One of the most popular potato chips brands is Lay’s. In several countries people know this brand by a different names. In Mexico it’s Sabritas, in Colombia — Margarita, in the United Kingdom — Smith’s. Also there are a lot of regional flavors: pesto sauce, olive oil and Bolognese in Europe or kiwi, lime and lemon in Asia.
Why such a famous brand and a part of PepsiCo changes the name and provides unique offers for specific markets? It’s all about localization. The brand is just trying to make its product more appealing for the new market. Sub-brands creation, brand identity or product characteristics changes are the parts of their localization strategy.
The experience of the international companies tells us that without localization strategy it’s almost impossible to avoid losses entering the new market. Rigorous planning helps companies to strengthen their position at the start of expansion. Read in this article what is the top of mistakes businesses can do in their localization strategy.
Localization strategy: what’s this?
Once Swedish brand Electrolux have used the literal translation of slogan for the US marketing campaign, but Americans haven’t appreciate the message “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. This failure is common among the companies when they think it’s enough to translate their native resources to the language of a new market.
To avoid such kind of mistakes you should feel the difference between translation and localization. If translation is communication of meanings from one language to another, localization is the adaptation of content for specific audience. To localize means to make suitable the ideas and meanings of your brand for different country according to their culture.
Localization strategy is a set of measures how to adapt your content, products or services for the specific market. It consists of translation, search engine and social media marketing, advertising and even pricing policy. If you want to make your localization strategy effective and complex try to take into consideration as much aspects of business as you can.
Is it real to expand on new market without the localization strategy?
Everything is real, but for what reason you need to choose the difficult option? Financial and reputational risks made by rough expansion without localization may even ruin the small or medium businesses. Reckless actions in this field can damage you to a fault: offensive reaction of market won’t keep you waiting.
Localization strategy should be the main support of the expansion. Always remember that markets are sensitive to external brands: people know you are a foreigner and may have the expectations you could not live up. Plan all steps of the strategy to avoid misunderstanding with the customers and make your expansion immaculate.
In this situation you can gain the advantage or lose the grains of trust you may have there. Well-planned localization helps you to provide friendly image and acceptance of brand on the market. Expansion without localizations is like to be a passenger of the Titanic: you may drown in the ocean or stay alive and be a legend. But probability of the second variant is too small.
Top 4 mistakes in the localization strategy
People always do mistakes, but that’s not the reason to ignore the experience of predecessors. Use it to make your localization efficient for the chosen market. There is 3 most common mistakes:
- do like your competitors;
- the message is not clear for the audience;
- do not work with the locals.
Do as they do
In your preliminary research you should find out the key points of the competitors strategies on this market. You should pay attention to their tone of voice and ways of communication with customers, identity and messages of their brand, range of goods they offer and with what their price policy is related. How you should use all this information?
Evaluate are their strategies efficient or there are weak spots. Surely they are there! Correct and adapt these spots to use in your localization if they are applicable. Otherwise be creative and develop your unique point.
Uniqueness is the best feature you may have in minds of your customer. New original goods, the friendlies service or the lowest prices could make you the best on the market.
Deliver literal translation, not the idea
The biggest problem in localization is to make ideas of your brand clear for the locals. It’s not critical when you speak one language, but what would you do if they speak Hungarian while you speak English?
While researching pay attention to the local way of thought. Delve into the culture of this region and find the pain points. It’s important to avoid abuse or insult in your communication. It will get much time, but your brand won’t be condemn for ignorance.
I can handle it myself
The worst thing you can do is do not work with the locals. If you try to save money and handle localization with home office, try to change your mind. Locals can bring invaluable experience to the strategy.
Even one qualified local expert with the knowledge of market may improve your localization strategy several times. It takes too much time to explore local mentality, but specialist is already a part of this community.
Do not use modern tools for localization
There are many options to make your localization much easier. It depends on the platform you’ve chones for business, but if you work on Shopify it has sense to try LangShop.
It’s an application made to help you with the localization of your store. LangShop has a multiple variants for automatic and professional translations with manual editing and adapted suggestions. Background mode helps you to do business and don’t worry about localization while servers translate your store.
Dozens of analytics are aimed to improve your store and qualified support team will make your experience with LangShop productive. Try your 14-day trial right now and expand the new markets with comfort!