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glocalization and globalization
Everything Translation

Glocalization vs. Globalization

Let’s discuss the main differences between Glocalization vs. Globalization. In a nutshell:

Globalization refers to the process of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence among countries through the exchange of goods, services, and ideas. Glocalization refers to the adaptation of global products and strategies to local markets and cultures. While globalization emphasizes a global perspective and homogenization, glocalization involves considering both global and local perspectives and allowing for cultural diversity.

The new term in global business is Glocalization – a silly name for a very smart idea in global company.

You may be familiar with the term globalization. When a business wants its services or products to reach a multi-market audience, it’ll contact a language translator to help translate brochures, advertising taglines, and other marketing tools. The top-down approach of simply translating content and throwing it to the target market depicts globalization. 

However, glocalization takes a different marketing approach. It starts by understanding the local culture and language of the target audience, and then designing a marketing translation strategy around the local particularities. When comparing glocalization vs globalization, the former is more effective in winning over the local market. But what do these terms mean?

What Is Glocalization?

Glocalization is a blend of terms derived from ‘globalization’ and ‘localization’ used in reference to items developed and distributed internationally but adjusted to meet the unique needs of consumers in the local markets. In other words, it reflects the need to customize globally generated products and services to satisfy a local population based on their culture, behavior, laws, or consumer preference. 

Why is Glocalization Important?

When products are adapted to the local communities’ tastes and preferences, it allows multinational companies to acquire trust and grow in those particular regions. Adopting a glocal strategy is crucial if a business is under high pressure for local responsiveness, but the opportunities for leveraging the company’s skills are available. 

As more communities adopt glocalized products, the company increases global scale of its revenue collection. Foreign revenue helps the firm to decongest local competitors and release pressure on the source as it opens more branches in newer geographical locations.

What Are Some Examples of Glocalization?

Glocalization assumes many forms and degrees. For example, a car model sold globally might be customized to fit particular requirements in the local market, including emission standards and steering wheel position. Instead of the common left-sided steering wheels, car manufacturers in the UK build steering wheels on the right according to local laws. 

The food and beverage industry is another field leveraging glocalization to expand and enhance revenue. McDonald’s Corporation and Coca-Cola have employed a glocal strategy in penetrating the local markets in different regions, including China and Europe. Instead of the all-familiar Ronald McDonald mascot, the fast-food giant uses Asterix in France as part of its glocalization strategy. On the other hand, Coca-Cola customizes packaging and distribution to identify with the local market while maintaining its global authenticity. 

What Is the Differences Between Globalization and Glocalization?

Globalization vs Glocalization

Globalization refers to the distribution and spread of ideas, products, or services across international borders by economic, political, or social entities. While globalization entails distributing an item globally without considering any regional differences, glocalization ensures that a product distributed is customized to suit the needs, culture, and laws of the local population.

Thus globalization protects the form of a product assigned by the source to maintain its ‘global’ status, while glocalization allows tweaking the item to develop a local entity. Globalization promotes the homogenization of consumers and cultures worldwide, whereas glocalization recognizes the uniqueness of traditions, customs, and behavior and focuses on developing products to fulfill unique needs of local customers.

Here is a table that summarizes the main differences between globalization and glocalization:

The process of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence among countries through the exchange of goods, services, and ideasThe process of adapting global products and strategies to local markets and cultures
Emphasizes a global perspective and the homogenization of markets and culturesConsiders both global and local perspectives and allows for cultural diversity
Involves the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems on a global scaleBalances the benefits of globalization with the need to respect and accommodate local cultures and preferences
Can lead to increased economic efficiency and exchange, but may also result in negative consequences such as cultural homogenization and the loss of local traditionsAims to achieve a balance between the global and the local, seeking to maximize the benefits of globalization while minimizing its negative impacts

Similarities Between Globalization and Glocalization 

Both terms are used in reference to products and services with the potential of trading globally when marketed accordingly, as some glocal products have broken regional limits and gained international popularity. Again, globalization and glocalization favor the networking of companies in different countries, thereby enhancing international relations. 

In Summary

Although globalization has been the trend for many companies seeking new markets to expand operations, a more practical approach is emerging, glocalization. Instead of building a product or service and pushing it down the throat of consumers in a foreign market, glocalization focuses on developing items that resonate with the local tradition and culture. In other words, globalization assumes a top-down approach, whereas glocalization takes the bottom-up model.


Translation vs localization

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Liraz Postan

Liraz is an International SEO and Content Expert with over 13 years of experience.


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