Why Localization Is Important in Business Strategy
Localization in the business world is the adaptation of the content in a way that suits the target audience. It can be done for websites, products, or games. It has many benefits and it can be used for so many purposes. It takes professionals to be able to accurately use localization in the most effective way when it comes to the business world.
What Is Localization?
Localization is the process of adapting specific content in a way that is suitable for the target audiences in terms of culture, beliefs, religion, preferences, history, and needs. It can also mean the adaptation of a product, item, or service to make sense to the target audience, and for them to be able to relate to and purchase.
Localization is used in various fields such as information technology, gaming and entertainment, and even in general contents. It is used in - but not limited to - videos, articles, movies, websites, games, and even products.
How Does Localization Work?
A good localization is one that takes care of all differences and makes the product or content look native and customized. Localization should be done with close attention to details, and a localizer should take into consideration many factors such as cultures, beliefs, interests, history, sensitive topics, situations, religions, preferences, etc. Once considered, the final outcome will be suitable for the target audience. It will be more appealing and relatable.
Localization Definition in Business
Localization in business is the adaptation of content or a product in a way that sounds appealing to the target audience. Not all audiences from different countries share the same principles, beliefs, religion, history, culture, or interests. For that reason, everything in the business field should be localized based on the target audience, to be able to relate and therefore purchase the item or product, or make use of a service.
Localization can be used in marketing, to make the content suitable for the target audience, and to catch the attention. Whether for websites, slogans, or even packages, localization in business, especially in marketing, can make a huge difference.
Benefits of Localization in Business
The benefits of localization in business are many, and they are an integral part of business strategies.
- More appealing: The first and foremost benefit of localization in business is that it makes content and/or products more appealing to the target audiences. They can relate more, and will therefore feel like everything is personalized and unique.
- More understandable: Localization in business makes contents and/or products more understandable, and they will make sense since everything is adapted to the culture of the target audiences.
- Providing the best customer experience: When the audiences feel that what they are reading or using is personalized and customized, it will automatically boost the customer experience. This means that what they are using or reading will mean more to them since they will feel like it was intended for them.
- More audience: The more business owners make use of localization in business, the more their products or content will reach audiences. This is because they will be able to relate and make use of the product or even simply enjoy what they are reading.
- Increased revenue: More audience means more revenue because the audience will either purchase the products or make use of the services that were localized. This will therefore result in increasing income.
- Opening new opportunities: Making use of localization in business will lead to opening new opportunities, such as business collaborations and investments. The reason is that the content or product will be reaching all areas of the world, so this will open new opportunities.
- Closer customer relationships: Since customers will feel that the content or product is customized and personalized, they will start preferring what is localized, and this will result in building closer customer relationships. Localized content, services, or products will sound so familiar that business owners will be more trusted.
- Offering a better experience: Localized content and products will offer a better experience for customers and audiences. This means that the localized content or product will be more likely to succeed.
- Business expansion: Localized content and products will automatically result in business expansion. Business owners will have the chance to make their products and content reach everyone, everywhere, and in a way that is suitable and understandable. Business growth is one of the most important benefits of localization in business since localization will help in leaving an impact, growing, and expanding.
- Avoiding cultural taboos: Not all countries have the same beliefs and history, and this means that there are specific topics that can’t be tackled in all countries. Whether localizing a title, a slogan, an article, or others, localization helps in avoiding cultural taboos that might cause problems. Not only that, but this can even result in the rejection of the content, product, or service.
Localization in Business Examples
In the business field, everything can be localized. Business owners can decide based on what and whom they’re aiming at.
Some examples of localization in business:
- Localization of websites: Localization of websites is the process of making the content suitable for the target audience, by using different marketing strategies for example. The localizer should be able to write appealing content and titles that are catchy and adapted based on the target audience’s needs and preferences. The style should be changed, as well as the description in some cases.
- Localization of games: Based on the target country’s history, beliefs, culture, preferences, or religion, games should be localized to be more appealing and relatable. Game developers should know what topics the target audience is interested in and what is acceptable in certain cultures. This also applies to names and locations.
- Localization of packages: Packages should also be localized in some cases, to appeal to the target audience.
