A little too familiar?

Do these gates look familiar? They’re the entrance to a popular store you’ve see in almost every suburban shopping mall, just a bit different in this particular outlet.

Abercrombie & Fitch Champs-Élysées

Destinations have changed. The proliferation of global brands make this difference ironically apparent, making foreign cities both comfortingly familiar and unfortunately similar. Almost everywhere you go, you can have a Coke or Starbucks coffee, buy an Apple product, or get outfitted in Nike gear. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personal preferences.

“In countries where protests against globalization were common a decade ago, American retailers are being welcomed by screaming fans and their credit cards.”

– American Retailers Try Again in Europe, New York Times

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  1. Last summer I went to Johannesburg, SA to open our new office there and I was shocked to see how pervasive American culture was – in *South Africa*!. We may not have ever practiced colonialism the way the Brits did but in some ways we’ve succeeded in doing what no other campaign or crusade has been able to do, and that’s global proliferation of our culture and values at a level never seen before. I found it very pause-worthy and in some odd way, humbling. Wasn’t quite sure if it was good or bad. Like you said; depends on your personal preferences.

  2. The New York Times article is interesting. American culture still has its fans in Europe. The challenge for marketers is to understand each country’s culture in order to tailor their products and messaging appropriately.

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