Local here, global there - How can we build brands that travel globally and are loved locally?

Saurabh Sharma
Ogilvy & Mather China

I was sitting in a café, during one of my recent visits to India, when I overheard young college boys talking about their professor. “He is totally global,” said one, “I have not understood anything in any of his lectures, all through the semester - what a waste of time!”

It got me thinking. ‘Global’ in this context was being used to convey a meaning different from the way we have come to understand it in the context of globalization and the global economy. For these young boys, for example, it means unclear, vague, and difficult to understand.

It is evident that ‘global’ can end up meaning different things to different people. Why is it that the concept of global can potentially mean everything to everyone and nothing to anyone in particular?