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What is a Localization Strategy?

A localization strategy is a gateway to a globalized marketplace and involves how an international business adapts (and localises) its marketing message, products or services for a global audience by taking into account the target country’s language, culture, purchasing habits, and customer behaviours.

And may include …

    • Localising websites for each target country
    • Writing website & social media content in each target language
    • Launching locally consumable marketing campaigns
    • Imitating the local culture’s tone, imagery & subject matter

        Why Localization is Important in Business Strategy? 

        Any business seeking to expand into overseas markets needs to win the trust of its target audience that has a totally different culture and language than its own. A localization strategy is important because it allows an international business to localize its brand and successfully connect with and win the loyalty of the local customer.

        Preserve, Promote, and Nurture Local Identities Through Localisation

        Not to mention, people are protective of their local cultures and languages and view globalisation with suspicion. International businesses can, however, preserve and nurture local identities through localisation and win over a loyal customer base, which can be a stepping stone to your successful expansion to overseas markets.

        Localised Customer Experience

        A mere presence isn’t enough to drive sales locally in a foreign market. Customers need to feel like they’re dealing with a brand that though global has truly immersed itself in the local culture, language, sentiments, imagery, preferences and consumer behaviour. That can be accomplished only if your customers encounter a localised experience while on your website. The same holds for marketing message which has to feature local symbols and imagery in order for the message to resonate with your local audience. 

        That’s why localized strategies have become so crucial for businesses that want to increase their foothold in international markets. However, the challenging part is offering buyers a localised experience so that customers feel comfortable buying from you and making your brand look familiar. 

        Key Ideas on which an Efficient Localization Strategy is Based

        Content Translation (for Native Markets)

        Since the language spoken in each market differs, it’s vital for a business to translate the website content into the native language of the target market. Through content translation, you can make your website more consumable. By translating your website content, you can take your local SEO to the next level by targeting keywords in the local language. Additionally, content translation can streamline customer engagement and bridge the gap between businesses and customers to help your brand grow.  

        Cultural Preferences 

        Take into account various facets of the target culture to meet the expectation of the local audience when localizing your message, website, app, products or services. It’s to be done to make the branding align with local customs, preferences, and norms. 

        Localised Purchasing Experience

        Localise the purchasing experience of customers by offering them the option to buy in their local currency. Also, look into what are the payment options available in each country and what customers are most comfortable with to provide a more comfortable shopping experience.

        How Does Localization Benefit a Business?

        Businesses are able to connect more efficiently with their target audience by implementing a robust localization strategy. Customer expectations are met.  Through localization, the shopping and customer experience becomes more localised and users are able to relate to your brand as one of their own.

        Not just does it increase the size of your customer base but also wins you the trust and loyalty of local consumers across the linguistic and cultural divide. You’re also better able to rank your website for local SEO by localising your search engine optimization and PPC campaigns and boosting customer engagement.

        Localization Strategy Examples (from Top Brands)

        Globalisation was a major force that drove hundreds of businesses to try their luck abroad. That process of international expansion was expedited with the rise of digital technologies like internet communication systems.

        Without a doubt, most of the businesses that took pains to set up their units in overseas markets reaped handsome dividends. But the road to success wasn’t a straight one. It was zigzag with each curve presenting a new learning experience for the business.

        The biggest learning for businesses which had experienced international expansion firsthand was that globalization is just a channel, the real success came through localization, which is a process of localizing global brands.

        Without it, foreign brands wouldn’t have achieved even the fraction of success they currently enjoy; because they’d have been seen as predators or aliens, threatening local cultures and languages and as said people are very protective of these things.

        However, you may want some examples that demonstrate how localization works and what ideas go into making an efficient localization strategy.

        We will do that by looking into the examples of top brands to see how they have done it and what lessons you can take home from studying the examples as to how global brands maintain their local relevance, how they cater to distinct cultural values and dialects to forge their dominance in far off regions.

        And beyond that, what role does translation plays in the localization projects where texts and phrases are concerned?

        Coca-Cola Localization Strategy

        On daily basis, Coca Cola sells over 1.9 billion drinks are enjoyed in over 200 countries, which is an insane number of servings. And the reason behind such a mammoth success can be attributed, first of all, to the quality of its product, and secondly to its localization strategy.

        coca cola localization strategy

        Coca-Cola Marketing and Content Localization Explained

        It’s one of the top companies that use localization strategy so effectively that the brand Coca-Cola has acquired a truly global audience. 

