Everyone knows how important localization is for the success of your business in global markets. But the real question is, where to start? What exactly does a company need to make its brand succeed globally?
Every company has its own way of localizing its brand, and what is working for a business is not necessarily working for all. To connect with your target market and achieve your business expansion goals, you have to come up with a robust localization strategy that would work for your brand. There are multiple business expansion tactics that come under the umbrella of localization, such as translation, internationalization, etc.
Understanding your business needs, expansion goals and budget considerations are important to develop the best localization plan that would work out for your business in the long run. In the beginning, you have to go through some trial and error to figure out what goes well for your brand. In this blog, we’ll be discussing some significant localization tips that you should use to succeed in foreign markets.
What is Localization?
In simple words, localization is the process of transforming all aspects of your brands, be it visual, textual, cultural, or technical, to the preferences of your target audiences. You have to adapt your brands to the cultures and social norms of every region. It is important for businesses to understand the psychologies of their target customers; it would help them brand their business in a way that is relatable for your target groups. This is why brands do localization that help them resonate with natives and grab the attention of maximum audiences.
Localization involves translation, internationalization, and transformation of all other components of your product to match the mindsets of locales. Localization makes it easier for businesses to enter new markets and make their products visual among all other competitors. Globalization has connected people around the world, but businesses need to understand that not just one version of their brand is going to work for every region.
People think differently, they communicate differently, their interests and demands are also different. You really need to get into the minds of your target customers. You have to understand their surroundings to develop a brand that can fit in that space. It also helps you to communicate your brand message more effectively to your potential customers.
Why is Localization Important for Globalization?
There are still many businesses that question the significance of localization. They think the concept of localization is irrelevant to their business model. Well, they can be right, but most of the time, they are just assuming things. Especially if you are dealing in customer goods, localization is a must-have for your brand survival in any marketplace. With localization, you can increase the customer’s satisfaction rate by improving their in-store and online buying experience.
In localization, you need to create new slogans, new brand names, new ads for every new region. Because what is working for one region might seem offensive in another market.
You are more likely to enhance your product sales and customer base when you have an effective localization strategy in place. It promotes your global growth by adapting your product to the global needs of the customers. With the help of localization, your product can easily adapt itself to the local market conditions, and there will be fewer cultural barriers. It also reduces your overall risk of entering a new marketplace and makes it less challenging for you to expand your business internationally.
Best Brand Localization Tips
Starting over the localization is probably the most different task because most businesses resist change. Not to say it is difficult, however, it is hard to get out of one’s comfort zone. Following are some important localization tips that you should follow for a hassle-free business expansion.
1. Hire Expert Linguist
When it comes to localization, translating your brand’s textual content to multiple languages is the most critical aspect. To maintain high-quality translations, you should hire professional linguists. Most companies think that for translations they just need bilingual people who can speak two languages (both source and target language). Bilinguals are not an ideal choice for translations because translating a language is very different from speaking a language. For writing any language, one has to be familiar with the grammatical rules and writing styles.
For the translation of your international brand, you can hire professional translators and linguists who are not just good at translation but also aware of the cultural nuances of a particular region. Native speakers can also be a good option in this matter. However, your translator should be experienced and have a good understanding of how things work in the translation industry. Hiring experienced people would save your time and there are fewer chances of translation blunders and contextual errors.
As translation is the main aspect of your localization, you can’t compromise on it by hiring someone who is not experienced. There are many big companies that have made big translation mistakes in the past that could have devastated their brand image internationally. So, you have to be very careful when it comes to translation and choose the right people to do the job.
2. Localize all Components of Brand
Translating your content is localization, but localization is not just about translations. There are a lot of other elements that you have to localize to make your brand fit in the targeted regions. From payment methods to the way you display date and time, everything has to be adapted to your targeted group preferences. Your brand should look familiar and relevant to your potential customers, so they can connect with it. It also helps you develop an emotional connection with your audiences that leads to higher customer engagement and increased sales.
You also have to keep in mind the cultural sensitivities because what is normal in one culture can be perceived as offensive in others. Especially when you are doing brand promotions through ads, make sure that the ad is designed considering all cultural aspects of that region. In Japan, it is considered offensive to directly compare your product with a competitor. Apple, when it entered Japan, compared its Mac with desktop computers in one of its ads. They soon realized the reaction of people to this ad was offensive, so they changed it.
Similarly, every culture has its own way of communicating with others. Knowing the culture also helps you better communicate your message to the audience, triggering all the right emotions.
3. Use A Cloud-Based TMS
Localizing your brand is not an easy task. You must have all the right tools and resources to do it appropriately. Having a TMS can facilitate your localization operations, making it much easier for you to handle complex translation tasks. Automating the overall localization workflow, these systems ensure a hassle-free and flawless localization and translation experience. Most TMS tools also offer machine translation features, so you can translate a high amount of content quickly. For the businesses that are operating in multiple regions, having such a system can help them keep things in control and manage the heavy workloads effectively.
Project managers prefer having a professional TMS tool, rather than relying on traditional translation management operations. Cloud-based translation tools can be accessed from any place, using any device. This means your remote employees can also access these systems from their locations. It promotes advanced communication between teams and allows them to effectively collaborate with each other.
TMS also reduces your need to hire more professional translators as most of the translation work is managed by machines. So, you end up saving more costs and efforts. Not all TMS tools are the same. Every TMS has its own unique features. While choosing the Translation Management System make sure that it has all the required features that you would need to fulfill your business needs.
4. Don’t Hesitate to Outsource
As your business grows, your need for localization also increases. Sometimes it becomes hard for companies to cope with the increasing translation and localization needs of their business. In this case, it is important for the project managers to look for a way to effectively manage their workload. Putting too much work on your in-house employees would affect their work efficiency and performance. Therefore, the best option here is to outsource your excessive work to professional freelancers.
Businesses can easily find freelance translators and localization experts offering their services online. You can outsource your localization tasks to these freelancers on a contractual basis. The best thing about hiring freelance employees is that you don’t have to pay them every month. You pay them task-wise, which means you only pay when a task is done. Most businesses hesitate to hire outsourced freelancers because they think it would disturb their budget, and it takes some time to educate freelancers about your project.
Firstly, outsourcing resources cost you way too less than an in-house employee because you don’t owe them full-time salaries. Secondly, they are highly experienced professionals and have good knowledge of the industry, so you can easily make them understand your project needs and get the required results.
Undoubtedly, localization is a tough and demanding job for any business, but with the right team, resources, and planning, it is your best tool for global expansion. Understanding the global cultures and adapting your brand to them is essential for better customer engagement and the long-term success of your business. You better follow the tips shared in this article for effective localization management. For the development and execution of a robust localization strategy, you can also partner with a professional language service provider.