How 7-Eleven Captured the Indonesian Market

Category: Culture, International Business

The case of 7-Eleven

Quick-stop convenience isn’t really a priority in Indonesia, a country that loves hanging out so much so that in Indonesian, there’s a word for it: nongkrong. A favorite activity of Indonesian youth is to hang out at street-side food stalls called warung. With the aid of their local franchisee, 7-Eleven has become a modern twist on the warung, where young people can carry out a traditional activity (nongkrong) in a contemporary modern setting. 

How 7-Eleven did it

As outlined in our recent newsletter article, by expanding seating, internet access and inexpensive ready-made food, 7-Eleven capitalized on several local factors: a cultural love of socializing, a lack of outdoor gathering spaces and traffic-snarled streets that restrict mobility. Young people now flock to 7-Eleven stores — which are open all night — to hang out, listen to live music, use Wi-Fi, socialize and generally do nothing in a modern-day version of nongkrong. Because the Indonesian love of socializing extends to social networking, 7-Eleven uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and an iPhone app to reach its younger customers.

About the franchise model

7-Eleven’s success in Indonesia owes much of the credit to the franchise model. Franchises, with their established brands and readymade structures, are a relatively low-risk opportunity for aspiring small business owners in developing countries. In fact, 7-Eleven’s entry into the Indonesian market came about because the local franchisee approached 7-Eleven with a passion for the brand and lots of ideas for how it could be successfully introduced to the local culture. 7-Eleven’s first expansion into a new country in 16 years has been a resounding success due to their ability to adapt the brand to the local culture while maintaining control of their brand identity.

Integrating local culture into international business expansion is part of professional global translation services. Your in-country partner or localization agency can help make sure your business positions itself well across borders.

Photo attribution: erictoledo