Going Global Is Going Nowhere
When Japanese automakers beat out Ford and Chevy, when they literally took over the industry, it was all about quality. The product was king. The product was real. That was then. Now the Brand is king. And the Brand, whatever else it may be, is most certainly not real. While it may strive for the ideal, while it puts most of its effort into selling that ideal, its substance is merely virtual.
It doesn’t really take much to figure this out; globalization is all about image (i.e., International Branding) and almost nothing at all about the quality of products. Why? Because corporations have discovered it’s easier—and cheaper—to build an image with the methods of advertising than with the methods of quality production.
In the end, Globalization is nothing without Branding and Branding is nothing without Image. Globalization is not about the worldwide spread of corporate commerce; it is about the triumph of the virtual over the real. Perhaps, one day we will think of corporations going global the way we think about workers going postal.