What Does Localization for Business Really Mean and How It Can Help Your Business Go Global?

Localization goes beyond the mere modification of a translation to make it sound local. It creates a connection that raises the value of your product to consumers. As a business seeking international growth, you will eventually face the question of whether or not localization of services and software is important.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question as it depends on many different aspects concerning your business and specific needs. Many corporations are capitalizing on localization today because of its huge advantage. While others incline to place it low on their list of priorities, they fall victim when they meet a competitor who does otherwise.

 

From a business viewpoint, here’s what that means:

Localization embraces translation but also works with every other significant aspect of your content– prices, colors, pictures, etc. Because these points are more subdued, localization connects with clients on a deeper level, enhancing their likelihood to buy.

1) Crystal Clear Communication

With companies aiming to be global and spreading their presence around the world, there has been a pressing need to connect with people in different places and cultures. In such cases, translation becomes an essential part of any business’s communication strategy. The scope of localization of the global brand’s communication is the key to their success, especially on social media. Social media is a people-driven culture – it helps you understand internet usage patterns and purchasing behavior of your target customers before you start. By translating and localizing the content for your target audience, your communication with existing and potential foreign clients will be crystal clear. This will not only break down the language barrier but you will also be able to communicate with them in a culturally respectful manner.

2) Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing, in terms of localization, is all about “Thinking Global and Acting Local”. Your brand strategy may work well at home, but it doesn’t mean it will be successful in new markets. The success of marketing localization strategies relies on effective multi-country brand management. Large or small, it doesn’t matter; your business needs to localize slogans, taglines, company name, and product names for local markets. Take Google, for example: it has done a wonderful job adapting its “I’m feeling lucky” copy near the search bar into different languages for its localized websites. The combined use of website translation and multilingual SEO will lay the foundation for your marketing efforts.

3) Client Expansion

The ability to expand a business’s potential customer base is crucial in today’s globalized market. Translation and localization can aid you in adapting existing products to new markets. It can help lower the barrier for new potential customers, as localized products are accepted into the local market easier and they lower cultural barriers.

 

How can a bad translation hurt your brand?

Professional translation services are crucial, particularly when it includes business or legal decisions to be made, and localization has a huge impact on your business’s credibility and the profitability of your brand. It requires a lot of effort to get it right – from extensive research to planning and project kickoff, it is just the foundation of your global adventure.  Although it is quite easy to determine the effects of a localization project when done correctly, many will neglect the direct connection between their translation quality and the company’s general growth.

4) Bad Translations Make a Brand Seem Out of Touch and Clueless

In the world of social media, going viral with a hilarious grammatical error or a cultural mistake is just the matter of time. Everybody remembers when KFC translated their tagline “it’s finger-licking good” to “Eat your fingers off” and Coca-Cola did the same when it translated their brand name to “Bite the Wax Tadpole” that sounds something like Coca-Cola in Chinese in order to attract the Chinese market. Sometimes, the definite words of the translation are fine, but there is a huge twist that drastically changes the meaning. These errors can make even well-established brands look out of touch and clueless. In general, lack of transcreation and localization factors result in bad translations.

5) Bad Translations Can Incur Fines and Penalties

If you don’t want to spend money on a quality translation and choose the cheapest and fastest option instead, you might end up spending double. We are not exaggerating; considering the fact that 99% of today’s internet communication is in the written word. In this case, even modern enterprises depend on antiquated skills.

A single spelling mistake or even a misused comma can really cut your online sales in half.

For example, in 2013, a German hospital fell victim to the consequences of bad translation. The incorrect implantation of 47 knee prostheses followed due to a mistranslated set of guidelines in a medical manual. They were non-modular cemented prostheses, but the manual read in German “Prosthesis requires no cement.” The doctors went on with the instructions and implanted 47 knee prostheses without cement. It resulted in one-third of the patients complaining post-surgery.

6) Increased Cost from Rework

The worst is yet to come! Think about the missed deadlines, re-starting the project, and doubling the workload. A bad translation can make your company’s pocket bleed.

7) SEO Unfriendly

When you only use machine translation services like Google Translate or Bing Translate plugins, the bots are able to recognize this via machine translation widget. Yes, you read that right – Google bots can recognize whether the content is machine or human-generated. Consequently, your machine-translated website has no SEO relevance of any kind – meaning users will not only leave your website, but they will also have difficulty finding it in the first place.

 

Conclusion

You can see that having a great advertisement for your product is hopeless if your target audience doesn’t understand or speak the language. Be sure to choose your language service provider carefully to ensure accurate, consistent translation that meets the needs of your brand. Contact us and we’ll be glad to assist you.


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