[5 min read]


There was a time when global brands felt they needed to create universal experiences in order to deliver consistent brand messages. That was yesterday. Today, consumers are looking for special and unique experiences and products. And nowhere is this more obvious than in travel retail where in order to engage travellers, brands are under pressure to constantly elevate the experience and surprise them with something they’ve never seen before.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when global brands successfully connect with the consumer as lifestyle partners, they then have the opportunity to sell to that same consumer on impulse.


But this shouldn’t mean that brands could rest on their laurels and take for granted that their lifestyle consumers will always buy their products no matter where they encounter them. Even in the travel retail environment.


Today’s consumers are both more loyal but also more fickle than ever before. Research shows that while travel retail buyers say discounts are important, they also overwhelmingly agree in saying that when they shop in a travel retail environment they expect special treatment and exclusive offers.


A different breed of traveller

The high street is changing and so is travel retail. According to research published by Counter Intelligence Retail, more than 50% of all travel retail purchases are made by Millennials – shoppers aged between 20 and 35.


And therein lies the challenge. Millennials don’t buy just “things”. They buy experiences. They expect differentiation, customisation and personalisation. They might stop at travel retail shops for the perks, but what makes them stay and buy is the experience.


Change in travel retail is no longer an option. It’s a must.


Innovation, new tech to engage customers and overcoming the perception of poor value are key to attracting customers back to travel retail E. Juul-Mortensen, TFWA


For global brands this means being able to

  • Create a connection with the consumer in the ‘here & now’. In other words, help them tell a story that speaks about their experiences.
  • Be part of the lifestyle of the consumer and touch them where they travel.
  • Tap into the adventurous side of travellers.
  • Understand how to blend global with local and unique in a way that serves both.
  • Capture the benefits of localisation, while protecting brand equity and economies of scale.


Glocalisation at its best

Toblerone’s ‘Messages’ and ‘Sense of Place’ campaigns are prime examples of great glocalisation – delivering consistent brand executions across countries, but with a local flavour.


In their Messages range, their traditional packaging has been redesigned to feature emotional messages such as “missed you”, “thinking of you” and “love you”. Impossible to resist the urge to buy one to gift!


global and local packaging designs

At the same time, and building on the success of its 2015 Sense of Place campaign, Mondelez WTR have launched a new generation of sleeve designs featuring the colours of a country’s flag (cleverly displayed in a modern premium triangular mosaic pattern evoking their iconic triangular bars), as well as “Hello” in the local language. A well-executed glocalisation that underlines both the experience element and story-telling aspect which are so important to today’s consumers.

global and local packaging designs


Another successful glocalisation is Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Clicquot Journey’ campaign masterminded by Prime. Featuring 3 distinctive packaging elements, the campaign speaks to the intrepid traveller seeking new adventures and destinations. The Arrow was hailed as “a great novelty piece of packaging, giving a quirky fun dimension to the brand.”


Blending global and local

Successful travel retail brands have a unique understanding of how to blend global and local in a way that serves both. They have become masters of glocalisation.


But as our examples show, they haven’t achieved success and accolades on their own. For this they need a team of expert packagers, designers and retail experts that can help them take a great packaging idea from one market and translate it out to many others, in a way that delivers the best fit with the local environment and without dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. All of that without breaking the bank!


If you’d like to hear more about different glocalisation strategies and how they can be applied to your brand to help you succeed in the travel retail sector, feel free to contact us. We’re always listening.