Is Globalization Americanization? Critical Essay
It took me a while to try to work “glocal” out. This is my way of saying I had a tough time trying to wrap my mind around what exactly is glocal. To me it is open to interpretation; people will have their own theories on what it means. To me it is something that is global but has a slight variation to fit in locally or think local but act global. I see it as thinking global but adapting business to fit local needs and demands while having a global approach to the business, basically, honoring business traditions and customs and adapting product and services for regional intake according to local culture.
Cultural items become glocal when they can be seen and found around the world but are changed to fit in locally. These items can be globalized at any time, whenever a company wishes to go global then it can modify changes according to local standards. Walmart is well known just like McDonalds, they have 6,155 stores internationally. These stores have merchandise and practices to fit into the local cultures. This is also the case for stores in the U. S. For instance, the Walmart in our little town has merchandise specifically for our area and the Walmart 15 miles away in another town sell merchandise specifically for that town.
I have been trying to say away from McDonalds; even in last week’s paper, to me it was like beating a dead horse. I tried to use examples not many classmates would have used. To me it would be nice for the reader to have something different to read instead of having a dozen or so papers all using the same examples. This worked for me because it made my research interesting and I was able to learn new things. This week I will play it safe and use only examples used in the textbook, which by the way, was informative. This brings me back to McDonalds, which is a very good example.
McDonalds is a U. S based company who has expanded to 119 countries. As a glocal company they ensure their foods looks and taste the same everywhere, uniformity is essential for large corporations who want to please their customers regardless of where their travels take them. They fit in locally with local customs, such as McDonalds in New Delhi serve vegetable McNuggets or fried egg with the burgers in Montevideo. Often time’s glocal companies who offer products that fit into the local culture purchase these products locally, which helps add to their success.
When it comes to a glocal movie the textbook gave a good example, Spiderman. Marvel Comics took Spiderman to a new level when they took the movie franchise to India. They made changes to the movie that fit with local customs, giving India their first superhero. The characters clothing was slightly different and the story line was changed to draw in India’s market. The Glocal franchise succeeded, even though the story had drastic changes, to the point it would be unrecognizable to U. S. viewers, it worked for India viewers. Growing up I remember MTV first coming on the air.
This was when cable first came out in the early 80’s. What I find interesting is MTV was based in New York City at the time, I believe they still are, but while reading this week’s assignment it said the first video played on MTV was a British band, I thought there was a little irony there. However, MTV meets the demand wherever they are globally. Their programming is contingent on local demands. In Brazil MTV play music videos and other programming determined by the local producers. MTV in Asia endorses Thai pop stars and play music videos sung in Mandarin.
What makes the three examples I used glocal is all three have ability to be international models with the flexibility to allow for local changes, so they have a global company or product that becomes local and function as both. Other companies such as Fila, an Italian shoe maker makes the same shoe that is sold around the world. Modifications are not needed to sell the shoes internationally; this makes them an international model that does not need to be flexible. It will remain an international item or one that always reflects its culture.