In this article, we’ll discuss the localization strategies that successful businesses like Coca-Cola and Unilever leverage. Business globalization and the rapid emergence of new foreign markets call for a practical approach when building on a localization strategy.
The common localization strategies that will contribute to your business success include localization marketing strategy, customer service localization strategy, and content localization strategy. Whichever localization strategy you choose to capitalize on, you should adapt it to the new target customers so as to increase business profitability.
What is a Localization Strategy?
Localization strategy is a globalization approach businesses undertake to address new target customers’ cultural nuances, buying behaviors, and adapting content to a language that’s well understood by the target audience. A localization strategy for international business should focus on translating website, content, or customer support communication channels while ensuring users local language is seamless.
Business localization entails adapting every business aspect to the intended new customer’s cultural, and linguistic preferences and buyer personas.
Also Read: 14 Website Localization Best Practices
A localization strategy should be considered when introducing products or services to new foreign markets or cross-cultural communities.
Business localization includes aspects such as product images or graphics, payment methods, content, communication methods, branding, and user interface elements. The target market and its demographics are among the key factors you should consider when deciding which aspect to localize.
With the current business uncertainties, every strategy has to be carefully executed to minimize any risk that may arise. Equally, when going global you should structure the different business aspects to tap the significant opportunities that come with global business expansion.
4 Practical Localization Strategies for Successful Business
The localization strategy you choose to build and how you build it can make or break your business. For your localization strategy to yield the intended results, you’ll need a localization expert to tailor a practical localization strategy that works for the business model.
How do you decide which localization strategies to leverage? Suppose you’ve got a new product that needs to be launched in a new foreign market and the foreign customers have different cultural beliefs about the product.
Whether you want to create a localization strategy for a physical product, an app, a website, or a digital platform, the strategy should focus on matching your services or offerings with target users’ tests and preferences.
These are the localization strategies that help increase the customer base and increase profitability.
1. Content Localization Strategy
Content localization strategy is the process of adapting a website, mobile app, software, and video game content to a language understandable in the target foreign markets. Strategizing your business to communicate in the target audience’s native language creates an emotional attachment.
When building a content localization strategy, aim at ensuring the target audience feels the content is authentically created for them. Reason? 55% of all global consumers prefer buying products and services from websites that offer their products and services in their native language.
Content Localization Strategy Pros and Cons
While avoiding costly translation mistakes, an effective content localization strategy will help decrease new market entry barriers and influence buyer choice. All these benefits also come with disadvantages.
- Boost buyer trust – Customers engage better with companies that offer their products and services in their native language. As potential customers interact with a website that speaks their language and feel their culture is integrated into the company offerings, brand trust is enhanced.
- Increase engagement and conversion rates – The chances of a target audience interacting with a website whose content is in a foreign language are too slim. The key benefit of content localization is to increase the target audience engagement rate which translates to an increase in conversations.
- Gain a market competitive edge – Once target audiences are able to understand and emotionally get attracted to a website, they become loyal customers. It’s through a flawless content localization strategy that potential customers will become actual customers thus gaining a more market competitive edge.
- Time-consuming – To create and implement a content localization strategy, a workflow task channel has to be established. You’ll need quality time to monitor every step. Before implementing a content localization strategy you’ll need to do a test which is also time-consuming.
Here at Wordspath, we are always committed to increasing online businesses’ global traffic, increasing mobile app downloads, adapting course content to international audiences, and expanding software reach through content localization.
Example of a Successful Content Localization Strategy
Airbnb has leveraged content localization to capture its targeted audience spread across the globe. For the company to excel in the 220 countries it offers its services, its website content is translated into 60 different languages.
Example of a Failed Content Localization Strategy
Pepsi’s effort to localize its content in China failed after the slogan “Rise From The Grave With Pepsi” was interpreted by the Mandarin and Cantonese people to mean “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead”.
2. Localization Marketing Strategy
Localization marketing strategy is a marketing approach businesses undertake to individualize their products or services during their business globalization while taking cognizance of the target audience’s culture and language.
To build an effective localized marketing strategy, you’ve to tailor your marketing approach to align with the target customer’s behavior patterns, local customs, and most common or popular brand image.
When creating a marketing strategy for your localized business, be guided by the need to solve each individual’s challenges, in your marketing content.
A localized marketing strategy takes many different forms. These include personalized marketing emails, product branding, advertising copy, and marketing newsletters.
Localization Marketing Strategy Pros and Cons
Nothing good comes without a cost. Obviously, localizing your business marketing strategies will boost conversions and increase profits. For most successful global businesses, advertising ads are localized. Here are the pros and cons of localizing marketing strategy.
- Attracts more qualified leads – Localized personalized marketing emails have higher open rates. Equally, sending advertising copy that’s localized will attract more qualified leads and ultimately result in more sales.
