In an effort to connect with consumers on a deeper, more personal level, innovative brands are localizing their marketing efforts by embracing the cultural nuances observed in their key market areas. Establishing a community-focused position is especially applicable to global brands, as the shop local movement shows no signs of slowing down. Noteworthy retailers like Nike, Lululemon, KIND Snacks and Uniqlo are among the first to acknowledge the influence common cultural expressions have in targeted communications. Nike’s Run Club and mobile app incorporates the Nike brand into users’ daily routines by connecting fitness enthusiasts with like-minded individuals in their area to exercise. Lululemon and KIND recruit local ambassadors to engage with the communities they serve. Ambassadors build loyal followings by fostering meaningful relationships, and keep brands informed of local happenings to more effectively engage individual audiences.
Most notable is the localization effort of Uniqlo’s renovated London-based store. The Japanese retailer dedicated the top two floors of its recently opened flagship location to local culture. The showcase, called the Uniqlo WearHouse, displays merchandise from local businesses and doubles as a hub for cultural events. The store hosts classes, speaker series, food fairs and more, featuring influential people in the community. “The idea is to have a space devoted to culture that is unique and relevant and brings something back to the community,” said John C. Jay, Global Creative President of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company.
As brands continue to expand across the globe, reaching individual communities becomes more difficult but remains essential. Once the aspects of local culture become enmeshed with a brand’s communications, a unique and relevant consumer experience can be created.