Globalisation and localisation

Globalisation | International PR | Localisation
If you’re from the UK, you’ll probably think of malted milk drink Horlicks as a relaxing beverage before bed. However, if you’re from India, you’re more likely to think of it as a breakfast drink, given to children before school to boost their energy. This is just one example of how a global product has been localised to boost its brand in different markets.

By Jennifer Barnes, senior account executive at Stone Junction 

While many companies are increasingly going global, exporting their products and services to new countries, localisation has its place in some markets. When selling the same products across the world, it can be tempting to stick with the same marketing strategy in the new markets.

However, even some of the world’s largest companies have fallen foul to this. eBay’s launch in China failed after two years as the brand’s recognition in the US market failed to translate into China.

Airbnb has learnt from this mistake and has rebranded itself as Aibiying in China, which translates to welcome each other with love. Not only is this easier to pronounce for Chinese speakers, it’s a concerted effort by the brand to localise itself to the market.

When working on international PR campaigns for our clients, we speak to the company’s country heads, local journalists and international trade advisers, to ensure that the messaging is appropriate for each individual country.

We often find that representatives in each country have different priorities. It could be as simple as one sector being more prominent in the new market, or the new country could have different challenges, such as unreliable power quality. All the marketing messages must reflect this.

In the engineering industry for example, while the trend for connected devices in the plant may span the globe, it could have different names, as attested by one of our previous blog posts. Branding your product as being ‘Industry 4.0 enabled’ may not mean anything to potential customers in China.

It’s important to balance a global outlook with a localised marketing strategy. While some marketing content can be used across all markets, this should be carefully considered and interspersed with some localised content, to ensure it resonates with the needs of each territory.

So, if you’re developing a global marketing strategy, or are just starting exporting and are not sure how to approach your new markets, why not speak to our international PR specialists? Give us a call on +44(0)1785 225416 or email me at for a free consultation.


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