The key objective behind localization is to ensure that the business’s message and brand blend seamlessly into the regional preferences and trends. The locals must be able to easily associate with the brand and adopt it as their own. Irrespective of where the brand originates from, it must appear as if it has been designed for the specific region where it is being marketed or where the service is being advertised.
A common mistake
Often, businesses take the easy route when it comes to translation and localization. What they do is to focus all their energies on creating a global persona for the brand or business that can be used everywhere without any special efforts being invested in localization. Yes, this is a cost effective solution that can also eliminate the need for investing in manpower to carry out the localization task. However, is this in the best interest of the business? Usually, no! The problem that arises with this approach is that the business essentially delivers a watered- down version of their brand message, a marketing message that lacks punch or passion simply because the focus is not on communicating in the best way but in the way that requires minimal adaptations to various markets. The whole process contradicts the very purpose of going global, by failing to make the business or brand appealing to the universal audience. In effect, a cookie-cutter approach to branding or marketing can be a fatal mistake.
Avoiding the cookie- cutter approach
Don’t shy away from personalizing the experience for the customer. In today’s highly competitive world, the customer is truly king and he can make or break a brand with consummate ease. No business can afford to take customers and their opinions lightly and this means that you should invest time, effort and money in making sure that your customer can feel the attention you have invested in making yourself attractive to him. The simplest and most effective way to convey this to him is to personalize to him the experience on your website or any of your customer service channels including Twitter feeds or Facebook pages.
Add personality to your pages and communications so that the customer feels like he is interacting with a real entity rather than automated one. Creating a universal cookie cutter persona often takes a huge toll on your brand’s personality and this can tell on your market share quite dramatically because no customer likes to associate with a brand that seems to be impersonal, even disinterested in giving a human touch to the buying-selling process. When you are focusing on this, make sure you understand the cultural and traditional preferences of the audience you are catering to so that you can shape your brand’s persona to blend in with the regional preferences and practices.
Invest time in building relationships with the local marketplace. Approaching your localization as a one- time- task and then forgetting about it is not a smart move at all because, just like in your home ground, the audience there tends to keep evolving and their tastes changing constantly. Re-evaluate your localization practices and keep tweaking them to keep pace with your audience so that you do not lose market share just because you are sticking to outdated ideas there. A simple way to do this easily is to have a skilled local team there in charge of overseeing the process. This gives you the advantage of having someone who is completely familiar with the regional preferences and who can constantly update you with objective ideas on what needs to be done.
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