Putting Things into Perspective with Professional Localization Consultancy
We all know that localization is critical for your global business expansion. Any business that is aiming for global markets has to step into the waters of localization to make things work for them in diverse global markets.
For successfully localizing your products and services, having the right plan with a robust execution strategy is a must. However, it is also important to notice that every market has different demographics with unique cultures and native languages. You can’t treat all regions the same. Things that work in one market, might be totally irrelevant for others. So, you have to personalize your localization strategy for each market, considering its culture, customers’ behaviors, and psychologies.
The question here is, how can businesses make it through such a diversified global business landscape, and how do they know what would work for a foreign region? There is when professional localization consultancy comes into play.
Role of Localization Consultancy in the Globalization Process
For a smooth global business expansion, you have to push all the right buttons. If you don’t already know a marketplace, how can you grab all possible growth opportunities coming your way and avoid potential risks? Localization consultancy has a strong role to play in your global business expansion, as it provides you with all the guidance, and expertise to help you navigate your way through a totally new market.
There is a range of professional services a localization consultancy firm may provide, such as culture consultation, localization strategy development, market research and analysis, customer research, global growth plan, etc.
Who Are Localization Consultants?
Localization consultants can be service provider agencies or individuals who provide professional localization consultancy services to global businesses. They are language service providers with a core understanding of the local market dynamics and the nuances of native cultures. Through their deep market knowledge and industrial expertise, they guide companies to scale their businesses in foreign markets through brand localization.
Professional localization consultants help brands with detailed market research and enable them to build effective localization strategies aligned with their business objectives. Localization consultants help businesses in optimizing their customers’ experience by creating culturally resonating brands. They also ensure that your business is compliant with the legal regulations of the target market. Businesses may hire in-house consultants, work with consultancy agencies, or freelancers on a contractual basis. If you are targeting multiple markets at the same time, you may require assistance from local consultants in all markets. Some premium language service providers also provide localization consultations to their partner companies.
Why Do We Need to Get Localization Consultancy?
Businesses sometimes can’t really make a decision about whether they actually need a professional localization consultancy, or if they should trust their general understanding of the foreign market. Well, if you have good exposure to the target market and you deeply understand the target culture, you can get away with your localization without any professional consultation. However, just because you visited a country, socialized with natives, and ate local delicacies in famous restaurants, doesn’t mean that you know the culture perfectly.
Unless you deal directly with customers, sell people your products, or run business operations in a market, you know nothing about the culture and market demographics. So, in most cases, the only way to get your localization strategy right and keep your business globalization efforts on point, you need a professional localization consultant.
Moreover, there are many potential risks and consequences of not getting localization consultancy from a reliable agency. For instance, you may face issues related to poor content quality that is out of context and does not seem relevant to the target audience. Similarly, you may cause cultural offense to customers when you don’t know their cultural sensitivities and social values. Legal issues are also likely to happen because every region has its own unique laws and regulations that must be followed by foreign companies to run their businesses in the country. Localization consultancy services indeed save you from all the potential risks coming your way while hitting foreign markets.
Examples of Successful Localization Consultancy
Based on your unique localization needs, you can partner with a suitable consultancy service provider. The following are a few examples of professional consultancy firms that you can approach.
It is a well-known globalization solution provider agency that provides a range of localization services, such as professional consultancy. The company provides professional services in a range of industries, including healthcare, IT, and gaming. You can also get language consultancy, localization testing, and professional translation services from RWS Group.
It is a global language and localization solution provider company. They provide translation, interpretations, and culture consultancy services to international clients who want to capture the global marketplace.
Globalization Partners International (GPI) is a localization and translation solution provider that offers a wide variety of services to globalize your brand. They are also specialized in professional consultation services and localization strategy development for international markets.
How To Know It’s Time to Get Localization Consultancy?
There are many indicators that can be a sign of getting a professional localization consultancy service instantly. If any of the following scenarios matches your current business state, you must invest in proper consultation right away.
Lack of In-House Expertise
If you don’t already have professional linguists, or localization experts in your in-house team, you must shake hands with a third-party localization consultant. Localization is the art of thriving in the global marketplace, and you should better know the science behind it. For this, you either hire in-house experts or get assistance from a third-party service provider on a timely basis.
