Taking your brand onto the global stage requires intention, strategy, and diligent research. After all, new demographics mean new consumers, vendors, and partners. In order to enable successful international growth, understanding purchasing habits, cultural differences, and customer preferences in each new location is a necessity.
Geographic expansion requires two integral and interrelated strategies to be successful: a global standardization strategy (which maintains consistent messaging and objectives across borders) and a localization strategy (which ensures brand relevance to and authenticity for each market).
A global standardization strategy works to ensure that brand messaging and company alignment remain consistent across all new markets. As different end-users, vendors and partners come into the picture, a global standardization strategy creates powerful experiences that also support long-term expansion goals.
A localization strategy works hand-in-hand with a global standardization strategy. While global standardization looks at the bigger picture of geographic expansion, localization focuses on communicating to new audiences by appealing to the unique linguistic and cultural nuances of each market. Effective translation, local pricing, and marketing to unique trends are some examples of important localization processes.
The most effective expansion strategy is one that takes both of these elements into account. Whether an enterprise business decides to create a specific department for localization strategy or to allocate responsibilities throughout the organization, integrating these aspects creates a harmonious brand with unique market appeal.
Software localization services adapt your current platforms to attract new users in global locations. Localizing your software means adapting not only the text, but also the UX design, units of measurement and currency, and technical capabilities for each locale. The result? A seamless and personalized customer experience accessible by all customers and prospects, regardless of their native language or locale.
Out of the multitude of ways an international business can implement a localization strategy, a multilingual approach is the most foundational. Revenue is directly tied to increased localization efforts, even in countries where English is widely spoken. In fact, research suggests that businesses that expanded their translation budgets are 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue. From website copy to vendor guides and end-user interfaces that apply local dialects, every aspect of an enterprise needs to be linguistically adapted for the new market.
In addition, products and interfaces that feel locally relevant significantly improve conversions. That said, software localization services that focus on enterprise translation are strategic and intentional to reflect culture and current local trends that appeal to customers.
Software localization services are most effective when they work within your existing software systems and technologies. Instead of having to shift between platforms and learning new tools, effective providers create scalability through integrations or Connectors.
Software localization services providers should be able to support expansion timelines without sacrificing quality. Look for Connectors with TMS platforms, CMS tools, and code repositories to significantly improve turnaround rate, minimize any manual tasks, and allow global teams to track translation progress, accept translations, and set up automatic updates.
Peloton is an exercise equipment and media company based in New York City. When Peloton decided to expand their home fitness platform into the UK, Canada, Australia and Germany, the company needed to ensure that the wildly successful marketing strategy they used in the U.S. would work just as well everywhere else. By utilizing music from international superstars for workout tracks, Peloton also implemented localization strategies that guaranteed success in new markets. The company showcased and promoted locally-based fitness instructors and created community support platforms for users in each country. Software localization services were implemented to create web and app copy appropriate for each new market. In addition, their enterprise translation solutions included employing language that was specific to the market, as well as offering products based on local market research. As a result, their revenue increased by 120% in 2021.
Korean-based Samsung is one of the world’s largest producers of electronic devices and IT solutions. Samsung has done an excellent job of developing a globalization strategy that is hyper localized. The brand has outperformed competitors in countries such as France—even with later market entry. Samsung hires employees and vendors locally, adapts technologies to local uses by relying heavily on market research, and uses local exhibitions, events, and storefronts to market to specific areas. Since 1996, Samsung has invested heavily in its global design initiative, implementing specific localization strategies to ensure that every country has designs that appeal to their customer base. Software localization services are relied upon to create mass customization, with Samsung dividing customer bases into lifestyle segments. These lifestyle segments are further defined according to local trends and perceptions. This focus on creating personalized and culturally specific products and interfaces has led to Samsung’s brand value increasing by double digits for two consecutive years.
This British fashion and beauty retailer broke into the global market in 2010, with 58% of sales now coming from outside of the UK. They’ve focused on highly localized websites, digital advertisements, and distribution channels, with their strongest performances in countries with dedicated websites. These websites have employed localization software to create highly specific language usage and eCommerce options that engage customers from that geographic market. Local teams help define marketplace trends and product offers, and ASOS offers free international shipping with local distribution options, such as partnering with La Poste in France for returns. As a result of their successful efforts, they’ve been able to raise £500m in convertible bonds to fund further international expansion.
Airbnb is an online broker service that connects property owners with travelers looking to rent short-term vacation rentals. Airbnb has made extensive use of software localization services to support its international customer base. In 2019, they translated over 100 million words. Products, marketing, help center information, and general communications have all been translated for use in 220 countries. On November 9, 2021, Airbnb made user reviews and descriptions available in 60 languages. In addition, content generated by both hosts and guests is now easily available across global markets. Emerging markets have continued to fuel Airbnb’s phenomenal growth, thanks to localization strategies that create accessibility for all users.
Nike is the world’s largest athletic apparel company. As a direct-to-consumer brand, Nike has always focused on consumer experience in its global applications. Arguably one of the most successful international brands in existence, Nike utilizes a global team of language specialists located in national office branches. Each team further applies software localization services that streamline customer experience in each of Nike’s international markets. The Nike App is designed with maximum customization in mind, and takes into account local trends and cultural perceptions. Nike sees localization as a “value-add”, according to Nike’s Senior Global Localization Manager Álvero Merelo. With its smart use of localization services and language teams to create highly customized and consumer-friendly experiences, Nike has seen its DTC sales grow 37% in 2021 alone.
Ensure your company is set up for global success by choosing a provider that can expedite delivery, implement the best of AI and human translation technologies, and understand the importance of research-based localized content. Request a demo with Lilt, the leading software localization services provider, to address your own unique challenges with a localization specialist and get started on your global expansion journey today.