Localization: What, Who, Where, When, Why?
Localization is the language services industry’s dark horse. But what exactly is it, and is it right for your business? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one with questions. Syntes Language Group is here to spell it all out for you and answer the most common five questions our clients ask about localization.
What Is Localization?
Localization is the method of transforming content to be understood by a specific population. Localization is not to be confused with translation; there are many more bases to cover than just the language itself. Every culture has their own standards and norms, and without having experienced these norms, your content may or may not be appropriate. A global marketing strategy must show respect towards the customs of these populations in order not to offend anyone and to grasp the attention you desire. As an extremely parsed down example, a marketing message celebrating the 4th of July wouldn’t make sense in Brazil. Why would Brazilians observe a holiday of American independence?
Who Needs Localization?
The short answer? Anyone looking to expand their business into global markets! With the widespread usage of social media and consumer trends leaning hard into e-commerce, people from all over the world are connected through technology. It is easier than ever for businesses to use this technological boom to their advantage by reaching new populations through their screens. Localization may be the solution you need to maintain your share of the global marketplace.
Where Should My Localization Targets Be?
Anywhere outside of your current country of residence could benefit from localization efforts, even for countries that use the language you speak. For example, Canada’s main language is English, just like the United States. However, things like currency are not universal. If you are selling your product in the U.S. for $20.00, unless that price is converted to Canadian currency, you could be missing out on a percentage of profits in your new international market! Localization also assures you are using the correct units of measurements for temperature, weight, and more. This is an essential step for international e-commerce.
When Should I Implement Localization?
Is that a trick question? As soon as possible! The sooner your business breaks way into a new market, the quicker the return. Expanding and getting more eyes on your product or service is essential to business growth and making a mark in your specific industry. Instead of a local name, wouldn’t it be a game-changer for your brand to be recognized internationally?
But Why Do I Need Localization?
Well, some businesses don’t have a need. If your business is tailored to local services and products, localization may not be worth your time. However, businesses who are ready to take the international dive see great results. Boyd Rogers, a successful president responsible for brands such as Lee, Wrangler, and The North Face states, “It is not unusual for localization to improve sales by 40% to 50% while simultaneously reducing store inventories and markdowns… We consider our localization capabilities to be one of our most powerful competitive advantages.” If that success isn’t proof that localization really works, we don’t know what is!