        In 2013 the company launched the “Share a Coke” campaign where its localization strategy was visible for all to see. The standout feature of the campaign was the replacement of the company logo with the words, “Share a Coke with John.” 

        Each label would bear a different common English name like Sarah, Mary, and Jack. 

        However, the names were not the same for all countries. For example, in Ireland and Russia, the names were localized by including commonplace names like Oisin and Aoife, which were easier for locals to identify with.

        Coca-Cola’s Localization Strategy for China

        As said earlier, localization entails being mindful of local customs, beliefs, preferences, and other cultural-related stuff. Coca-Cola had to modify its “Share a Coke” to align it better with the belief system in China. 

        Chinese people never address a person by their initial names. Addressing by initial names is considered disrespectful, whereas using surnames and other honorific titles, is considered a respectful way of addressing a person.

        However, Coca-Cola’s philosophy says otherwise. First names build more personal connections. How was Coca-Cola able to bridge two separate belief systems, you might be wondering? How it did it is a case study in itself, however, least to say, it proves Coca-Cola’s mastery of localization strategy. 

        For China market, Coca-Cola rephrased the whole campaign by using phrases like “close friend” and “classmate” to help its marketing team go beyond cultural constraints, while at the same time, helping Coca Colar adhere to its stated position on product awareness campaigns.

        A Deep Dive into Netflix Localization Strategy

        Netflix made entertainment accessible, which is one of the reasons why it had such tremendous growth in every part of the world. But that’s not the only reason for its success in overseas markets. 

        netflix localization strategy

        Language Localization

        Netflix’s localization strategy is to produce locally consumable content. The company wants to produce films and documentaries that cater to the taste and preferences of local consumers. To achieve that, it is a must to publish content in local languages so that it’s understood.  

        That’s why there are two fronts to the localization strategy of Netflix. One is to promote locally produced content and the second is media localization, which primarily includes language translation through voiceover, subtitling and captioning

        When it comes to India, Netflix while promoting Bollywood, India’s leading film industry, also makes sure Hindi voiceovers and subtitles are added to Hollywood films so that the audience can choose from a wide catalogue of films, documentaries, etc, from local to international. As is evident from the global success of Money Heist, originally in Spanish and Squid Game, a North Korean drama.

        Netflix’s Homepage and Recommendation Page Localization

        Then there are certain parameters of target demographics like their likes and dislikes or preferences, which Netflix takes into account by customizing the homepage and movie recommendation pages based on the user’s location and language preferences.

        Netflix App Localization

        Netflix’s investment in app localization has been its top priority. The company wants to engage the audience through content localization on its app. That doesn’t only include app customization but also publishing locally relevant content including original Netflix films, series, and documentaries.

        Nintendo Localization Strategy

        The gaming giant Nintendo invests heavily in translation and localization to grow the business.

        However, Nintendo’s approach is more upfront and gamers find it hard to identify whether they’re using an altered or localised version of the game or the original.

        nintendo localization strategy

        This is made possible because Nintendo kickstarts the localization process during the development stage itself. Nintendo uses localization services right the day one and the results it gets are enviable.

        With the help of game localization and localization of marketing content, Nintendo launches its products simultaneously in several markets, which is one of the reasons why it has been able to offer consumers across countries and languages a truly localized experience and the same level of user satisfaction across the versions.

        Locate Translate for Localization Services

        There are plenty of benefits to reap by localising games, websites, apps, and marketing copies and creatives. But how do you do it efficiently to boost your ROI?

        The best way forward for a company of any size to meet its localization demands is to outsource localization to Locate Translate, which is a specialised localization agency in London, UK. We can localize your domestic website, app, games, product listings, and all types of content into 30+ languages (or countries). 

        If you’re looking for localized marketing campaigns, apps, and websites for your business then look no further than Locate Translate.

        Our localization professionals can localise your content for social media, search engines and offline advertising to boost sales for your business and improve your brand awareness in any country.

        Get in touch with our experts at hello@locatetranslate.co.uk or call directly at 0208 609 4852.