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Globalization vs. Glocalization - Is it a Necessary Differentiation?



The first time I heard of the term ‘glocalization’ was when I was a senior in college in 2006 and it stuck with me my entire professional life. Actually, that was the only clear item that I could remember from college studies :).


When we think about ‘globalization’, we first think about the international reach of global brands, products, and services. However, globalization does not apply to global brands when they’re trying to tap into local markets and that’s exactly when the term ‘glocalization’ takes the spotlight.


It’s important to know the exact meanings of these terms and how they differ for companies when targeting global and local at the same time. Globalization describes the interdependence growth of world economies, cultures, and populations drawn together by border trading of goods and services, investment, and information. It includes all activities connected at a global level or products and services going global.


On the other hand, glocalization combines both global and local marketing strategies to create a customized product or service that serves the needs of a specific market.


Are there any differences or similarities between these terms?

The answer to both is yes! Let’s start with detailing some of the differences.


The major difference between globalization and glocalization is mostly about the products. Global products include all that are traded at a global scale, whereas glocalization refers to products that went global, but then were tailored to the localization needs to fit in. With globalization, a brand’s products tend to reach different parts of the world, but global products can only be found in the areas, where people want to customize them accordingly. It’s not about changing the form of a product, but more about protecting the current shape that is given originally. On the contrary, glocalization changes the product or the service significantly so that the local market would be able to accept and make use of it. Moreover, globalization connects people worldwide with different sources and cultures, while glocalization is more on the conservative end connecting local people and local aspects.


How about the similarities?


The most common similarity between these two keywords is that they both point in the direction of products that scale to the global markets after being marketed by the producers. We see that a lot of local products then turn into global ones linking different countries and cultures through the networking of companies. They help to improve international relations and communications via the trading of different products and services. There is an influence effect of both globalization and glocalization on each other in terms of turning a local product into a global one and vice versa.


Lastly, let’s answer our main question. Is glocalization a necessary differentiation?


Glocalization is absolutely necessary because it promotes international products and services in the local markets and cultures enabling a wider range of use. It also allows people to enjoy their loved products without having to travel the distance, especially saving them money. Furthermore, it allows local businesses to venture into globally scaling ones by adjusting their products according to the market needs combining local and worldwide elements.

Most importantly, glocalization helps underdeveloped countries connect with developed ones financially helping them get to a better standard of living.


To sum it up, glocalization is a great investment, but it also can be costly though, it will provide businesses with a wider range of reach for their targeted markets in different cultures. That way, local businesses get the opportunity to be able to compete in the global market effectively and improve themselves both financially and in terms of the quality of business.


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