In recent years borders have been opened increasingly to promote free trade. Nevertheless, marketing is still confronted with psychological borders. For example, dark chocolate sells well in France but not in Germany, though it is regarded as a high-quality product in both countries. Another example: lingerie that met with great acceptance in Scandinavia had little appeal in Spain, though test persons in both nations assessed the quality as being the same.
When rheingold examines the background of different market developments, it invariably finds that local standards play a role. In Germany, for instance, dark chocolate is often considered at best to be a mens product, while in France it is regarded as a top-quality item. The two countries also have different cultural conceptions of lingerie in this case the respective conception of femininity has an enormous influence on which products consumers buy. So is all business local?
No, because the fact is that many consumers buy successful international products and brands. Mercedes, Dunhill, Coca-Cola, Marlboro, and Montblanc are examples of brands that have met with a great deal of international acceptance, and they support the notion of a global village. If one follows their example, the primary aim is to find and appeal to key motives that are highly relevant for consumers across all cultures. In this case, gearing products to local needs would be a strategic error.
However, Rheingolds depth-psychological analyses show that even internationally successful brands are ultimately, in different ways, rooted at the local level. One could put it this way: they are only globally successful for different local reasons. The brand Montblanc, for example, is associated with religion in Japan, for U.S. Americans Montblanc products are showpieces, and in Germany they are tied to upper-middle class tradition.
Rheingolds qualitative analyses show that in the end markets are both global and local; they are "glocal." If marketing and communication are to be successful internationally, local business has to be put in a global context, and vice versa. As a result, rheingolds international team has set itself the task of examining consumer motivation serving "glocal" strategies. To meet this challenge, our team includes native speakers from many different countries. Our research focal points, in addition to Europe, are the United States and Japan. Test us!