Localisation is proven to affect international product acceptance and success. If your SME is expanding into new territories and doesn’t currently have an effective localisation process, then this blog can inform and inspire you to make a change.
What localisation is
Put simply, localisation involves adapting the messaging surrounding your product or service and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target location where it is to be marketed and used. Localisation thus goes far beyond translation, since it involves the adaptation of a translation to make it specific to a country or region.
Why localise your content?
When adapting content to a new language and/or region, it is possible to explore and investigate new strategies and techniques. Depending on your industry, product or service, you will need to find the right way to localise your offering, in order to provide customers with a unique and valuable experience. This also offers a great learning experience. After all, if you don’t fully understand your new market and its intricacies, how can you ever expect to excel within it?
Companies that do localisation well
As language specialists, the Albion Languages team are always pleased to see companies who understand their markets and do localisation well.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Balancing local and international campaigns
The WWF has been one of the key voices in the field of conservation since 1960. It is dedicated to the protection of endangered species and habitats. As a worldwide organisation, its messaging needs to be translated and localised into numerous languages and dialects. However, the WWF take this further. Before localising content for a different market, the organisation researches and highlights the information which is most relevant to consumers in each area of the world. This approach allows the WWF to provide its followers with a more compelling experience by delivering content that always feels fresh and appropriate.
For example, at the time of writing, their UK site has stories covering the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and how to be ‘bee-friendly’, while their Chinese site has facts about being ‘panda-friendly’. This small snapshot shows how local, relevant content can sit happily beside worldwide campaigns, offering readers a customised experience.
The personal touch
AirBnB provide an online marketplace, connecting people who want to rent out their homes with those who are looking for accommodation in that location. It currently covers more than 100,000 cities and 220 countries worldwide. AirBnB strives to offer the “home from home” experience. Accordingly, the company’s website and app are available in 62 languages, with all user-generated content including listing information and user reviews also translated as standard.
AirBnB take their customer service seriously, providing localised guides for different regions – almost like a personal tour guide. The company has found a way to leverage localisation to add a level of personalisation and authenticity that has become synonymous with its brand offering.
Creating content tailored for different regions
Netflix – the subscription-based streaming service – aims to provide its users with a personalised experience, delivering the content they want whilst also making suggestions based on users’ viewing history. As a business with extensive global reach, Netflix has developed the technology – and processes – needed to both translate their own apps and interfaces, as well as subtitling and dubbing their content in other languages. This broadens the appeal of films and TV series which are not in the subscriber’s native language.
More recently Netflix has moved into content creation and, true to its disruptive style, it is not walking the well-trodden path. Netflix has shown its capabilities to produce highly localised content, such as Sacred Games, a recent hit series set in Mumbai, India. The show is filled with Indian cultural references and the majority of the dialogue is in Hindi.
Simplifying the buying process
ASOS – the eCommerce clothing giant – has achieved 149% growth in the last 5 years, without owning a single physical store location. The company has grown beyond its humble London roots, to now serve an international market, with approximately 60% of sales coming from outside of the UK.
ASOS translate all website and product information into seven languages, but also offer 10 different payment methods, accept 19 currencies, and automatically select the appropriate language, experience, and currency for each visitor. The localised service does not end there, with individual offers for each region and the use of localised return solutions. With such switched-on thinking, is it any wonder that ASOS has enjoyed such success?
Does your brand need localisation?
Localised content will simply be more appealing to its audience. In fact, 75 percent of consumers said in a 2014 report* that they were more likely to purchase goods and services if the corresponding product information is in their native language. This shows how much consumers value a personalised approach, so, if you are looking to expand into new countries or territories, localisation can be invaluable. If you would like to discuss how you can leverage localisation to give your brand a competitive advantage, get in touch with us at Albion Languages.