Is Brexit the catalyst to refocus marketing from global to local?

The global swing toward nationalism, says Damian Pincus, means that while global brands have a place, they need to reposition themselves to custom fit each market or risk being beaten out by local brands.

To me, the vote from the English people is a clear vote for nationalism – it certainly seems like a vote for disintegration not integration. And this is a pattern I’m seeing more and more.

The fact that Australians voted for more Independent parties in this election, a 6% swing on the last election supports this, as does the rise of Donald Trump promising to “Make America Great Again”. The premise for these changes is simple: who doesn’t want their country to be great?

Damian Pincus - Founder and Creative Partner - The Works

This is a clear signal for CEOs and marketers that consumers want companies and brands that feel local not global. That are investing in local initiatives, sourcing locally and helping local communities come together and feel like they are helping drive our nation forward and improving our lives.

This still means that while global brands have a place, they need to use smart global thinking while still positioning themselves as part of the fabric of society in their consumers lives. Otherwise they risk being beaten out by local brands.

If you look at the evolution of the beer industry from mainstream to craft this movement is speeding up not slowing down.

Beer and WineConsumers see and experience brands that are well made and feel local. This explains why there are microbreweries popping up everywhere, but these places are not just about brewing – they have opened their doors and let in locals to get together, eat, listen to live music and connect.

They are positioning themselves to be doing so much more than making beer.

Big global companies and brands have important roles to play as they are extremely important to the economy and if they want ongoing growth they are going to have to look at some of these trends.

Google and Facebook are two prime examples that I think could stop the negativity that is building around them by just simply paying the right amount of tax in Australia.

People want everyone to be treated the same – it’s simple and when actioned can mean more acceptance and engagement from the community.

google avoids paying tax in australia website screen shot

At a Cannes session two years ago led by David Droga and John Hegarty, the duo spoke about global advertising claiming “global thinking is fine but global execution seems to be missing the point”.

The position they took was “what is the value of work that doesn’t touch people, advertising has to be part of the fabric of culture?”.

I think they are right and the headwinds are strong. It’s time for brands, local and global to strive to touch people and make a real difference to how we live our lives.david droga john hegarty video screen grab

People’s views of the world are changing and we want our own backyards to be fixed – so maybe we should think about that first before we start to think global again?

It was only a decade ago I sat in research groups listening to people talk about Kellogg’s, Cadbury, Jim Beam as local brands that felt part of the fabric of Australia. It’s an exciting time for our industry as a whole as we can help companies on this journey and become more consumer centric.

Damian Pincus is the founder of and creative partner at The Works


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