Everything's global, nothing's really global!: Why Global Brands With Global Values and Global Marketing Development Need Local Consumer Understanding

Federico Capeci, Clara Salmeri

INTRODUCTION: WHY A GLOBAL BRAND NEEDS AN IMMERSIVE LOCAL UNDERSTANDING

There was a time when brands would point out the benefits of its own products to a highly receptive consumer who was ready to absorb and transform the best communicative performance of the Brand into the action of buying. The Brand stated itself as a guarantee, endorser and a signature for the promise.

That was back when the consumer was identified and segmented in targets to reach, to strike; when marketing was an attacking army troop which studied the best strategies to invade the market, to enter the consumer’s home, El Dorado or free and fertile soil.

It was back when the developing dynamics of the different cultures and countries, linear from the most developed to the least developed, from covered to uncovered, would suggest a Top Down type of approach. The big brands that had earned a local trust were looking out to International markets with globalized strategies which would explicate according to the translating codified processes of the success key factors in the national cultures. The starting point was to locally copy what made the brand big which means to propose to the consumer the brand as is, with its assets of values, tangible and intangible. The consumer will be able to appreciate the USP of the brand, as long as the company is able to contextualize in the local needs and culture, through a translating process of benefits and expressive signs/codes ("be careful, white in China is associated with death").