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Going Glocal

Whether it’s Mercedes-Benz or McDonald’s, global brands have become increasingly curious and confusing. New Marketing Chair David Griffith explores the reasons why companies need to think global, but act local.  

With operations in 119 countries, McDonald’s is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. That doesn’t necessarily mean a Big Mac with fries is always the favorite choice. If you’re in Singapore, you might have a hankering for a McRice burger. Or visit any McDonald’s in Malaysia to find McD chicken porridge. 

Adapting local taste is part of a very targeted—and adaptable—marketing strategy that allows McDonald’s to “think global, act local.”

“Brands have become increasingly curious and confusing. What we have been discovering is that consumers relate in very different ways to brands,” says David Griffith, the new marketing chair with Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics. “’Glocal’ brands can be considered global brands that have worked to localize themselves by creating a strong connection to the local markets that they serve.” 

It’s a phenomenon happening is all corners of the world, in almost every industry. Mercedes-Benz has different market strategies for its European and American customers, for example. And Griffith says that approach is here to stay. 

A highly regarded researcher in the field of international marketing, Griffith comes to Lehigh’s marketing department with a distinguished academic record that includes an ongoing stint as editor-in-chief of the American Marketing Association’s Journal of International Marketing. His expertise in global consumer trends aligns closely with the college’s expanding international focus, says college Dean Paul R. Brown.

 
 
Developing Leaders for Global Impact

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