Expanding to New Markets
Most businesses get professional consultancy services when they are about to hit multiple markets at once, and the target cultures are poles apart. For instance, if an American brand wants to capture Asian markets, such as China or India, it has to understand its culture first. Because what is completely normal for an American might seem weird for Indians or Chinese people. A professional localization consultation allows international brands to avoid being alien to natives, increase customer engagement, create a better brand image, and generate higher revenue.
Customer Complaints about Localized Content
If you constantly receive customers’ complaints about mistakes in translations and culturally inappropriate symbolism in branding, then it is a matter of great concern for you. It is also a sign of a weak localization strategy and a lack of cultural understanding. For any brand that is suffering from such a situation where they are not getting a positive response from foreign customers, it’s time for them to get professional localization consultation services. Going any further with poor localization efforts will only spoil your brand reputation, and it is quite hard to reverse the damage.
Your Business is not Legally Compliant
Does your business get legal warnings more often? It means you are struggling to make your brand compliant with foreign regulations. To avoid this issue, you should either contact a local attorney who will help you readjust your business operations to meet local regulations. Or, you can simply partner with a professional localization consultant that also provides legal assistance to its clients. Most LSPs provide legal consultation services as a part of their localization consultation; it will save the cost of hiring a full-time lawyer for each region separately.
Best Ways to Find the Right Localization Consultants?
Where to find a reliable localization consultant is a matter of concern because your overall localization strategy and global brand expansion is going to depend on your consultant’s credibility. Following are some common ways to search for your localization consultant.
Browsing through search engines like Google is a good starting point to find out professional localization consultancy services providers. All you have to do is add the related keywords in your search bar, such as “localization consultation services ” or “professional localization consultant”. You can also mention the industry and specific consultancy services you are looking for to narrow down the search results. Google will show you all their top-ranking service providers on the first page. However, Google’s ranking is not always an indicator of an agency’s credibility. You must look for the service provider’s reviews, and testimonials and inquire about its overall market reputation before closing a deal.
Social Media Sites
Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be quite helpful for you to search for professional localization consultants in your network. You can join the related groups and communities on social media, or simply search for recommendations. It allows you to find and engage with many localization service providers on social media.
Exploring online directories such as TranslatorsCafe, ProZ.com, or LocWorld, is also a good source to find your localization consultation partners. Simply add the required data in the search filters, and you will have a list of all suitable consultants to fulfill your specific localization needs. You may also see the reviews and ratings posted by previous clients; it will give you some estimates about the credibility of a consultant.
Freelancing sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer are also useful when it comes to finding localization consultants from different regions. Each platform has its own format when it comes to selling or buying services. On some platforms, you have to visit the profiles of each consultant individually until you find the most suitable resources. On the other hand, on some platforms, you only have to create a job, and you will have proposals coming from clients willing to work for you.
Industry Events and Conferences
Expanding your network by attending more industrial events and conferences also gives you opportunities to connect with localization consultants. Attend more events related to your industry, participate in a panel discussion, and network with like-minded people. Most localization consultant agencies and individuals also attend such events as speakers and exhibitors. You get the chance to interact with them face to face, and you may find someone suitable for your localization project.
Criteria for Selecting the Right Localization Consultant
Here are some important points you must keep in mind while partnering with a professional localization consultant.
- More years of experience your service provider has working in the related industry increases their credibility to assist you with brand localization.
- It is also important to notice if a localization has expertise in your domain of business. For instance, if you are a medical service provider, you must hire a consultant with expertise in medical localization consultancy.
- Your consultant should be well-versed in local culture, and to ensure that, you must hire local service providers.
- Instead of hiring multiple service providers to get different localization services, try to find the one that offers a range of services to fulfill all your localization needs.
- Lastly, your localization service provider should have experience working with a professional translation management system and other advanced tools that you are already using.
Getting a localization consultancy indeed helps you put everything into perspective as far as brand global expansion is concerned. It significantly reduces the chances of making cultural, linguistic, and legal mistakes in a foreign market. This blog post covers almost everything you need to know about professional localization consultancy.
If you are thinking of scaling your business in a foreign marketplace, you better get professional localization consultation to seamlessly and gracefully reach out to overseas customers.