Localization Insights
Localization Insights

Localization & Internationalization Strategy for a Successful Multimarket Product Launch

What is Product localization?

A successful product localization strategy is a comprehensive blueprint aimed at adapting products, services, and content to align with the cultural, linguistic, and regional nuances of target markets. This strategic approach goes beyond mere translation; its objective is to craft an authentic and resonant experience that resonates with local audiences. The product localization strategy encompasses various facets, including the selection of suitable localization techniques, tools, and resources, as well as the establishment of guidelines for consistent terminology, style, and brand representation.

It also entails rigorous testing for linguistic and functional precision foreign language documentation, optimizing user interfaces, and user interface, and continuous monitoring and adjustment based on user feedback and performance metrics. A well-executed localization strategy serves as a linchpin for successful global expansion, ensuring that offerings seamlessly assimilate into each market’s fabric, respecting cultural sensitivities and language nuances while upholding brand integrity.

Effective content localization contextualizes language, phrasing, visuals, and more within the local culture, empowering your product and website to shine amidst local competitors and in every targeted market. Begin addressing this now by following BLEND‘s step-by-step guide to crafting localized content that paves the way for reaching new markets, connecting with new customers, and enhancing UI elements, technical documentation, and marketing materials.

Product internationalization and localization: keys to global growth

The digital age is truly an international one. The internet overcomes borders, allowing businesses to easily access new markets and expand their operations. Even small to medium-sized businesses can get in on the action, unlocking untapped growth potential. 

However, if you’re thinking seriously about expanding into new markets and embracing globalization, then internationalization and localization of products and services should be at the heart of your preparation. Many businesses make the mistake of focusing too squarely on translation. While translation is a key part of the localization process, it’s just one of many elements. 

Preparing your product for localization

It involves critical steps to ensure your content is adaptable for global markets. In this excerpt from the ebook, we’ll explore the foundational principles of internationalization, including the importance and benefits of product localization and designing products with future product localization examples in mind.

Step 1: Research

“Never underestimate the importance of the research stage. Your market research will be the foundation for your internationalization and localization strategies. Start by in your new target market(s). Consider both their , and think of how these factors might affect their use of your product. “

Step 2: Review your key considerations

“This step actually goes hand-in-hand with your research phase. You’ll need to take stock of

what’s important to you and your other specific target market, audience and markets. The list of considerations is exhaustive. To

make sure you don’t miss anything, use our that acts as a checklist for everything you might consider.”

Step 3: Create a list of words to avoid

“Many brands have fallen foul of direct translations into new language. For example, fast-food chain KFC mistranslated “finger-lickin’ good” in Chinese. In failing to research the complexities of the Chinese language, KFC mistranslated their iconic slogan as “eat your fingers off.” ”

Intrigued?

If you want to find out what the rest of the steps in the internationalization process are, we suggest you download the e-book.

Download your guide to product internationalization and localization

Globalization, internationalization, and localization explained

Globalization, internationalization, and product localization refer these are three interrelated concepts crucial in the world of business and product expansion.

Globalization represents the overarching process wherein companies extend their offerings and operations to international markets. It’s a strategic move to connect with a global customer base and influence consumer behavior in various aspects of business, including marketing strategies international money management and product/service design.

Internationalization, on the other hand, involves adapting products and services to be compatible with different markets. Notably, a product’s success in the local market in one region doesn’t guarantee success elsewhere. Internationalization entails refining and preparing products for new national and foreign markets, often requiring expert assistance.

Localization takes the process machine translation a step further by tailoring products to meet the unique needs and preferences of local and regional markets. Unlike internationalization, which focuses on broad adaptability, localization is about creating a product that feels native to a specific market. This involves translations, cultural considerations continuous localization itself, and market-specific content creation.

As an example, Airbnb’s global expansion involved all three aspects. Their globalization strategy expanded their presence to over 220 countries. Internationalization allowed them to offer a native experience with support for over 60 languages. Lastly, localization efforts included translating their app and website into native language and crafting localized marketing content such as travel guides. These combined strategies ensured their success in diverse markets around the world.

What are the main types of product localization?

Product localization encompasses three primary categories: linguistic localization, cultural adaptation, and software/hardware customization.

  1. Linguistic Localization: This involves translating product content, including text and images, into the target language. It ranges from straightforward tasks like translating instruction manuals to more intricate endeavors such as reconfiguring user interfaces to align with local expectations, particularly applicable to complex products like software or apps.
  2. Cultural Adaptation: Cultural adaptation entails adjusting a product to better align with specific cultural norms and preferences. For example, certain colors may hold distinct associations in various countries. Products reliant on color schemes must consider these cultural nuances during adaptation.
  3. Software and Hardware Customization: This category focuses on enhancing product functionality and user-friendliness. Customization can involve relatively simple changes, such as adapting electrical plugs for different regions, or more complex modifications to software programs and apps to ensure compatibility with various operating systems in different countries.

Why is product localization Important?

The product localization process holds significant importance for several compelling reasons:

  1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Localization is a vital tool for ensuring customer happiness. A tailored, localized product experience resonates with consumers on a personal level, leading to increased satisfaction. A prime example is Netflix’s successful localization strategy, which demonstrates how adapting content for different markets can yield contentment among viewers. The key to effective localization is creating versions that don’t feel like mere translations or adaptations but instead provide an original and unique product experience.
  2. Expanded Customer Base: A well-executed localization strategy enables your product to reach a broader audience in new target markets. A larger and more diverse customer base translates to increased sales potential. Localization facilitates this by allowing people in different countries to discover and engage with your product, not only through their native languages but also by considering cultural and geographical nuances specific to each market. Some products may require localization to align with local tastes and preferences.
  3. Smoother Product Expansion: Localization streamlines the process of entering new markets while minimizing disruptions for existing users. This is essential because it ensures that when you expand, your current customer base experiences minimal disturbance. Typically, the core product remains unchanged to maintain the satisfaction of existing users, while new markets receive a tailored version that caters to their specific preferences and requirements.

How technology can help you manage the product localization process

Technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining and enhancing the product and localization testing process, making it more efficient and accurate.

Firstly, project management tools and platforms enable teams to collaborate seamlessly across geographical boundaries. These tools facilitate communication, task assignment, and progress tracking across localization teams, ensuring everyone involved is on the same page.

Machine translation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming language translation. Machine translation tools can rapidly generate translations, significantly reducing the time and effort required for linguistic adaptation. AI-powered solutions continuously improve the translation process and quality by learning from context and human input.

Moreover, translation memory systems store previously translated content, ensuring consistency and reducing redundancy. These tools are especially beneficial for maintaining brand messaging integrity across various markets.

Lastly, cloud-based repositories centralize content storage, making it accessible to all team members, anytime and anywhere. This improves version control and simplifies the review and approval processes. In essence, technology optimizes collaboration, accelerates translation, enhances quality, and streamlines the entire product localization workflow.

Read the full guide to launching a multimarket product

The guide includes:

  • How to prepare your product for global users
  • Step-by-step breakdown of the internationalization process
  • Keys to successful localization and global growth
  • A customizable Internationalization Checklist template

author post

Corinne Sharabi

Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.

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