Friday, 6 February 2015

The Importance of Being Local (and Being Local Everywhere)

We all know the HSBC slogan. "The World's Local Bank". It's a great line. It sums up one of the most important qualities for international brands- or at least a lot of them. Some brands can get away with being monolithic, unchanging, global. But most have to bend to local trends and mores in some way. And for many, embracing the local is how to really win over the audience, and create a rapport.

A great example I've heard of recently is Maybelline. (You might be able to guess I'm not part of their target market, but I still like it.) Maybelline New York is, as you might guess, proud of its US heritage. It is explicitly tied to New York, to New York style, to the image of New York glamour.

But (and this is key) it does not present its proudly New Yorker style through only one lense. Maybelline is global in its approach because it engages with its audience country by country. Take its YouTube page- or rather, its YouTube pages. It has multiple pages for different countries, each reflecting the Maybelline core brand, but each also reflecting the realities of local interests.

My personal favourite is the Maybelline Sweden page. It has all the trappings of a well formed social media content page: branding, lifestyle tips, news announcements. Some are in English, some in Swedish. Still better (and this is half the reason I've written this entire post) they have a local fashion stylist who stars in videos and adds a level of fun and engaged, personal service to the page. (The guy is Jonas Hallberg- according to a Swedish friend of mine he's a judge on Sweden's Next Top Model. All I know is he's hilarious and awesome.)

It's a simple trick. Make content relatable. Even if you have a global brand, little tweaks can be enough to turn something from merely interesting into something genuinely engaging.

Check it out here

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