Unsurprisingly, global expansion is the exit strategy of most business companies. Successfully entering foreign markets can boost revenues, brand visibility, and value. However, it is easier said than done; no company can successfully enter a new market without the right tactics.
If you have are eyeing expansion into a new market but are unsure about the tactics, this article will help you out. Here, we explain how localizing your product in a new language is essential to conquering foreign markets.
Sounds easy? Think again! Several factors need to be considered when transforming a product into a new language.
Let us learn about these factors here:
Why Is Localization Important?
Brands always seek growth opportunities to maintain profitability. Since international markets offer great potential for growth, expanding businesses into new market segments is not a bad idea.
In this competitive arena, brands wish to develop a distinctive identity in international markets. Asian as well as European markets offer endless opportunities to earn revenues.
However, it is imperative to analyze the sales potential before stepping inside the international market. Though your product might be impressive, analyzing the target market is mandatory.
If your market analysis shows sufficient growth potential for your target market, you must start thinking about localizing your product to the new market.
It will be silly to pitch your product as it is in the new market; you must modify it according to the culture, regional preferences, and language. If McDonald's sold meat burgers in India [where most people are vegetarian], it would not only have lost a lot of money but would also have suffered a big blow to its brand image.
Similarly, if Starbuck continued to use English while marketing their product in China, they wouldn’t have gone far. Modifying your product for the country's local elements not only set's you up for success but it also endears you to the local audience.
Language is the first thing that you should localize when entering a foreign market. Here is why:
Targeting a Chinese market with a German-language website would be a big failure. Today, maintaining a business website is mandatory for every brand. This website should be in the local language. Besides this, the sales portal should also be in the local language.
For instance, if a professional carpet cleaning company based in London chooses to expand its operations in Europe, it will have to local languages like Spanish, French, German, etc., to entertain the local audience.
- E-commerce New language
If you have an online store for selling goods, translate it into a local language. Prospects will never bother to translate what you say. They will leave your website and go to your competitor.
Therefore, make things easier by translating everything on the store. Besides this, if you have a long list of products in a catalog, highlight the ones that are popular in the new market.
- Local Sales Company
You can also localize your products via a local sales firm. However, in this case, online sales are not common. A salesperson knowing the local language communicates with the prospects.
The step can be taken in the case of luxurious items, interior designing products, or furniture items. These are the things that consumers want to look at before they purchase.
You can also consider hiring a third party for localizing your brand. Since there is immense competition, a third party, solely responsible for localization, can give enough attention.
How Does Localization Begin?
Just like the business development process, localization also requires coherent strategies. For this, acute planning is required from the early stage. Besides this, a single person or a team is dedicated to looking after the localization process.
Here are a few things you should consider when planning for localization:
Basic goals and objectives
Language and target audience
Market potential and hurdles
Duties, tax, custom, and policies
Now, let us have a look at the checklist for localizing products:
1. Native language or English
Although English is an international language, people prefer to shop from their native language store. This fact is backed by a survey conducted in 2014 by Common Sensory Advisory. For the Nordic regions, many brands go for an English language store. English is understood and spoken by many people globally. However, when it comes to buying things, the native language is preferable.
2. Payment Method and Currency
Not everyone prefers a cash delivery system. If we look at Western Europe, digital payments are preferred. Similarly, in the United States, the credit card system is popular. Therefore, researching about the preferred payment method is essential in localization.
People also feel at ease when paying in their local currency. A recent article by Shopify revealed 92.2% of consumers prefer paying in their local currency. Therefore, always consider these two factors before localizing.
Also, do detailed research about the culture. Besides deeply understanding the target audience, it helps in translation. For instance, one idiom may have a different meaning in different cultures. Similarly, the choice of colors and taste will also vary as per the culture. For instance, Coca Cola has a different taste in Asian countries than Western countries.
In the same way, red color has different meanings in different cultures. However, yellow is always associated with happiness as it is related to sunshine.
4. Consulting a Partner/Consultant
Working with a consultant or a localization partner can help you safely implement the process. Especially if it is your first time, you must be confused. Consultants and experts have detailed knowledge of this process. They also have enough experience and can guide you in a better way.
Like every other thing, the material also needs special attention. However, there is no fixed formula for this. You need to analyze the target market and then judge what works best. For instance, some user guides and manuals are right for North Americans while others do not. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the right material is essential.
Always locally test a product before a grand launch. It will highlight the pitfalls, giving you a chance to improve. Make all perfections, remove all pitfalls, and finally showcase your product to a new market.
Wrapping It Up
In short, localizing a product to a new market with a new language is not a bad idea. Since international markets provide us immense potential, chances of expansion are great. However, we should consider the culture, policies, target audience, material, and payment options before localizing. Additionally, few common ways of localization include a website, online store, third party, and a local company. Implement the points mentioned above and observe the response from a new market.
Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning London