Capturing the Essence on Self and Being Local
Have you ever thought contemplatively about the changes that are happening around us? We talk about transformation and adaptation most of the time in an ad hoc way, secretly cherishing the hope in heart that once the pandemic is over, life will go back to square one. Theoretically being ready for transformation, we all have sad memories about routine that within the current context is not anymore acceptable. Visiting home country by expats for holidays is postponed indefinitely, even traditional Italian double cheek-to-cheek greeting is somewhere in our romantic past. We first critically perceive these new behaviors, but left with no choice we adapt and then hardly notice the novelty. Being born in post USSR culture, I am very aware of how globalisation looks like. It was a new frightening but intriguing reality with the first McDonalds in Moscow opened in 1990 as the most vivid symbol of the common world. Open borders, relatively accessible international tourism, bright attractive signs of well-known chains, and quantity of goods that increased incredibly. If in the beginning of ’90s it seemed innovative to have replicated stores, restaurants, clothes around the world, later it led to partial or complete loss of authenticity in style and adverse homogeneity of tastes. Progressive degradation of authenticity under the influence of globalisation is vividly noticeable in the consumer goods sector and its strong influence on luxury. It was all about mass The new stores with the same business strategy and very fast expansion conquered the world with short lifecycle clothes. At the beginning it was disturbing that the garment served for a maximum of a few months, but then the idea of changing white t-shirt every month was rather normal. The society educated itself to generate a lot of waste that later triggered huge stock accumulation in the warehouses of the brands. Sadly, the habit of updating the wardrobe was not only a whim but necessity because of progressive decrease in quality and shift of that direction towards quantity. The challenge of high volumes capacities and strong labour force was solved by relocation of the production plants, which completely changed the shape of the supply chain making it much more complex and therefore less transparent. Another aspect of massification of the world is related to the perception of value and its generation Reshuffle of the fashion calendar by luxury fashion brands in order to be inline with demanding consumers, educated by fast fashion, step-by-step was diluting the luster of inaccessibility of luxury. Production within luxury fashion being dedicated couture became fast with lack of authenticity and personal touch. Massification also negatively impacted on the customer engagement, that uniformed the way value was distributed. Therefore, the differentiation became superficial with lack of comprehension of local customers and interaction with them. Image for post However, globalisation made a great positive impact on our world, too. With parallel development of technologies and digitalisation, globalisation made an education accessible to everybody. It eliminated the physical gap in education removing any obstacles to learn. It’s only necessary to look back in medieval times where the knowledge was available only for religious authorities. In the great book of Umberto Eco “The Name of the Rose” knowledge was methafored as the Abbey library — a stash of treasures with very strict rules of access and death penalty for their violation. Today the stash of treasures is open, moreover it is free and accessible for the ones who would like to get the knowledge and the ones who deliver it. The only issue is desire and imagination. Denying globalisation is certainly an ignorance and its capability to deliver the message, the value in every single corner of the world is fascinating. The main quest of our reality is what exactly you would like to deliver, what is the value you would like to share and is it really valuable for people that get your message. The world is changing, and the opportunity and beauty of our time is in fact in our direct participation. It is a possibility to promote our own authenticity and diversity around the world sitting in front of the computer screen. Is it really the end of an Era of globalisation or a chance to place it in a different context with clearer and more valuable goals without encouraging the homogeneity of the world with identical mindset of people, identical cities with identical restaurants and stores. We are the world of magnificent personalities and the business world will change according to it. The new adventure: global promotion of local authenticity Social distancing, lockdowns around the world, physical unavailability to travel and cherish ourselves with emotional purchases in the other part of the world, definitely increased the level of digitalisation of our lives. Brands that in agony start to rethink their retail strategies, explore the advantages (or tricks ) of ecommerce and try to be in touch with the customers. Future is not exclusively digital and e-commerce is only a part of an answer, since it’s harder to develop an emotional connection with an audience through digital channels. Temporary restriction in movements doesn’t mean that the world at a glance has become limited inside the screen of your laptop or phone. These restrictions reintroduced the ecosystem of our local communities. Image for post (1) Villaging. Curiously, people don’t tend to purchase online the things they used to buy physically before the start of pandemic lockdowns. On the contrary, they started to explore their neighbourhood, find new small businesses, local restaurants with local food, appreciate brands of their town, get to know artisans and tailors. The adventure of rediscovery of life of the quarter has begun giving an opportunity for businesses to rethink and enrich their touchpoints. Certainly it requires the transformation of business strategies and (2) focus on local customers. The recent case of Gucci brand, that revived under the helf of Alessandro Michele, revealed the weak gap in the strategies that don’t include local audiences in communication. 70% of Gucci sales in Europe were generated by tourists. For good reasons, European vacations have been suspended with logical lack of interest in the brand by locals that were not really targeted. The uniformation of value proposition is not the right way for businesses to survive in changing context. As a “side effect” of lockdown, we will be able to see the rebirth of arts and crafts movement and return to handicrafts. Exactly like after the industrial revolution, the new generation of artisans is likely to appear. In terms of businesses it is the right time to slow down and renew the system of consumer goods. Within the context of globalisation apogee companies had to fit in the global market to satisfy its needs. Globalisation helped us, people and businesses, to be anywhere we want. But being “there” means (3) appreciating the cultural difference and diversity in a comprehensive way. Image for post The slower industry will require more (4) direct personal relationships with customers, but also with partners. And the concept of villaging is applicable here once again. The brands are triggered to be local in their production as well by involving suppliers of materials, that mostly are local family businesses, supporting the healthy growth of the community by loyalty, trust and respect. The business that is capable of kicking the cycle of novelty is, hence, capable of getting rid of the trauma of massification. The Renaissance of authentic value is in simplicity, capturing the essence of self and focusing on what really matters. The reflection on the emerging world pattern revealed one incredibly attractive idea. The future is, indeed, about authentic beautiful personalities that co-exist in inclusive communities. That is one naive but very promising affirmation.
Scritto da wyde srl Admin