The Era of Glocalization

Happy new year of 2017.

I will write a kind of new year’s resolution.

In these days, I am often being asked what I can do, what I can do to help others, what I really want to do.

I think one of my most advantage is the ability to glocalize. In 2017, I would like to appeal my glocal experience to both multilingual projects and inter-industry projects. has the definition of glocal.

  1. of or relating to the interconnection of global and local issues, factors,etc.:
    e.g.: a glocal conference on community development.
  2. of or relating to the tailoring of globally available products and services to local markets:
    e.g.: a glocal sales strategy.

When I started 8 years ago, I knew there was mismatch of Japan between Japanese people and the rest of the world. In addition to my understanding in English and Japanese languages, I understood there was cultural differences between two cultures.


The World May No Longer Need Translator

Recently, Google Translate’s updates in last November improved the quality of translation significantly. Some people say that Ai translation will improve to great extent, so that we won’t need human being for translation. We won’t probably need to learn foreign languages any more.

Perhaps, you may no longer need the professional translators.

However, you will still need idea and structure to glocalize your businesses, products and services.


Understand between Universal and Original among different cultures.

Two years ago, I gave a speech at WordCamp Tokyo 2015 (Slide) and talked about Three Principles of Multilingualization.

When you want to bring your businesses, products and services to the international market. You want to differentiate your existing marketing strategy to three categories. One is universal component; second is localize component; the last is original component.

Universal component is something that is universal to the rest of the world. You will just need to translate to those languages.

Localize component is something that you need to localize to fit to certain country and/or region. You could use some of your original component as the base, but you need to add some tweak to it.

Original component is something that you must create original component in that country. This part of your business, products and/or services don’t simply work in that country and/or region.

I gave the example of making a multilingual web site for a product to sell to the global market. When you want to build a website to global market, you should categorize the content of the web site to universal contents, localize contents and original contents.

Universal content is something unchanged no matter you bring the product to any country/region. For example, the specifications of the products such as size.


However, you may need to tweak the original marketing information such as the price of the product. You may not be able to simply apply the currency converter due to transportation cost and tariff.


At last, you must create original marketing material where the product is being sold in that country and products. For example, Japanese people wants to buy the product at the store in Japan. Not so many Japanese people needs the US store locater in their Japanese website.

How I Train Myself to be Glocal Person

“Glocal person” means that

  • The person who understand the difference between cultures more than two
  • The person who can determine the universal part of a thing (business, product, service and etc.) which should stay the same globally.
  • The person who can determine which part of a thing should localize for the particular country/region
  • The person who can determine which part of a thing should be originally made for the particular country/region because it doesn’t just simply work there.

I’ve worked for I started to understand what Japanese people are proud of and what the rest of the people like and expect about Japan. I’ve worked for an Japan’s international airport website, global corporation’s global site and government tourism promotional campaign.

Then, I’ve been working to promote concrete5 CMS which is web content management software made in Portland, OR, USA to Japan.

Some of things are universal. Some needs to tweak the original. Some needs to create original content and/or marketing structure.


There is no Right Answer, Will Never Be, But This Makes This Very Interesting and Worth Doing

After trying to be a professional global person over 8 years, I am still yet way beyond being perfect. It’s because we have no right answer.

Because there is no right answer, the machine or AI cannot come up with the right answer.

Only a trained human being can try to get the best possible result.

I think this will always be the 100% right answer. We always lost something in translation.

However, if I am able to introduce a product, suggest some modification, create original marketing strategy and be able to come up with the good result, I am very happy and feel accomplished. This feeling of achievement is very addictive.


Katz, The Glocal Person On Training, with the help of concrete5 Japan, Inc with concrete5 CMS and Mautic, we can help achieve your goal.

If you have a product, service and business to sell, and looking to glocal, Katz, YokosoNews and concrete5 Japan, Inc. can help you with it.

It doesn’t have to be multilingual web site, but English-only web site. But you may want to sell your product or services to new market that need to be localize. We can help.


And that what I was just thinking about today.