It is hard for companies to understand the necessity to seek new markets on the international stage. And even if they manage to get an international standing, a huge step can be missed when settling a brand in a new country. In other words, global strategy gives you access to a whole new world of potential consumers, and localization is the tool to employ to close range with the customers and makes your brand easily accessible by them.
Localization, for the most of it, works on cultural differences and how to make the brand more culture-friendly to the people it is introduced to.
First in line is translation : website, blog, social networks & press releases. Here businesses have a lot of choices in order to reach the most convenient translation, from freelance translators to translation company, they can also use translation machines and clouding translators. In the end, it depends on what is necessary, for a small website, no need to hire a big translation company. All you need to know is if the localized text is understandable & translates what you mean.
Now the second point is about adaptation. When companies localize their brand, they often need to adapt their product/service panel. For example, when you think burger, Mc Donald’s may come to your mind ; and when you think about their recipes, beef is there too. But this brand had to complete an entire turn over when it came to India, because cows are sacred there. How did they do? Simply by localizing and proposing new recipes to the Mc Donald’s fast-food restaurant and deepen into Indian people’s culture. Adapting products/services avoids cultural conflicts and a bad brand representation ; and it makes products even closer to the population’s desires, giving a much more positive opinion and a nation-like pride on it.
Let’s now go on “speaking”. This point is crucial to keep a good communication with your customers and maintain, and even improve customer loyalty. From a country to another, companies may require to modify the way they speak to their audience. As an example, we can take a look at South Korea and how to choose carefuly between the informal, formal and honorific forms of that language, when speaking to teenagers, adults or old people.
Having completed such huge amount of work, you will see how much effective localization can be when selling to a different culture, language or people, and how rewarding it is to get closer to the people by taking the time to understand them.