glocal vs local in digital

Back in 2005, I was sitting with a sales consultant devising a sales strategy and a sales process for my business when he asked the golden question, “So Husam, what is your company’s USP (Unique Selling Point)?” My answer was, “We are GLOCAL.” I thought I invented the term, but I later found that it already existed—the Japanese coined it sometime around 1980.

What it Means to Go Glocal

An organization can adapt the phrase “think globally and act locally” to work for the digital space. In my business, it is: “Global Knowledge. Local Results.” The same can apply in any company, but with slight variations based on their own USPs from a Glocal perspective. You cannot be disconnected from the world anymore and claim to be just local or just global. Either way, being in the digital space means you have no choice but to be Glocal.

In the digital era, we are acting Glocally all the time. We put a website up for the local market, and all of a sudden, we receive an inquiry from a country of which we haven’t even heard of before. You can also see this when, a few hours after updating your LinkedIn profile demonstrating local experience, for example, you learn that companies from abroad are trying to headhunt you. That is the power of the digital scene.

Glocal is a Relative Term

I sent an email to Merriam-Webster in 2005 asking them to add ”Glocal” to the dictionary, but I never heard back. Perhaps one day they will realize the phrase has earned its place. After all, it is is up there on Wikipedia, the Oxford English Dictionary, and even, meaning Glocal has now been adopted by people everywhere, despite what Merriam-Webster may think. That, too, is Glocalization.

Countless others have adopted the phrase and put their own spin on it as well. Glocalization again. Some people take it to mean:

  • Tailoring global products to local markets
  • The interconnection of global and local issues
  • Something that’s characterized by global and local considerations
  • The “Simultaneous occurrence of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies in contemporary social, political, and economic systems” (Wikipedia)

What Glocal Means to You

You may be applying Glocalization to your existing strategies, but if you’re not, it’s something I can help you with. I have always thought Glocally, and I ask my clients to do the same, so we can maximize their potential. A few areas we’ll address when you work with me include:

Leveraging global best practices and innovative strategies

Having spent as much time in the digital scene as I have while working with clients all over the world, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about which strategies are in practice just about everywhere. Not only do I leverage the tried-and-true methods, but I’m also among the first to hear about and implement emerging strategies that can benefit businesses too. In this sense, my clients implement global best practices and pioneering methods without limiting themselves to local benchmarks.

Moving from a locally-focused business to a globally-focused business

When I work with a new client, I encourage them to explore the possibility of serving a larger territory and being prepared to receive inquiries outside their current target market. Why? Because the Internet makes it possible for a local brand to attract global attention. We are no longer limited to brick-and-mortar stores to do business. We can do business with the entire world, but we need to be ready for it. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all types of companies, but the majority should think global when they embark on their digital presence.

Expanding operations from a local to global

The clients I work with routinely expand their operations outside their initial market to serve the global demand available for their business.

Go Glocal

Realistically, we have no choice but to be Glocal nowadays. Your business is Glocal from the moment your first website goes live or you create your company’s Facebook page. The difference comes in as to whether you choose to embrace Glocalization and thrive, or let opportunities slip by. If you’re ready to go Glocal, contact me for help.

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