verification. At that time, the ride-booking app did not have an option for cash payment and its payment mode was restricted to automatic transaction from user’s credit card. Nevertheless, it resolved the issue by partnering with Paytm which allows customers to pay for all their rides via its mobile wallet.
5.You need to slow down– While glocalization can seem overwhelming when you have dozens of countries where your product could be sold, it is not advisable to start on such a big scale. First of, review your company’s historical sales data and put together a plan, targeting a specific country where you think your products or services might do well. Take your time. As with every marketing campaign, a well-researched glocalization campaign has the best chance of success.
6.Restrict your campaigns and make replicable framework for your business– Campaigns must always follow research. After an intensive study of the potential markets, you can come up with a series of campaigns which encapsulate the very essence of your offering. However, it is always advisable to limit the campaigns and take a pause so as to observe if they are actually able to make an impact in the market.
As much as the data of other businesses in the country can help you, the most important data is the data which you collect from your own business. Sometimes, even the best of ideas often fall out. So, it is important to keep a close eye on how well your offerings are being received in response to your efforts to glocalize your business. Hence, give it a couple of months, review your results and make required amendments in your solutions as well as the approach you pick to deliver as per the market demands. Once you succeed in one country, you’re good to start over again with another. However a critical factor remains here which demands you to create a replicable framework of your business model, which you can tweak and adjust, according to the local markets as you expand.