Localization for International Business

Technology has eliminated geographical boundaries and, for businesses focused on growth, this presents an opportunity to cast their nets wider to serve a global demographic. However, while products and services from different cultures can seem appealing, they resonate better with global consumers when they are personalized and unique. This is where localization comes in.

What is localization?

Simply put, localization is speaking the customer’s language in a customized and personalized way. It is not just translating the text into the local language. Localization goes beyond to align every aspect of the product with the local culture of the countries they are expanding to. This includes colors, images, product design, modes of payment, and marketing campaigns just to mention but a few.

However, it can be difficult to carry out a localization strategy without a local team to help you. A good way to set up a local team is by using global PEO services. If businesses are expanding to China, for instance, they can contact NH Global Partners’ China company registration services, to help them build local teams and recruit local workforce whether those businesses have set up a local entity or not. That being said, localization plays a critical role in any business looking to appeal to the global consumer. Here is why.

1. It allows for easier market penetration

Penetrating into a foreign market is no mean feat. You will come across so many barriers on the way, one of them being cultural and communication. When you align your business with the local culture, you are able to bypass this hurdle much more easily. The local consumers view you in a positive way and are more likely to accept your brand. You are able to quickly gain traction and find your positioning in the local market.

2. It can save your brand image

Cultures are beautiful, but they differ very much from one culture to the other. While some things are accepted globally, there is no such thing as a global culture. Something can be perfectly acceptable in one culture but be considered offensive, insulting, or embarrassing in another. For instance, a color can have a positive connotation in one country but be unlucky in another. Failing to understand these nuances, just like poor translation, can badly taint the image of your brand.

A good example is the American Airlines marketing campaign that went wrong in Mexico. The slogan “Fly in leather” went well in the USA when they introduced leather seats to their aircraft. However, the Mexican translation meant to “Fly naked” and didn’t sit well with the locals. Such mistakes can be costly, especially when they become a trending topic online. Correcting them can cost your business a lot of time and money. Localizing your business the right way prevents such embarrassments to your brand name.

3. It is easier to create a loyal customer base

Information that is relayed in their local language tends to resonate more with customers. They are comfortable doing business in a language that they understand and feel understood by the other party. When you communicate to them in a language that they understand, you are creating a mutual understanding and building a sense of trust and commitment. They will be more willing to give you business and remain loyal to you.

4. It enhances customer experience

If you are to localize your business well, you need to dig deeper into what the customers need. This means researching their preferred payment methods, packaging, and other related matters. This shows the customer that you value them and are committed to providing them with an excellent service.

You could conduct some research prior to finalizing your localization strategy, to simply assess their likes and dislikes. This will enable you to come up with the best approach that will increase both your brand awareness and customer base. Your customers will have an excellent experience when, for instance, they are able to pay you in a method that they are comfortable with.

5. It gives you a competitive edge

For a business to enter a local market in a foreign country, it can be very hard to compete with the local businesses. Remember that these are businesses that the locals are already buying from. It can be hard to shift win them over if you appear different. In a way, localization levels the playing ground. In addition, if there are other global businesses that haven’t localized their brands, you gain a competitive edge over them.

Final thoughts

Unless you have built a global brand such as Coca-Cola, you can never cut it in the global market without localization. Of course, it costs money to professionally localize your business, but the investment will pay for itself in the long run.

If you are looking for a reliable translation and localization service, look no further than BeTranslated. Our skilled translators are experts in the cultures and languages of their chosen countries, so whether you’re looking to break into a European market like Germany, or trying to branch out into a country such as Japan, we have the right professional for you. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.