In today’s interconnected world, there’s immense potential for your business to expand beyond geographical boundaries to capture shoppers that have been previously inaccessible. Your global success depends on how well your business can localize your website, products, or services.
If you want to ensure that your international marketing campaigns are successful, these eight localization tips will help keep you on track.
8 Localization Tips and Best Practices
1. Don’t Lose Your Brand’s Message in Translation
Not all businesses succeed in a new market, and even some big names have floundered. For example, the luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, introduced its brand to the Chinese under the name Bensi, which, unfortunately, translates as a rush to die. Not a good name if you want to sell a car!
Pay attention to the local language and make sure your brand, tagline, or product name is translated so that it communicates the message you want. The lesson here is to not let your brand name or message get lost in the translation.
2. Be Mindful of Cultural Differences
Before you expand to a new target country, consider important cultural differences. Understand the local culture and history and make sure that your branding is compatible. For example, a brand that regularly advertises with skimpily-clad women may want to use a very different approach when expanding into an Islamic country where the culture is more conservative.
3. Craft an Easy to Understand Message
If you want your target customers to appreciate your brand, you need to communicate with them effectively. This means that your brand messaging should be easy to understand. The best way to accomplish this is to engage a native speaker of the local language who’s in tune with the culture. Hiring native speakers and in-country reviewers will help you build effective brand messaging that’s free from translation mistakes.
4. Do Your Research
Target audience research can make or break your localization efforts. You must determine if your products or services are suited for your target country. It’s not only words that are important. Certain colors and color combinations may work for one country but spell disaster in another. Dates, times, currencies, and payment options should be presented to each audience in the format they prefer. Even in places where the primary language is the same, like the UK and the US, there are big differences in the interpretation and usage of many words and phrases.
5. Don’t Forget to Localize Your Mobile App
Many emerging eCommerce markets have a high percentage of people who access the internet via smartphones. This presents a huge opportunity for your business to sell products or services via mobile internet. Here are 5 tips for localizing your mobile apps.
6. Test Your Localization
You need a localization tester who is fluent in the local language. A good localization tester will inform you if there are issues with the translation – and so much more. The tester should be instructed to look at every single part of your website and app and report back on any problems. Perhaps there are words or images that the local culture won’t understand or might even find offensive, or there might be text that doesn’t quite fit on the page.
7. Keep Up With New Trends
Global trends can go out of date very quickly. Keep your eyes and ears open for the latest trends and events happening around the world. By staying current, you will be able to update your offerings and stay with the times. Continuing to provide information about outdated trends can make your business look lazy and out-of-touch.
8. Get Regular Feedback
How do you know if your customers are satisfied with your business? You get their feedback, of course. Feedback is essential for the localization process. Ask your international customers what they like or dislike about your website, products, or services. The more information you have, the easier it will be to make useful changes.
The Localize TMS
Getting localization right can be a big challenge, but your TMS doesn’t have to be. Localize provides seamless localization solutions for thousands of websites, mobile apps, and businesses worldwide. Our automation technology helps you quickly translate and publish content on your website, add new languages, and collaborate with your team members.
Contact us today to jump-start your localization process.