Never has authenticity been as important as it is now, and in Indonesia, the defining element of authenticity is localization. Authenticity through localization is observed in various forms: we see products with familiar or local ingredients gaining credibility.
Role models from everyday life are becoming more common than larger-than-life celebrities. And there is a preference for local travel experiences over destinations abroad. In Indonesia, as western influences generate limited aspiration, localization is not only popular but becoming aspirational. A case in point is Wardah, in beauty and cosmetics. Wardah’s portrayal of an Indonesian woman balancing modernity with tradition is perceived as authentic beauty.
The brand’s use of Indonesian women in its imagery, the use of halal ingredients, and the tone of communications all connect strongly with the Indonesian woman. The brand’s authenticity is also experienced in their stores, where customers are made to feel at ease through friendly personal interactions with brand advisors. In an affiliative culture such as Indonesia’s, a formal and sophisticated retail experience can limit a shopper’s relationship with a brand. A warm shopping experience, however, such as that in Wardah stores, lends authenticity to the brand.