Oban was founded in 2002. Back then, the internet was taking off with businesses rushing to establish and grow their online operations. A trap many businesses were falling into was adopting an Anglo-centric approach to the internet – that is, assuming that all markets were like the US or UK, and not tailoring their approach to different markets.
Our founder, Greig Holbrook, was working as an academic in the UK at the time, and he was inspired by Geert Hofstede’s Theory of Culture Dimensions – a framework which seeks to understand cultural differences between different regions of the world. Greig immediately understood that those brands which truly understood international audiences would reap the greatest rewards of the internet – and so Oban was born.
The premise of Oban was simple: by taking the time to understand your target markets the way a local person would – in terms of the digital landscape, consumer behaviours, cultural preferences, linguistic nuances, key dates, and so on – brands are much more likely to be successful in those markets. Conversely, brands which adapt a UK-centric approach to their international marketing not only miss the biggest opportunities, but potentially make costly mistakes.
Since 2002, Oban has grown as our clients have grown, building a network of LIMES – Local In-Market Experts – in over 80 countries around the world. We have won numerous awards and helped numerous businesses meet tough international growth targets.