- Localization of slogans: Slogans should be catchy and they should be understandable. They should be based on each target country and culture since they are what will catch the attention of readers at first.
- Localization of brand names: Some brand names might not make sense in all countries and cultures. For that reason, business owners should aim at localizing brand names to sound more appealing.
- Localization of features: Products and items should have their features localized since some countries might need specific features that aren’t necessary for other ones. For that reason, whether it be a smartphone, a laptop, or a watch, localizing features will increase the purchase of the item or product.
- Localization of descriptions: Localizing descriptions will either convince the target audience or not. That is why localizing descriptions is mandatory since it is what customers rely on to make a decision.
- Localization of movie applications and sites: To each and every country and region their own preferences and interests. Even though people from the same region might not share the exact same interests, however, there are always movies or series that will appeal to all the target audiences. Localization can help movie applications and sites make the right recommendations that are personalized.
- Localizing international lending applications: To each culture, its preferences when it comes to lending a house, an apartment, or a bungalow for example. Lending applications can use localization to determine what each region and culture are looking for.
- Purchasing process: Even purchasing process can be localized for the same company. Each country has its own purchasing policies and methods. This means that one method can never be used in all countries and regions.
- Localization of movies: When bringing Western movies to the Middle East, for example, they should be localized in terms of names, topics, terminologies and words used, and even scenes. This will first of all make movies accepted and watched. Not to mention that if movies aren’t localized, there is a great chance that they will be rejected.
Is Localization the Same as Translation?
While translation means conveying the meaning of the content from one language to another, while using equivalents and the same meanings, localization is adapting the content, service, or product to a specific country. Localization is the process that goes beyond simply the translation of the content. It means taking into account important factors such as different cultures, religions, interests, beliefs, history, preferences, etc.
Not to mention that even products and services can be localized, which means that features can change in some cases, based on what the target audiences need. This means that not all localizations are closely related to the translation itself.
Who Can Localize?
In general, localizers are translators who know all about the target audience. This means that they not only know how to translate properly, but they also know all there is to know about the target country. Localizers should know about sensitive topics, rules, regulations, history, cultures, religions, practices, interests, preferences, and more, and translate content in a way that is suitable, accepted, and adapted.
As localization can be used on products, items, and services as well, localizers can be researchers or natives who have all answers related to gaps and differences between two countries, cultures, or regions.
How Do I Become a Localizer?
Typically, you should start by earning a Bachelor's Degree in Arts in Translation. This will make you qualified and will allow you to translate content from one language into another. Then, you should do thorough research to know all information concerning your source and target audiences. This will make it possible for you to identify all differences and will therefore lead to good localization.
However, if you’re a localizer of products, services, or items, you should simply have a close knowledge of cultural differences. This will require that you have a reliable source of information and conduct the necessary research.
You should know what is accepted, what is rejected, and what is preferred. That way, you will be a successful localizer who has insights and can successfully localize anything. Knowing your audience well is key when it comes to localization.
Is Localization Required for all Fields?
Not all fields require localization of contents. However, based on the type of document, localization might still be needed in fields to make the content understandable. For example, a medical report should only be translated and not localized. The reason is that the information should be conveyed as is, and nothing should be changed.
Nevertheless, a medical research paper or a medical article might be localized in specific cases, if there were remedies and cures that are used differently. In that case, the translator and localizer might change treatments that don’t ring any bell in the target country and use the treatment, cure, or remedy that is used in this specific country or region. Also, in the legal field, localization is hardly ever used. Unless there is legal information concerning a specific country and the rules and laws should be localized and based on the country.
In the same way, technical content shouldn’t be localized, unless they are required to be adapted and suitable for the target audience.
On the other hand, there are fields and types that require localization, such as web writing, gaming, entertainment, movies, etc. The reason is that if the content wasn’t localized, there is a chance that the target audiences will not understand the content, or that they will find it offensive. Or the content will simply not appeal to them.
What Should Every Business Owner Localize?
Business owners should typically aim at localizing their websites, games, titles, slogans, brand names, descriptions, smartphones, laptops, accessories, clothes, footwear, movie contents, cars, machines, catalogs, watches, services, features, applications, software, programs, training, workshops, materials, manuals, applications, sites, recommendations, etc.