Adapt to your local consumer but maintain global brand ethos

The Glocal mantra

By Elton Noronha

The concept of Glocal involves delivering a globally accepted product or fashion or trend in an indigenized package that echoes with the sentiment of the local consumer. To deliver this though, it is essential to have thorough knowledge about the local market and the way things work there. As Mohit Khattar, CEO, Baskin Robbins emphasizes, “Let’s not forget that the customer today is aspirational and is globalized in terms of the information available. When it comes to global brands, customers know what they want, and it is for this reason that I believe that such brands must maintain their global ethos, but customize other aspects of the product to suit local customer preferences. In this way, you’re communicating to the local market that your brand is keen to work with the customer and for the customer, which is always a great way to grow the business and create brand resonance.”

Targeting the aspirational value of the consumer and delivering products that fulfils these aspirations forms another integral aspect of being truly Glocal, as Dilip Kapur, MD, HiDesign mentions, “Everyone aspires for a better lifestyle, and therein lies the big advantage to being global. As a brand, if you’re successful globally, it presents you with the opportunity to represent a global lifestyle in the local market, and fulfil those global aspirations that local consumers have. That, in itself, is an extremely powerful tool that brands must be able to harness in the most positive sense of business.”

To this Kavindra Mishra, CEO & MD, Pepe Jeans India adds, “While it is extremely important to tap on the aspiration of the consumer, do remember that the customer today is extremely smart and extremely aware. The access of information through the internet is so vast and so quick, that you really cannot afford to be relaxed in your approach. Remember, consumers are extremely finicky with their demands, and from one source or the other, they will have these demands fulfilled. You’ve got to be able to deliver good products that uphold their global brand value (in terms of quality etc), while also ensuring that the local flavor (in terms of design etc) is maintained. That will help you connect with the consumer, and if they like your product for what it is, they’ll keep coming back to you. You’ve already got global brand value, so the idea is actually to create local market value!”

Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller India touches upon other key aspects of the retail mix as he mentions, “While you maintain global positioning – be it your ethos or any other aspect, you need to understand that pricing is another key factor determining brand loyalty. Segment your consumers right – you can’t be everything for everyone, so don’t even waste time in trying. On the retail part of it, i.e. purely in terms of operations, keep it local. On the product part of it, i.e. the look and feel etc, keep it global. That, I guess, is the perfect mix of being Glocal.”

Bhavik Zaveri, Director, Ambab Infotech sums it up by sharing, “At the end of the day, it’s all about delivering the right product to the customer. Brands that use technology to educate consumers and learn more about the consumers so that they can customize their products and solutions to deliver exactly what the market wants/desires, will be leaders in their domain. And that’s the honest truth!”

Based on the Retail Leadership Summit 2017 panel discussion Going Glocal: Wooing the local customer. Moderator: Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India & MD-Creative Garments Panelists: Kavindra Mishra, CEO & MD, Pepe Jeans India; Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller India; Mohit Khattar, CEO, Baskin Robbins; Dilip Kapur, President, HiDesign; Bhavik Zaveri, Director, Ambab Infotech

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