There was a time not long ago when “thinking globally” was boardroom gospel. Every marketing idea was an overarching, 30,000-foot strategy designed to attract attention to the world over. But the times have changed (again). Now, instead of setting global strategies that activate locally, the marketing world has identified a clear customer desire for brands to design local strategies that resonate globally.
The Gucci store in Soho is a great example. It stocks items exclusively available at this location, all designed by Alessandro Michela, the Creative Director of Gucci responsible for catapulting the brand back to greatness. Alessandro worked at Gucci for nearly 12 years before landing the CD position when the current CEO, Marco Bizzari, arrived in 2015.
The way the Wooster St. store is merchandised is brilliant. The hyper-local experience is buoyed by sales associates and management all sporting outfits unique to this location. It takes the “one of one” concept and extends it to the store itself. Purchases here are discrete and completely of an “Empire State of mind,” letting you express your personal brand…while keeping it Gucci.
Another prime example of local brand affinity is the craft beer sector. Local brews have become a badge of personal branding honor, unparalleled in most mass market segments. This exemplifies the consumer behavior of buying something that is exclusive to you based on location and authenticity. Whether it’s your hometown or a destination you visit in order to connect with the product, it’s not just about the beer anymore; it’s about being part of the culture of that beer.
Make no mistake: the desire for exclusive, hard-to-get items is almost innate. Every schoolkid in history has wished their pair of Jordans was the only one. But the ideology is moving beyond the playground and into the minds of mass-market consumers and corporations alike. As music and culture marketers, we have long understood the ethos of people defining themselves by the artists they listen to, the shows they attend, and the concert tees they wear. Its migration to mainstream purchase considerations is a marketing revolution.