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.
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.
Globalization is the process in which companies bring their offerings and operations internationally. These practices allow businesses to forge stronger connections with their worldwide customers. Globalization impacts all aspects of operation, from marketing endeavors to the design of new products and services.
When we refer to internationalization, we’re talking about adapting products and services so they can enter different markets. Just because an oven-ready product succeeds in one territory, doesn’t mean it’s going to find an enthusiastic market elsewhere in the world. In most cases, you’ll need expert help to refine your products for new national markets.
Localization is all about tailoring a product to local and regional markets. While internationalization ensures products can be readily adapted for a wider audience, localization focuses on tailoring products for a specific market.
To paint a clearer picture, let’s take a look at how all these factors come into play for Airbnb. Founded in 2008, this holiday letting company has since expanded to cover more than 220 countries, which is their globalization strategy.
In order to successfully globalize, internationalization has to play a part. Airbnb’s app and website was developed to support over 60 languages to give each of their global users a native experience.
Airbnb then had to actually localize their product with translations for their app and website, as well as creating supporting marketing content like localized travel guides.
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