It’s not just international businesses that need to be concerned about their localization strategies. With more businesses having diverse customers, even small businesses should consider localization as part of their standard operating practices.
Here’s your chance to find out more about localization, what it is, the benefits it can bring to a company, and how SYSTRAN can help make localization easy for any size business.
What Is Localization?
Some people confuse translation and localization with each other. Although translation is a part of localization, there is so much more to localization than simply changing the language of your content.
Localization focuses on making sure all content matches your target audience’s cultural and/or regional understandings. It makes sure all content is relevant, meaningful, and feels native to the local audience, while retaining the message and value of your original content.
Localization strategy is based on the fact that different cultures and nationalities not only use different languages, but they also have different views on what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘taboo.’ Business localization focuses on translating your content into a target language and shifting the content’s images, examples, and/or layout to match what is culturally normal or accepted by the target audience.
For example, a business in the United States can easily reference football metaphors or analogies as part of their business because the average US citizen is used to phrases like “throwing a hail mary” or “blitzing.” However, even if perfectly translated to Japanese, that same message is gibberish.
Localization helps companies identify those cultural differences and then create meaningful variations for those target audiences. This means that instead of talking about football to a Japanese audience, you could be making references to their favorite sports like baseball or sumo.
Localization also helps identify and catch cultural insensitivities. What is culturally acceptable in one part of the world may be considered rude, bad luck, or obscene in another culture. A simple example of this is pointing.
In the United States, it’s common to point with your index finger. We think nothing of it, and it’s common practice. However, that’s disrespectful, rude, and even taboo in some cultures. It’s perfectly normal to point with your middle finger in some middle eastern countries, but there’d be an outcry if a business had an image or video of a person pointing with their middle finger in the United States. Localization identifies and resolves those cultural insensitivities in both visual and text-based content.
Why Your Business Should Have a Localization Strategy
Every business should have a localization strategy. Here are four of the biggest benefits and advantages of localization.
1. Make Your Content Culturally Accessible
When your content is unapproachable or difficult to understand, your target audience won’t pay attention to it. By localizing your content, you make potential customers feel welcome and understood. This helps improve their view of your brand and builds brand loyalty and awareness with your target demographics.
2. Enter New Markets More Rapidly
Entering a new market can be a major investment of both time and money. Localization helps smooth the transition into new markets, because it helps ensure that your content feels native to the audience and is easily understood.
This means that rather than your company coming across like an outsider venturing into a new market, localization helps your brand feel like an already established part of the community and world of your target market.
3. Increase Brand Loyalty
Customers choose brands they can relate to. Even if you have the best quality product or service on the market, if your customers can’t understand who you are, what you are saying, or feel a connection to your company, there’s a good chance they will choose a competitor.
Localization bridges that gap by ensuring that your content is relatable. It makes sure your customers understand and relate to your brand’s style and image, rather than being distracted by poor translations or cultural differences.
4. Gain a Competitive Advantage
Localization can help distinguish your company from your competitors. It helps you stand out in a competitive market. Without that competitive advantage, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and you may find it difficult to survive as a company.
Use SYSTRAN to Streamline Your Localization
SYSTRAN uses AI-powered neural machine translation to provide fast and accurate translations. Find out more about how any sized business can use SYSTRAN as part of their localization strategy.