Global vs. Local Brand Marketing Strategies

Today, more and more companies look to the entire globe as their market. This global presence has become possible for any brand who follows the right creative strategy and has a multinational market perspective. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. A huge difficulty companies are facing today is the inability to isolate local brand-building from global brand-building. This is in part due to the unavoidable exposure of your local brand campaign in the international internet space. This does not mean local brand strategies are useless. Rather, it means the approach to both strategies must be carefully considered. In the following article, we will be defining and comparing a global marketing strategy with a local marketing strategy. We also include some practical examples to help guide you!

global marketing strategy vs local marketing strategy

Global Brand Marketing

Global brand marketing is a strategy that involves discovering the needs of potential buyers outside your home country and across the globe. This process often involves new market research and an analysis of where your product/service will be successful. This can include translating your social strategies across multiple languages or changing your food menu to cater to the preferences of a particular region. 

What to Remember for Global Brand Marketing

Here are a few effective points to remember when working on global branding:

  • Generate best practices and insights within multiple countries;
  • Revolve all the steps around a global brand plan (the center);
  • Assign responsibilities for brand managers to make cross-country synergies;
  • Execute approach. 

It’s important to note that a brilliant campaign for the trendy city of New York might translate well in London. But what about non-Western countries? How might they interpret the message? So you can’t always just copy and paste your strategy across the globe, you have to really consider multiple factors. Also, because we are living in a digital age where information gets translated and spread very quickly, be wary of the negative implications a bad campaign can have on your entire brand image. 

Factors to Consider in Global Brand Marketing

When it comes to the process of global branding, here are a few steps you may want to consider. First, you need an in-depth examination of the brand (heritage, strengths, etc.), competitors, and the potential customers (including both quantitative data and personas.) Next, go beyond the functional benefits of your product/service. This means the emotional touch and user imagery that is reflected onto the brand personality. Third, you want to connect with the customers, so create programs and events to engage your people while communicating the brand identity. 

Choose Your Approach 

Finally, you will need to choose between a top-down or bottoms-up approach. What does this mean? A top-down approach starts with the global brand strategy and incorporates elements from the country or community within it. A country brand strategist might take an element of the brand’s identity and twist it around to fit the new context. This is particularly useful when translating terms and ideas across languages.

On the other hand, a bottoms-up approach is when the global brand strategy is formed from the countries’ brand strategies. Generally, countries’ brand strategies are organized together based on similarities. These categories can include market maturity (developed, underdeveloped, emerging) or competition (is the brand a challenger or leading figure in the area?) Over time, it is important to develop synergies and common elements among these countries for the overall global branding. 

global brand marketing

Global Branding Examples 


One example of a brand which thinks in “Glocal” terms, meaning it considers and conducts extensive research on both the local market and the global one, is McDonalds. They carefully assess the target audience, competition, strategies, offerings, and more in order to cater to multiple markets. Overall, McDonald’s branding is the same across the globe. However, their menu choices cater to regional specialities. Some of these choices include a Ebi Filet-O Shrimp Burger in Japan, a Pineapple Oreo McFlurry in Columbia, or a McShrimp in Russia. 

Dolce and Gabbana

This second example is one you should avoid replicating. It is a 2018 campaign by Dolce and Gabbana based in China. They did not consider the fact that humor and creativity is culture-bound. They paid a huge price for this mistake. The video features an Asian woman eating Italian dishes (including pizza, pasta, and cannoli) with chopsticks. The video starts with a voiceover in Mandarin translating to  “Welcome to the 1st episode of ‘Eating with Chopsticks’ by Dolce & Gabbana.”

In fact, the voiceover was pronounced in a way to ridicule Chinese speech and accent. This type of humor was rejected by the Chinese community and condemned for being based on racist stereotypes. This is an important lesson to keep in mind, which is: creative thought in this context is limited to cultural norms, traditions, beliefs, and values. Political views, gender balance, and history are some factors to remember when using humor in your strategy. This is important in order to avoid any major content marketing mistakes


A third example is by Shopify, a rapidly growing software as a service (SaaS) company. The rapid growth of the company is largely due to the global marketing strategy they follow. Basically, Shopify makes sites that not only translate to other languages, but also create localized content. This is not simply translating a site from English to German. Instead, it reworks the page setup to include German blogs and culturally relevant info. This location-specific content across the globe has massively increased the potential reach and right target audience for Shopfiy. This is when you would need an SEO expert to optimize your content rankings.

global branding

Local Marketing

Unlike global brand marketing, local marketing is much more centralized and focused on a small target audience. This means that for a localized marketing strategy, the end goal is precise, which is why you want to choose a particular group of people to reach it. Not all products work well anywhere in the world, and that’s why choosing a particular area can help you save money, time, and energy. Once you do the research and establish what your target markets are, you narrow it down and begin to brainstorm campaign ideas. Remember – without the right research results and statistics, you are much less likely to reach the target audience you’re looking for. 

It’s important to include various purchasing preferences for each country (such as multiple currency options.) And don’t forget to consider cultural norms and expectations. Establishing your business within a local community is a great first step to growth and generating brand awareness. One way to do that is by improving local SEO rankings and localizing your paid ads. You should localize your social media content by tagging geographical areas and cities near the business. Let’s talk about this more next. 

Utilize Local SEO

In local marketing, you can utilize local SEO. This is the practice of adding local keywords to your SEO technique. The more you add keywords based on your geographical location, the better your rankings will appear for local searchers. You can include your location in your hashtags, location tab, or captions. In addition, you should add your business to local listings. This includes websites like Yelp, Bing Places, FourSquare, or Yahoo Local. Next, you should make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Also, Google my Business now has a feature where users can message your business with a click of a button (located next to the “Call” and “Directions” buttons). Lastly, attempt at improving your e-commerce business services. This could be by adding a new delivery option for local customers or free in-store returns and pick-up. 

local marketing examples

Local Marketing Examples


One example of a good local marketing strategy is the ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner Campaign’ by Nike. The reason the campaign was so successful is because they targeted the outskirts of London, with lesser known areas such as Peckham and Dalston, and pointed peoples attention to it. By shedding light on these areas, they demonstrated how talent is present in all corners of London city – not only the most wealthy. This was a great success and even won awards at Cannes Lion. 


Another example of a good localized marketing strategy is by Activia. The company generated conversations about women’s well-being and self-beliefs. This was successful because they conducted a study and found an important insight. 80% of women aged 25 – 55 living in the United States believe that they “are their own worst critic.” As a result, they began conducting personal and honest interviews with American women who deal with negative self-beliefs and self-doubt. In the following “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t” video, ordinary women in the United States become the voice of Activia’s brand message. 


A third example is by Coca-Cola and their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. By including the most popular regional names on their coke bottles, they were able to increase engagement and purchases. People began generating content online while holding the cans/bottles and feeling a sense of personalization. This strategy created a personal bond between the company and its customers. 

local marketing

Get Global Brand Marketing or Local Marketing Services

Perfecting your marketing strategy, both globally and locally, needs good research, creativity, and expertise, particularly because you must avoid possibly creating a bad reputation for your business. Here at SEO Design Chicago, we can offer you just that and more! 

Contact Us Today!

Call Now