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How BLEND transforms Xiaomi’s Global Presence Powering Local Sales

How BLEND transforms Xiaomi’s Global Presence Powering Local Sales

Santi Guan, Senior Localization Manager

Xiaomi is one of the world’s biggest names in consumer electronics, dominating the Chinese smartphone market and shipping over 125 million units a year. Despite being a relatively young company, founded in 2010, Xiaomi has rapidly expanded throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, and around the world, winning an ever-increasing loyal customer base thanks to a combination of premium-level features, low prices, and the close relationship the company nurtures with a global community of active users. Of course, with global expansion comes linguistic expansion: software, user agreements, privacy policies, and more, all require seamless, rapid localization. For Xiaomi it quickly became clear that they needed a partner who could provide not only professional native communication but also an in-depth understanding of each market’s needs and culture – and with a fast turnaround. BLEND became their ideal localization partner, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions: reliably excellent translation services to 45 languages, full Crowdin integration, expert centralized management, and much more. This enhanced local appeal had immediate and long-lasting benefits for the Xiaomi brand, driving significant growth
in multiple markets with minimal operational hassle.

The Challenge:


Finding the Consistency in Infinite Diversity For Xiaomi customers, their phones, laptops, and other electronics are at the very core of their daily lives, from work and studies to entertainment and communication. This means that being able to use Xiaomi technology in users’ native languages is key to Xiaomi’s marketing and sales strategy as it expands to new territories. When Xiaomi approached BLEND with this challenge back in 2015, there were already several major issues that had to be resolved. Firstly, there were 18 different languages to deal with, ranging from major global languages to much smaller niche ones like Maltese, Basque, Galician, and Catalan. Secondly, due to Xiaomi’s unprecedented expansion speed, the Xiaomi community had been pitching in to help with translations – an amazing stop-gap effort, but one that led to many pre-existing consistency issues and required correction of previous material while simultaneously handling new texts. Finally, as the world of mobile communication never pauses for breath, Xiaomi needed a way to get translations almost in real-time for their daily software updates and any other sales, marketing, or legal language requests that might pop up at any minute, for any language.

The Process:
Smooth, Seamless & Xiaomi

The advantages of working with BLEND became abundantly clear the moment the relationship began, all the way back in 2015 (just five years, but Xiaomi has covered a whole lot of ground in that period of time).
Santi Guan, Xiaomi’s Software Localization Manager, explained that the company had gone from just a few languages to 18 almost overnight, and the localization strategy had to match up with the broader market penetration strategy. “When we’re entering the biggest markets, like those in Europe, distributors insist on having sales and marketing materials in local languages.”

The Xiaomi team recognized the importance of multi-market localization to drive sales and partnered with BLEND to power their efforts. It was a big step up from relying on an ad-hoc approach where each territory did its own thing.

BLEND’s full integration with the Crowdin localization management platform made the process much smoother for both sides. Instead of manually uploading each text to both the Xiaomi and BLEND platforms and then notifying BLEND for each and every translation, Xiaomi can simply submit documents, screenshots, or even specific strings (anything from ten to 10,000 words), and they are allocated to the right translators automatically. For Xiaomi, the question of the “right” translators is about so much more than ensuring texts are sent to translators who deal with the necessary language – English, Swedish, Hungarian, Hebrew, Lithuanian, and more. Quality is crucial, as the software and online documentation is the public face of the company worldwide, shaping the user experience for millions of people every minute of the day.

“For clients like Xiaomi that are submitting so much, reliable quality and consistency are crucial. That’s why we provide a huge pool of exclusive, pre-approved translators – so we can cover every eventuality with the assurance that Xiaomi is always getting premium quality.”

Corina Apostoiu, BLEND’s Project Manager

Success!

Since 2015, the BLEND-Xiaomi relationship has gone from strength to
strength, with BLEND’s global community of localization experts always
on hand to accommodate Xiaomi’s evolving needs. No matter which territory becomes the next focal point for the Xiaomi sales team, full and
ongoing localization is always available, with quick turnaround and
impeccable cultural knowledge.

“Sometimes I get unusual language requests from our sales team,”
Santi said, “and I assume we’ll have to take the risk of going local and hiring a translator who we don’t know, and who doesn’t know our system. But no matter what language we need, BLEND always has it!”

Santi Guan, Xiaomi Software Localization Manager

Another major issue – Xiaomi’s struggle with consistency and quality control throughout older community-translated texts – has also been resolved thanks to the full integration between the BLEND and Xiaomi platforms via Crowdin, which enables smooth editing and revisions and direct communication with the translators who are on the job. Translators can also receive the kind of specific training that is only possible through long-term ongoing relationships, minimizing the chances of glitches or misunderstandings.
BLEND has become a hub for all Xiaomi’s language projects, taking the weight off the shoulders of local marketing managers and coding teams. Instead of multiple uncoordinated translation efforts, Xiaomi is able to run every request and concern through a single dedicated account manager. This creates a completely hassle-free workflow for Xiaomi, freeing up sales, marketing, and software development specialists to focus on what they do best: growing the business.

Bonus: Coming to a Pocket Near You

Xiaomi entered its first non-Chinese market (Singapore) in 2014 and established a fruitful relationship with BLEND in 2015. The rest is history… and the future. Backed by BLEND’s powerful localization capabilities, Xiaomi has now launched in upwards of 80 global markets, with big ambitions for continued expansion.

“We’re really growing quickly in Europe – not just our phones, but the whole MiOT Ecosystem, like smartwatches and smart bands,” Santi enthused. “The whole brand is becoming very popular. Having software in the local languages is a huge part of that, especially where we don’t have local marketing teams. It’s a vital tool for sales.”

Santi Guan, Xiaomi Software Localization Manager

This support for sales teams, as well as legal and other departments, is hugely significant for a company straddling cultures as diverse as Japan, Spain, and just about everywhere in between. Xiaomi’s phones, laptops, smartwatches, and other devices aim to feel perfectly at home on any desk or in any purse or pocket, and BLEND is able to offer that broad cultural appeal. When consumers and distributors prefer that local touch, BLEND provides native nuance and flair, enhancing brand affinity and reach all the way around the globe.

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