Tips And Tricks To Create A Localization StrategyEric Merlin
The World Wide Web has changed the lives of contemporaries beyond recognition. In the era of globalization markets in distant regions are open to almost everyone.
You have the opportunity to do business in China or Brazil with a company in a small country.
But how to promote your brand being thousands of miles away from the client? Localization comes to the rescue.
Yes, many well-known brands enter new markets every year. There are many risks associated with this and some stories are considered marketing failures.
This is often because of localization errors. But business is always about mistakes and risk. Google, Amazon and eBay would still be small companies without a qualified localization strategy.
Creating the promotion strategy and expansion into the new markets is the natural evolution of any business. Moreover, now it is much more accessible than in the days of the telegraph and steamships.
If you think that localization is available only to international corporations, then in this article we will try to convince you otherwise.
Localization strategy? What’s this?
First, we need to figure out what localization is. When we watch foreign films, we are always saying they have been translated. In fact, it isn’t true: they are localized.
It’s a common situation when jokes or references to historical events are incomprehensible to a foreign viewer. Therefore, the translation team must replace them with understandable local counterparts without losing the context of the story.
Localization allows the viewer to understand not only the meaning of the hero’s words but also his ideas and motivation.
The situation is the same in business. When companies are entering the new market they need to make it clear to the customer what value the brand can give them. They are developing the localization strategy to realize this.
Localization strategy is an action plan for adapting a brand to a specific market. It includes content strategy, translation, search engine optimization, design and marketing. The success of the brand in the local market depends on the correctness of the localization strategy.
Why localization strategy is important?
Entering a new market is difficult without a localization strategy. Every businessman should understand that planning is an essential part of his job. Otherwise, he is unlikely to achieve anything.
Without the localization of goods and services, a local consumer will not be able to understand what the business can offer him, and without the localization strategy, you will not be able to properly localize your business.
If you don’t think through your actions, you can damage your reputation and turn customers against you. At best, your company will be the target of competitors’ ridicule. At worst, the market will close for you forever.
How to create a strong localization strategy?
There is no universal method. Each localization strategy is unique, as the products, identity and communications of each company are different. And the adaptation for each market will also be different. However, there are general points that can help you improve your localization:
- different markets – different content;
- one language — many dialects;
- work with locals.
You need time and resources to plan your strategy. It is a complicated process, and the more people are involved, the better the result of your work will be.
Make content directly for the market
Imagine a situation: your company has been productively operating in the French market for several years. There have been a couple of advertising campaigns on your social networks with content specifically for the French market.
At the same time, you started expanding to Germany and decided to start similar campaigns. Is the translation of ready-made content suitable for this country?
The answer is no. Germans will misunderstand advertising. In the context of long Franco-German history, something might even offend them. Therefore, in this case, the content must be created only for Germany. Always prepare unique content for each market to avoid problems and improve strategy effectiveness.
Consider the difference in one language
If you know English, then you also know that in different countries where it is spoken, there are national peculiarities. In England, people speak differently in the north and south. And how are Australian and South African English different?
If you do business in the United States and then decide to expand to Canada, you should consider this in your localization strategy. The difference in culture, mentality and way of thinking can play a cruel joke on you.
Always put yourself in the shoes of someone who speaks the same language to you but is on the other side of the world. Be careful with the messages in your communications and remember that one word can mean very different things.
It is probably impossible to understand the culture of a country if you were not born and raised in it. Even if you have lived there for many years, it will be difficult to fully understand the local mindset.
There is a way out of this situation – hire a local expert, and preferably several. The native will be able to explain to you the specifics of the local market, which will help to create a good strategy for the region.
More importantly, he can protect you from critical localization errors. You can also learn from his experience and make useful contacts in the new market.
Last, but not the least
Don’t forget to use localization tools. LangShop for Shopify helps localize stores for thousands of users every day. The app has automatic and professional translation features, while manual editing and background translation will help you to perfectly localize your store. Get your 14-day free trial here.