Many of us would have heard of the term “globalisation”. After all, the shrinking global boundaries, the speed with which we can traverse across different countries, the technology that helps us communicate with practically anyone in a matter of mere seconds around the world, and more are really changing how companies do business on an international scale.
But what is “glocalisation” and what factors should you consider if you’re thinking of entering a new market? We take a closer look.
What is globalisation?
While globalisation is a pretty well-known term, “glocalisation” is less so, but with no less significance. Coined in 1980 by Roland Robertson in Harvard Business Review, it is an amalgamation of the terms “globalisation” and “localisation”, which essentially means that companies that have gone global are also adjusting their offering to local markets through various strategies to ensure they gain deeper and more effective market penetration, and subsequently, to have a better bottom line.
What are the driving forces behind it?
Given the above-mentioned meaning of glocalisation, what are some of the driving forces behind it? Some say that it’s due to three main reasons:
- Labour removal from the supply chain and manufacturing equation because of automation and digitisation
- A shift away from traditional supply chains: flexibility, resilience and customer experience have the potential to affect the bottom line
- Owing to Covid-19, there’s increased collaboration between market players, helping to resolve bottlenecks.
Factors to consider
When a company enters a local market, whether it speaks the same language as the company or not, there are several factors to consider in going the more “local” route. For example, companies will need to consider some of the following factors:
- Politics and laws: the relationships between countries and their historic ties can affect which products or services are imported and permitted or rejected.
- The environment: it’s critical for companies to ensure that they are not breaching any environmental laws and are also not contributing to climate change through their entry into the local market.
- Macroeconomics: some of the main metrics to consider when comparing countries include the gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates, income inequality and currency exchange rates.
- Human rights: labour laws are different in every country and as a business, you need to do thorough research into the target market’s rules and regulations so as not to exploit the labour force.
- Cultural differences: having respect for the local culture by knowing what’s offensive and what’s not can help you strengthen your business relationships.
- Language barriers: You’ll also need to localise your content for the local market to ensure that all language barriers are eradicated and you have a smooth flow of communication.
Advantages and disadvantages
Here are the main pros and cons of glocalisation:
- Your business can expand to foreign, local markets
- You can enjoy increased sales
- You can also enjoy global brand recognition
- Connect to more customers better
- Create jobs for the local economy
- Failure is a possibility
- It’s difficult to implement
- It can affect local businesses through competition and product pricing
Global business expansion through local market entry is an exciting and possibly profitable move. After all, many companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and many others have done so successfully. However, it’s not a method of mere replication or copy/paste of the product or service from one market to the next.
Localisation will be required to ensure you truly can reach the local consumer base so that they not only recognise your brand as a global one but also ensure that they become loyal customers which you can serve with your offering. Ultimately, thorough research will need to be undertaken before embarking on such a journey, and it’s also crucial to consider using the expertise of local professionals before market entry to ensure your planned expansion plans are smooth and productive.