With the spread of the Internet, internationalization is no longer something limited only to large companies, but is within the reach of any business. With more information and budget-friendly tools at your disposal, just about any brand can now become an international success simply by doing the following:
- Understanding the markets they want to work in;
- Developing a creative strategy;
- Communicating clearly and unambiguously.
Starting out in a new country means different languages, cultures and business practices that have the potential to be barriers if they are not properly researched and taken into account during the various stages of the internationalization project.
Launching a business in a new market requires cultural, social, political and economic analysis. Having a profitable product in one location doesn’t mean it will be successful elsewhere.
Assessing whether products or services make sense, researching the competition, knowing the available means of communication, understanding consumer habits and knowing about the lifestyles in that country are key to determining the success of a business in any given location.
The biggest challenge brands face during this process is knowing how to adapt their supply, approach and communications without losing their brand identity.
To design an effective internationalization strategy, without mistakes or misunderstandings, it’s crucial that you work with experienced, professional translators and localizers.
The Importance of Translation and Localization
Translation and localization mean much more than simply translating your files and advertising material without spelling mistakes: in fact, text and content need to be adapted to each location. That is to say, the target audience needs to receive a translation that makes complete sense to them and which uses expressions and terms they are familiar with.
✅ That is why it’s essential that you work with specialist professionals, from the initial product / service development stage (name, image, type of packaging, etc.) right up to when it is presented to customers.
✅ Units of measurement, currencies, methods of payment and formatting (dates, fonts, colours and graphics) are just a few of the details that have to be adapted, but there are so many more.
✅ As far as communication is concerned, all copy – including slogans – used in adverts and other material will have to be altered.– This is because many words and expressions will not make sense in other languages or cultures. There are countless examples of words with different uses between the UK and the US. Take the word “pants”, for example: what an American calls “pants” a British person would call “trousers”: and what a British person would call “pants”, an American would call “underpants”.
Remember: Misusing language and culture undermines brand credibility, creates mistrust and makes it difficult to build a relationship with your public, which can all harm your business.
What was said above applies to any business and is of particular importance when it comes to online sales, where – because they don’t have a physical relationship with their customers – companies have fewer opportunities to defend themselves or allow customers to test their products.
Where this is the case, it becomes even more important to optimise websites for foreign markets (using specific SEO strategies), translating the names and descriptions of products correctly for the Online Store.