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National and Global, United States

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lettuce Pray

Localization vs Globalization

Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture, and desired local "look-and-feel." Ideally, a product or service is developed so that localization is relatively easy to achieve - for example, by creating food products which can be easily adapted to the local culture or even neighborhood, even if you are a chain or a franchise. Then you can “internationalize” the product, by moving it into the mainstream. Then the product becomes easier to ‘localize’.

Additionally, if you take it one step further, you now get into “globalization”.
That is the process of first enabling a product to be localized for different national audiences and then moving it to a global footprint.

Globalization is the current mindset of most major food franchises. Once identified, it’s easy to accomplish. It’s industrial line operation, and it can be ‘cookie cut’ across demographics.

So, there are three steps to becoming a ‘franchise foodie renegade’: Localization, internationalization, and globalization…all from one revolutionary decision, to create products for the local culture and demographics. Going full circle now since most franchise food relies on the globalization commodity and brand.

For instance, They say Japanese food is now globalized, but at a second glance, only a few dishes are. The same goes for Italian food. Among ordinary people, what's familiar about it beyond pizza and pasta? Thus, you have customers of various nationalities and cultural backgrounds that a ‘foodie renegade’ will attempt to address, even within the confines of a franchise agreement that clearly states, that you can’t do it.

Thus, if you indeed think out of whatever box you are into to, you have ‘renegades’ who are willing to risk creating a ‘localized’ product, move to an ‘international’ platform and then ‘globalize’ the hell out of it. All by going against the grain of the commodity product they are typically forced to sell.

Example: Take McDonald's. It's a hamburger franchise but launches localized items in every country it taps into. I think that's partly the reason that the brand appealed to global citizens so quickly in a short period of time.

Another example is that Chinese food in Indonesia is very much influenced by local cuisine. The result was the creation of Peranakan food. Chinese cuisine which makes use of local spices. So, it’s a cross between Chinese and Indonesian food. Even in fast food. All with the objective of localization within a different cultural imperative.

Thus, where there is a natural opportunity to create real localized menu selections under the ‘brand’, without artificially forcing a menu selection on a local population; and you have the guts and wherewithal to do it…then why not just do it? McDonalds’ does.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously spoken by someone grounded in the reality of the world we currently live. The premise based on fact and vision by one could can obviously see a path to the future and success of and industry.


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