Why is Localization Important for a Business?
So you checked out this new international barista and are amazed to see how apart from its regular world-famous offerings, it has a customized menu to suit the local taste buds. Not only the menu is localized, but the store layout, the uniform for the staff, the mode of food preparation has also been adapted to local cultural mannerisms.
Localization has become an indispensable need for businesses that want to go global. It is not an option anymore whether to adapt according to local culture, language, customer behavior, or not, but It has rather become a necessity to enable a brand to survive in other markets.
What do we mean by Localization?
Localization, also known as l10n, is the process of adapting a product, service, or content to a specific market. It also includes translation and intelligent adaptation of graphics, suiting the needs of the desired population. The intention is primarily to expand a brand’s potential customer base by not limiting to a particular market, but by tailoring the product according to any locale.
Brands should exhibit versatility and dynamism by offering their products and services to various target markets.
If you are planning to launch your product into another region, make sure the platforms you are trying to use are available in those regions.
For example, it would be difficult for a brand to make any use of its Facebook Store in China as Facebook is banned in China. The company will have to consider local platforms to makes its presence felt.
If a customer is not able to read the product description, understand what goes into making it, and analyze the features, he/she would be reluctant to buy the product, and may even drop the idea of coming back to the same brand again. To avoid this, it is important to create and customize the content, product, and website in the native language of a specific market.
For example, Facebook, the leading social media platform, has launched the app in multiple languages to increase its user base, including regional languages of various geographies.
To be able to adapt according to the culture of a particular market can be challenging, and can prove to be the biggest roadblock for brand promotion. Right from the branding team until the product designers, each of the promoting team members should be aware of the local demands and tastes.
For example, the OK symbol or the ring gesture is widely considered as an indication of “all is well” in several countries, but it has a different connotation in a few regions.
Another example: The color white, symbol of purity, and peace is considered a color of mourning and funeral in many Asian cultures.
If a market finds a brand relevant, it will grow and expand on its own. Being sensitive to the sensibilities of a particular society is also important for a brand to sustain and grow in a foreign market.
Factors influencing the need for localization
Behavior of salesperson
- Failure in sales occurs when no vision, plan, or goal exists between the participants.
- Both the salesperson and the manager must have a clear understanding of what behavioral success in the position looks like. The manager should guide his employees regarding appearance, body language, posture, speaking skills, and so on that goes towards impressing a customer at first sight.
- Building relationships establish a strong trust base which improves performance.
- Presentation skills must be extraordinary as it shows your passion and love towards your job, brand, and the product.
- Delivering superior customer satisfaction should necessarily be your priority.
- Establishing productive sales activity is the most commonly practiced method.
- Continuous education and training regarding developing, ongoing product, market, and service is the best way of mastering the sales process.
- Monitoring and marking the target areas during the training session is of prime importance.
Discipline and Punctuality
- Discipline is crucial at the workplace as it ensures employees behave decently and also maintain the decency of the workplace.
- Discipline and punctuality can be counted as the most fundamental characteristics in a professional space. Individuals who are disciplined are not only profitable professionally but also in their personal lives.
- Disciplined employees are preferred and appreciated by not only their superiors but also other fellow workers.
- Indiscipline and punctuality at the workplace spoil the entire work culture, ultimately leading to zero or very little productivity.
Healthy Work Environment
- For a better response from both the customers and the employees, it is crucial to have a suitable or favorable environment within the business.
- No one had ever achieved success with stress, anxiety, and pressure. World's best companies are remarkably known for their work culture.
- This is, again, one of the most common flaws. When you hire somebody for a certain task with certain commitments and agreements, then you keep up the commitment.
- For an employee, salary is everything and may be the only factor responsible for taking up your job offering.
- Salary at the right time means respect for all time.
Goodwill with local Administration
- On most of the occasions, it has been seen that the terms with local administration are not considered in the first place, which results in unexpected or undesired delays and non-cooperation during delivery of goods and services.
- For a soothing process, one must follow and gain goodwill with local vendors and administration.
Timely Response towards the queries and complaints
- If I am a customer, I don't want any trouble with my product quality or with delivery. I want a quick response from the merchant.
- As a merchant, you need to ensure that your response management team should come into action for every query that has been raised as soon as possible.
- Ultimately, customer satisfaction is everything.
Knowing local trade routes
- For faster experience in this fast-moving competitive world, knowing the local trade routes is essential.
- Quick delivery of goods and services is directly proportional to the profit.
- Knowing local trade routes reduces time and transportation costs, which ultimately results in profit.
- Time is money, and money is everything for a localized or a global business.
âLocalization Business Model
âMatching domestic conditions and accordingly designing the layout of your outlet or store so that it should appeal to the sensibilities of local people creates a much closer bond between people and enclosing.
Strategy plays a significant role in expanding any business. Knowing the taste and preferences of the customers improve performance and stability and can be a game-changer.
Battling fierce of Local competition
- “Open for all markets,” is like an ocean with infinite creatures, so, Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest exists everywhere.
- One has to face the local competition and make the market susceptible, user-friendly, and cheaper for the consumer, and at the same time, challenges one to provide better quality and response. This is beneficial to both the consumer and the seller.
Solid local Guidance
- Partnering with the local advisors or local partners who will make it easier to blend in with the local people is advisable.
