lobal, acting local and thinking local, acting global, need to exist side by side because contrary to the general perception that building a brand sells it, the actual key to success is local passion for the brand coupled with a feeling of local pride and ownership.
Examples of thinking global, acting local: 1. Retaining a clearly focused target product, so that the nature of the product was clear in the customer’s mind – Vicks was a rub for colds 2. Not growing complacent with the 20% growth that made Vicks no: 1 in India, but growing the market and benchmarking against the best in the world 2. Using an efficient, low cost local distribution system and 3. Using local ayurvedic medicinal products to prepare additional Vicks preparations apart from the rub for colds.
Thinking local, acting global: 1. The global strategy was to increase advertising during the winter months, but Vicks Vaporub stepped up its advertising in the monsoon months, when local conditions caused more colds. 2. Positioning the 5 gm tin for the middle class and pricing a package of 4 such tins lower than a 19 gm jar, because it was specifically targeted at the middle class.
Das and Vicks Vaporub were so successful in India because they were able to understand their consumers and act to satisfy their needs. They were able to use the existing, low cost distribution networks perfected by traders to avoid excessive costs along the supply chain. When chemists and pharmacists across the nation came together to boycott Vicks, the Company changed its registration from Western to Indian medicine to extend this distribution networks to food shops and local grocers, thus avoiding the strike altogether.
1. Being receptive to regional variations, i.e, suiting the product to fit opportunities available in the local market; for example using the monsoon as an opportunity to step up advertising during summer months.
In a country like Russia, the economy was in a state of transition from a