Is Localization The Answer?https://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/LocalizationHeader1.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
It’s clear that when we say “localization” there are often many different ideas of what that means for retail and restaurant industries. From merchandise to engagement and design details, stores that meet a localization need are striving to answer the customer’s call for personalization. If you don’t do it with knowledge of the local community and environment, will your brand experience come off as genuine? No matter your industry the answer is: probably not.
True research is needed. It’s important to understand what makes the market tick. What beacons will make the customer feel that you truly thought about them? Visit the market. Get a feel for what’s happening and where YOUR shoppers are going. Understand the preferences that become part of their day-to-day lives. Sounds simple, but many brands just don’t do it.
Make Local Matter
Community engagement can be the easiest way to connect with your local customers. It’s not about your store design at all, but rather about what your brand stands for and the impact your brand can make on a community as a whole.
Last year, Domino’s created its Paving for Pizza campaign. Bad things happen when a customer hits a pothole on the way home from picking up a pizza. No one likes a pizza disaster. Domino’s launched the initiative to provide communities with road maintenance. Customers could nominate their community and then Domino’s would work with the local administration to fill holes.
For restaurant and hospitality brands, flavor is everything and can have a massive impact on customer behavior. Tapping into the local cuisine and ingredients shows a level of understanding for the region.
Brands can incorporate flavor into the experience through local partnerships. Shake Shack, for example, connects with local community favorites to create new culinary combinations. Their frozen custard offering is a natural way to connect with the local community. Partnering with Manresa Bread in Los Altos, Sea Wolf Bakers in Seattle, or Fox In The Snow in Columbus adds a hint of local to their national experience. If there’s a beloved local brand, why not collaborate to create an offering that is destined to be successful? And tasty too.
Brands are finally integrating services into their typical offering. With the expansion of Nordstrom Local, customers are exposed to unique services at a local level and brought to you by a trusted brand. The space itself has no merchandise, but connects people to needed services like alterations, manicures, or even a meeting with a stylist. You can order online and pick up at the Nordstrom Local store within a few hours.
At the end of the day, it can be imagery, a color, material, a texture, or an overall vibe and feeling. But to get it, your designers and strategists have to see it to truly understand it. We spend time with our clients, immersing ourselves in cultures, and then contrast that information with the best of what’s happing in the world.