Building your business through Localization

Having read many market researches and afterward developed a product that fits consumers around the world, at some point any business would want to reach the expanding and diverse Asian markets. This is due to the fact that there are huge opportunities in this emerging markets that are both geographically and demographically substantial.

So what would be the right way to approach such markets? As you already know, there are so many countries in Asia. Would a single strategy work on all of them? After all, it is Asia, right?

The answer lies in Localization

Are you localizing your content just to fit in the region or on a country level? If you are doing the latter, you are on the right track! It is a bit cliche that one size doesn’t fit all but that is the classic truth. A localized work for Asia wouldn’t fit every country there. We will spend some time here to discuss about how far you should go in your localization and why it is important for your business.

The Depth of Asia

Besides the different languages, each Asian country has its own cultures and ways of living. No markets are the same.

Localization not Generalization

Building your business through LocalizationIf you think that localization for a region is enough to bring success to your business in other markets, think again because that might mean ‘generalization’ in the consumers’ perception. To illustrate, if you advertise your products in Chinese and use just this one solution in all the Chinese-speaking countries, the communication will be too generalized for the target consumers because there’s no local relevance.
Surely, that is not how you want to market yourself. A robust marketing strategy is the one that ‘knows’ the target and speaks to them through a relevant media mix.

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Understand the Depth of Asia

Having said that, for the Chinese-speaking territories like China Mianland or Taiwan, your work shouldn’t stop at choosing between Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese. It should go beyond that. Although the languages are similar, there are a lot of linguistic differences, cultural and political background.

  • Use the relevant phrases or slang.
  • Employ culturally and politically appropriate context.
  • Adapt the key visual so that it contains the color and imagery that reflects suitable meaning to your target market.
  • Extra hours of research should be invested as colors and images usually have deeper meanings and different connotations in Asian cultures.

One region, big differences

Never assume similarities between countries in the same region. Even though they share a lot in common, you don’t want to be mediocre. That’s why your communication should be tailored to the market you want to talk to. It takes more time and investment but it will definitely be worth it.

For example, you might want to consider localizing your company slogan differently in Singapore and Malaysia. Although the two countries are in Southeast Asia and speak English, they have different accents, demographics and culture. If the localization was only done at Southeast Asia-level, the target audience would understand them. However, it may not stand out from the crowd or be memorable enough for them to remember and choose your brand over others.

The key take away!

The bottom line is you should know exactly who your target audience is and localize the content as much as possible. This way, clients will not only understand you, but they will remember the message and the brand. The most important thing after all is for the client to see you as one of their own, not the other way around. And that is just the key to success!

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