- Local advisors and partners might know the local situations and the market fluctuations on a long term basis, which can help you in gaining better stability and business.
- To expand the market and the customer base, a company needs to connect with local customs, adapt to the local language, and local perspectives.
- By breaking the gigantic roadblocks of culture and linguistics, the company gets the opportunity to make a wider reach.
- Once these two barriers are overcome, the adaptation of a product, price, and promotion are not as huge barriers to break.
- A small mistake in matters of cultural aspect or language adaptation can lead to enormous losses to the company.
Recollect Nike’s withdrawal of thousands of its shoes with a controversial logo?
Sales growth via customization
- When a business communicates with its customers in their language, it brings them closer to what they are trying to market. By making people understand what the product is all about in their native language, the company shows its commitment towards the customer.
- This type of customization adds to the trust and comfort level.
- Customers are more concerned about the information regarding the product other than the price. This information is best conveyed in the local language, thus helping in sales of the product.
- This brings the company a step ahead of its competitors.
Conscientious planning is extremely important for the success of any marketing campaign in a foreign land. A little pass over in the advertisement can make the entire campaign either offensive or amusing to the locals. A little overlook can lead to irreparable loss to the brand image.
KFC, when launched in China, ended up translating its popular tagline “finger-licking good” into "eat your fingers off."
Beforehand knowledge of local customs can reduce cultural conflicts. A local agency can help a lot in understanding the not known mannerisms of a place, thus reducing risks.
Investing a little bit in comprehending and respecting the local customs can help in the reduction of losses greatly.
The curious case of Cadbury’s Unity chocolate
On 15th August 2019, Cadbury India launched a new limited-edition variety of chocolate named “Unity”. The price was kept at Rs. 73 to mark the occasion of 73rd Independence Day of India.
But the brand faced a severe backlash. Now the question arises: why?
The pricing was right, the country loves chocolate, marketing campaign and purpose was associated with a national festival. Then, what went wrong?
In this case, the company said they are celebrating the unity in diversity of India. However, the otherwise much-loved company made a blunder in understanding that color is something people are sensitive about. And Moreover, it is like promoting racism, which was repeated in the comments by social media users. Since the product was limited edition, the impact was not that huge on the company.
Computer Tools for Localization
Computer Assisted Translation or simply CAT tools are localization tools. They exercise translation with improved efficiency and increased speed. Computer Assisted Translation software remembers your translation history and recalls it quickly to assist you more expeditiously. The tool begins as a clean slate and grows as you translate further. The tool further remembers from even partial matches and gives the user suggestions speeding up the translation process.
CAT tools, though, need very little linguist attention, are fast, and save time and can act as the best alternate to professional translators.
SDL Trados Studio, Smartcat, MemoQ, Smartling, Omega T are some of the best Computer Assisted Translation software. There are many, and the best ones are listed by GoodFirms. You may check them to pick the one that best suits your needs.
Translation Management System (TMS)
A TMS acts as a project manager for localization.
It can keep track of several files, different languages, translators, and other details of the project. Most importantly, it helps in managing the workflow of the project. It enables the tracking of the translation process through various stages of translation, editing, Desktop Publishing, and local engineering, saving the precious time of the project managers. It is useful for companies with high volume translations and file exchange.
Some examples of TMS are Phrase, Plunet, XTRF, and Transifex
It is a lexicon created for specific branding and language purposes. It ensures the usage of appropriate words in translations of specific terms and is saved in universal TBX format.
Since the choice of words has to be careful, and a single word may represent many meanings, this tool can help you choose the right word for your product.
Quality Assurance Tools
QA Tools have a very specific purpose in validating the translations.
QA scans can cover terminology, numbers, trademarks, abbreviations, consistent translation of segments, and more.
These are customizable tools that can be tailored according to brands and their requirements.
SDL Multiterm is an example of a terminology tool. XBench and Verifika are QA tools that can be used.
This tool allows the quality analysts to discover and patch the bugs found in the translations. While checking out the tracking progression, this tool also helps in joining forces with the customers.
The tool allows anyone to login to report and track the errors themselves.
Screenshot Capture Tools
Screenshots, though do not qualify as a localization tool, are extremely useful when trying to deal with a visual error. This can be used to verify the implementation of translation on the user interface, websites, desktops, etc.
ShareX is a great example of the Screenshot Capture Tool.
File Sharing, Management, and Version Control
These tools are used by businesses to be able to transfer files over in-house servers or cloud folders. The advantage of these tools is that sharing happens over a secure network.
Version tools allow you to revise the logs and enable you to see older versions of the same file. This saves a major time-consuming exercise of compiling different versions while comparing. Version control may also recover old work in case of loss or damage to the previous files.
Desktop Publishing (DTP)
These tools are used while teaming up with the clients in editing and pulling up texts by the translation engineers. These localization tools are used to edit and modify content where images and graphics are used extensively.
Adobe catalog is one such editor which is used to modify visual effects.
Several recently updated localization tools have brought in additional features like compatibility with other file formats, desktop/mobile versions, online or offline usage, security, usage of Machine Learning technologies, ability to use termbase, quality of customer support, and flexible pricing.
In a Nutshell, it is important to create global market, and make it adaptable to local users too. One tip is, you can use the above discussed tools meticulously to work on your brand's localization. If you have used any specific software to accomplish this task, please do share your review with us.