With the turn of the 21st century, it has become increasingly important for both conglomerates and smaller international companies to cater to the needs of their individual target markets and customers. Research has showed that perceived brand globalness (PBG) is one of the deciding factors that drives customers to a purchase, and, consequentially, 74% of the multinational companies now rely on global sales as their main revenue source. As important as a well-thought out localization strategy is, however, it can be difficult to develop when dealing with several different target groups. Here are the main tips on how a brand can effectively adapt its product to meet the needs of the local markets:
1. Translation remains king
No matter who your target customers are or what your product offering is, it is important for your message to be accessible for customers all over the world. In fact, more than 50% of the consumers surveyed by the California State University note that they value localized content more than a product that is of lower price. Therefore, focusing on high-quality translation and ensuring your content is coherent with the language of the markets you are targeting is the first step when crafting your localization strategy. In the case of Airbnb, for instance, user profiles are displayed in the local language and people have the opportunity to access customer service in their preferred language- an example of how translation helps facilitate a sense of familiarity and trustworthiness.
2. Do your research
Your brand’s country of origin can have an either positive or negative influence on consumer preferences, depending on various political and cultural factors. The locale you are targeting may not have positive associations with the country your product originates from. That’s why comprehensive research needs to be undertaken, to gain an understanding of the general attitudes and preferences of the local consumers. In this sense, China has been an especially challenging market for foreign companies to break into- precisely because of brands’ failure to understand the cultural and legal environment of the market, and to comply to the local policies and regulations.
3. Take note of laws and regulations
For your brand to be well-accepted by foreign consumers, it first needs to be compliant with the locale’s laws and regulations, which will guarantee its legitimate operations within the market. As we can infer from Google’s failed attempts to establish its presence in China, all companies, big or small, must compromise with certain policies and rules to reap the benefits of reaching lucrative markets. Failure to do so would result in not only loss of revenue, but a decreased value of your product.
4. Remain personal
Another major aspect of a good localization strategy is to make sure you can establish an effective communication with your customers. With the help of skilled translators and cultural specialists, your brand’s message can be crafted to accurately represent the brand’s ideology and to attract the right kind of buyers. The key to knowing whether your product is being accepted by the new market is through gathering feedback and being as responsive as possible to any arising issues or concerns. This will show the customers that your company is devoted to providing the best possible service with attention to detail- that is how your brand will top the local competitors.
5. Align local and global marketing strategies
Needless to say, your brand’s message needs to remain consistent across the various markets you are targeting. For large-scale companies, this can be a daunting task, however, it can be made more manageable by identifying the master brand and message you are trying to get across to the customers, making the necessary changes and additions depending on the specific market and locale. To further ensure global success, a business owner should also work to provide each of their global teams with the necessary resources and knowledge for them to efficiently follow the agreed upon strategy.
Localization is not strategy that works for every business- many high-end, luxury brands such as Gucci have decided against an active localization strategy in order to maintain their products’ high-end, exclusive image. Those exceptions aside, however, localization is a great way for your business to not only reach new markets but improve its trade and international relations. With the help of skilled translators and cultural linguists, at 1Stop-Asia, we aim to provide the best support for all enterprises looking to adapt their brand’s message for local markets and connect with foreign customers.