If you want your business to become a truly global one you face the challenge of how to ensure brand effectiveness across multiple markets. Sometimes it’s unclear to know how localization milestones relate to your effectiveness. In today’s highly digitized age, local customers have access to a number of channels and platforms where they can conduct searches for information and compare different products or services before making a final buying decision. The impact of your branding messages is largely determined by how your prospective customers perceive them on whichever channel they are using.
The Importance of Localization
Triggering locally authentic vibes for your brand among your targeted audiences should be your goal. However, this is not achievable without the input of a great deal of effort, attention to relevant data, and creativity. This challenge often involves travelling a long and winding road where an effective roadmap will make all the difference. This roadmap can be divided into three major milestones that incorporate linguistic, cultural, and functional relevances. These three localization milestones phases can be viewed as the three Rs:
Localization Milestones: Reach, Resonate, and React
The voice of your global brand has to reach out to local customers in a natural and intuitive way. You must meet the minimum requirements needed to connect and integrate your communications with the digital environments that are most convenient for your customers. Determining which channels where your brand is most likely to attract the attention of your local audience is your number one step. It doesn’t matter how excellent your marketing message is if it isn’t reaching your targeted audience. Most importantly, your created content needs to be as adaptable and scalable as possible in order to fit in all necessary channels.
Once your brand is able to navigate smoothly through the relevant digital ecosystems, it must then resonate with your local prospective customers. This second milestone must be aligned with local norms, conventions, standards, practices, and values. Bear in mind that localization will vary greatly within different markets and a lack of linguistic and cultural effectiveness will take its toll on the success of your endeavor.
- Example: Branding a car as “the best car you can buy” in each country will mean different things to different consumers and does not give off a localized branding voice. In Germany, the branding voice should highlight best-in-class robustness and safety, while in Italy putting the focus on design and style would be more suitable.
A global brand voice needs to lead local customers to react. Your end goal in your marketing communications is to transform reach and resonance into a reaction in the form of a positive decision (e.g., a request for more information or a quote) or a purchase. Functional, linguistic, and cultural effectiveness must be deeply embedded in your delivered content. It’s important not to just concentrate on product descriptions; items such as contact forms and payment applications should not be overlooked. If you ignore localized best – or lawful – practices when collecting customer information or offering payment methods, your previous efforts may have all been in vain.
- Example: If you engage a local individual with a purchase order that, depending on the culture, has a tone that is too formal or is not formal enough, your potential customer may not proceed and go looking for a better experience a few clicks away.
Localize is the Fourth Milestone
Paying attention to the three Rs will help your global brand voice to be heard, listened to, and understood in local minds. The fourth milestone is engaging with a first-class translation and localization services company such as Localize. Our platform will assist you in making your brand stand out in the global marketplace. Contact us today for more information.