“Be conscious of the global elements in your dreams. When starting local, dream of taking it global sooner.” – Israelmore Aylvor
In order for people to buy your products or services, they need to be able to clearly understand every element of the product or service first. Getting people to understand the products and services you are offering in your country is one thing, it takes a new level of energy and effort for a global audience to be able to understand every element of your product. This is where localisation comes in. Localisation is a process where a brand attunes their icons, symbols, text, currency, and even brand name according to the local culture and behaviour of the specific target audience.
You want a message that speaks to your target users instead of just translating the materials and sites into different languages. International audiences don’t just settle for inaccurate versions that barely make sense to them. Failure in localising for different regions, geographies and culture could hinder your business to achieve worldwide success. Here are three reasons why it is important for your brand and business to localise when expanding worldwide.
1. Enticing and capturing the target audience.
It is not wise to assume that everyone speaks and understand English. This statement can be proven by the study made by KPMG and Google that shows that 68% of internet users consider digital content in English way less reliable compared to content written in their local language. Furthermore, only 25 percent of global internet users actually speak English.
With this in mind, extend your considerations for simple elements such as measurements and other datas. For instance, some countries display height in inches while others display in centimetres and meters. Different countries also use different formats of displaying dates and times.
Despite selling the same product, the demands of this specific product in the international market will vary in different countries. Tweak your global brand to the local culture by researching the needs of the local target audience. To gain credibility in the eyes of your target audience, find ways to break the language barrier.
2. Address the regional and cultural diversity
The same words, images, signs, colours and gestures have significantly different meanings in different regions and cultures. For instance, the colour white may be a symbol of purity and innocence to people in western countries but in China and Korea, the colour white is used in funeral ceremonies.
Remember to consider things deeper and differently, for instance a language may be spoken in 15 countries, but that doesn’t indicate that the diction, connotations, vocabularies and usage are the same in all that regions.To prevent such sensitive aspects to hinder your growth in a particular country, it is wise to consider hiring a local translator that can help you localise your content according to specific dialects.
3. Localisation vs. machine translation
Machine translations is text translated with tools such as Google Translate and Skype Translator. These tools present the translated text within seconds of input and is available for free to anyone who has an internet connection. Despite generating translated text in an instant, these tools are unable to pick up tone, idioms, style, context and metaphors which can make the translated text inaccurate and confusing to read.
Localised translation involves hiring local translators or people who is fluent in that specific language to help you translate data. When translating, people take into consideration puns, metaphors, slang, humour and the cultural differences in the language to find the most suitable alternatives this helps to make you feel at ease as the language written in your content will most likely be accurate compared to machines.
Localisation goes beyond language. The message of your brand should also resonate in a way that the target audience understand without altering its intent. Take this factors into account when globalising your brand and business and see for yourself the importance of localisation.
Related: Is it Easy to Build a Good Brand?
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