FEATURE28 January 2021

Impact Report: Localisation of research helps brands understand cultural nuance

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The balance of globalisation has shifted in the past 20 years. For brands looking to target international efforts and evaluate opportunities at a global scale, tailoring their market research to local nuance is a vital first step. By Richard Young.

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The global economy is here to stay. But 2020 taught us that, within that global picture, local markets evolve unevenly, unpredictably and are subject to rapid change. That’s made multi-market insights even more essential for global brands and those planning to expand internationally as we enter a new era for regional trade relationships.

Finding the right balance between local insights and global uniformity is hard. The marketing history books are littered with examples of a basic failure to localise, often with hilarious consequences [see ‘What’s in a name?’, below]. More seriously, global brands face a challenge: ensure research controls for cultural, language and infrastructure differences, but also generate insights that can be benchmarked across markets and aggregated to inform global decisions.

“As a global brand, you want to use the same product and the same campaign everywhere, ” says Stephen Phillips, chief executive at Zappi. “You need to know how many compromises are ...