- Improves brand loyalty – A well-crafted localized marketing strategy helps align brand marketing campaigns with foreign target audience cultural practices and norms. This in turn improves brand loyalty as the customers have the opportunity to interact with their culture in your offerings.
- Breaks new market entry barriers – Successful global businesses localize their marketing strategies to gain quick market entry in foreign countries. It becomes easy for customers to accept even new products when the product is presented to them in a language they love most.
- Requires intensive research – To come up with an effective localization marketing strategy requires intense research. The customer’s linguistic dialects, cultural norms, and buyer behavior have to be in-depthly researched to be incorporated into the marketing strategy.
Successful Localization Marketing Strategy Example
Oatly a Sweden-based food company has utilized a practical localization marketing approach to market its products in different language-speaking markets. Creatively, they are now renowned in countries like Germany and the EU countries through their localized comedy series “The New Norm&AI Show”.
An example of a Failed Localization Marketing Strategy
Mercedes Benz manufacturers in their intent to capture their Chinese customer’s attention using the name ‘Bensi” as a marketing strategy. To their surprise, the term was translated to mean “Rush to die” denting their brand image. The company quickly changed the name to “Benchi” which means “Run quickly as if flying’.
3. Customer Service Localization Strategy
Localizing customer support service entails tailoring online chat, phone calls, and messaging services into a language that customers can understand.
The most interactive customer support feature is the online help center. Once you venture into a foreign market where the culture and language are different, you’ll have to localize all customer communication channels.
To have a practical customer service localization strategy, your business model may demand you outsource a customer care representative fluent in the target audience’s native language. Considering employing software to automate translation when chatbots are part of your customer’s interactive support is necessary.
Customer Support Localization Strategy Pros and Cons
Even before releasing your first localized product, your localized customer support should be alive to support and respond to customers’ queries. This boosts your brand image and also helps keep customers happy.
Here are other pros and cons.
- Increased customer satisfaction – Localizing your customer support systems will guarantee your customer satisfaction. Structuring your customer services to adapt to the foreign client’s linguistic and cultural norms will improve psychological connection and make the customers feel more satisfied.
- Boost brand loyalty – A customer support localization strategy aims at building a strategy that can establish a bond between your brand and the customers. The established bond leads to boosts the business’s brand loyalty.
- Requires resources – From the time you start building a customer support localization strategy to implementation, you’ll need labor and finances.
Example of a Successful Customer Support Localization Strategy
Amazon’s customer support system is localized to make it easy for its global customers to seek help using their native language. With only one click, you can change the language setting to match your native language. To localize your customer support, you can choose to integrate the communication channel with language translation software.
4. Product Localization Strategy
The aim of a business localization is to sell products or services the business offers to a new foreign market. For the products or services to be accepted, a strategy has to be developed to align them with the buyer’s behavior, cultural beliefs, and the region’s laws and regulations.
Product localization strategy is defined as an action plan aimed at adapting a product or service to a specific target market’s cultural and language needs. The strategy should focus on core product features, ingredients, user interface, layout, and standardization requirements in the target market.
Product Localization Strategy Pros and Cons
- Legal compliance – Product localization strategy ensures every legal aspect regarding a product or service in the target market is legally compliant.
- Easy product adoption – Translating a software or app’s user interface to the target customer’s native language makes it simple for the new customers to understand your product and adopt it.
- Provide product development clarity – A strategy to internationalize a product or service provides a clear roadmap for the product developers and engineers during the design and production process.
- Thorough market research is mandatory – All from ideation to presentation, deep product research in relation to the target market geographics and demographics is mandatory. Sometimes research is expensive.
- Higher localization mistakes – It’s more likely to miss out on important localization aspects when creating a product localization strategy and some can be costly.
Successful Product Localization Strategy Example
Coca-Cola is a good example of a company that has been utilizing a product localization strategy to dominate the 200 markets it’s available. The Coca-Cola beverage name “Maaza” is an Indian word used to mean enjoy.
An example of a Failed Product Localization Strategy
Starbuck’s globalization effort in Australia was met with unprecedented failure after they failed to build a product localization strategy that takes into account their target customer’s taste preferences. Their drinks were too sugary which is a taste for the Americans.
Find Localization Services For Your Global Business
Creating an effective localization strategy is time-consuming, costly, and requires mobilization of resources which is tricky to balance. It also demands you outsource experts with in-depth knowledge of the target customer’s cultural norms and language.
Professional localization services are aimed at adapting products and services to a new region’s culture and language.
Wordspath is one of the top localization service providers (LSP) who provide one-stop localization solutions. Among the localization services offered by the localization service provider “Wordspath” include:
- Website localization
- Video game localization
- Software localization
- Media localization
- E-learning localization
- App localization, and tailored localization needs
If you intend to globalize your products and services you should first build a flawless localization strategy. Translation is just a small section in a localization strategy. You should take into account all four localization strategies explained above and compare your strategy with the examples highlighted.