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A global brand for local people

It consists of a competition to win the rock’n’roll weekend of a lifetime in the UK, various related store GWP incentives, window displays, POS, e-flyers, 10 different versions of a campaign microsite… some grey hair, bags under eyes and a higher than normal blood pressure.

It’s an exciting and ambitious step, one fitting for a global brand with a strong message. A buy-into-British, Mod-size-fits-all strategy to bring our existing customers together and entice in some new ones. We’ve even managed to get Visit Britain on board, who are delighted to join us in our ‘big up’ for England. As Ben Sherman’s trades on its Britishness it all makes perfect sense to our International partners and the mechanic has been well received around the world.

So whilst I’ve been lying awake at night, thinking about all manner of minutiae, from the Korean terms and conditions (wouldn’t wish that on anyone) to whether the winner can get their own Visa in time, I’ve also been considering the global/local debate. How does a brand continue to ensure consistency around the world and yet still remain relevant in each location it’s sold? The obvious danger with global messages is that in trying to please everyone you end up bland, Gap has suffered in this respect. Or worse still you could be deemed offensive, HSBC made a ‘huge’ mistake with their Sumo campaign (sorry couldn’t resist!)

Another option is a global concept with a regional slant. For example Diesel are celebrating their anniversary and amongst other elements are throwing a global party which will held on the same day around the world. Every countries line up is specific to their location, making it both global and local at the same time. It’s a model that I’ll watch with interest. Diesel set their creative concepts in Italy and there have been times when this creative hasn’t translated quite as coherently in the UK, however in this instance I think they have pitched it just right.

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