Why localization is crucial to your international branding

by | Jun 11, 2018

Developing a successful global strategy for a brand is not a walk in the park. There are many things to consider and a lot of research to do before even thinking of getting started.

Your brand is your image. It involves a series of elements that exist to send a clear message to your clients. So when you’re thinking about conquering foreign markets, it’s absolutely necessary that you put the same effort to your international desires.

How can you do this?


Nowadays, is all about the local approach, and the brands that really want to connect with their customers are integrating localization into their internationalization projects.

Localization goes beyond merely translating content. It involves adapting a product or content maintaining the tone, context, and all the cultural references to really talk to your foreign audience in their native tongue. The goal is to make locals understand your message and identify with it, making them feel that the product or service has been specifically created to fit their needs.

Why should you speak local?

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” (Nelson Mandela)

There’s no bigger reason than that.

Your business might be global, but as the saying goes, all business is local.

In order to attract people and convert more leads into sales, you need to speak to people in their native language. Your business revolves around your consumer, so keeping them happy will always be the right way to go.

Localization enhances the experience that customers have with your brand, making it culturally relevant to them. You’re showing your customers that you care about them; understand their culture, environment, and preferences; and in turn, know what they need. You’re making them trust you and engage with what you have to offer.

Also, let’s not forget that statistics show that 70% of world’s web users don’t speak English, so investing in localizing your brand is definitely a smart investment.

What are the benefits?

Most of the benefits are already mentioned, but to sum up, localization:

  • Enhances the customer experience
  • Improves the brand’s international presence
  • Helps you obtain a higher ROI in your brand internationalization project
  • Increases clients
  • Increases sales

To conclude, adapting your entire campaign into a whole different language and culture may seem a bit daunting. However, if you don’t play your cards right and don’t put effort into this, you might end up with a poor result that might even damage your brand’s image.

There are many companies that have succeeded or failed based on the localization of their campaigns.

For example, in Latin America, the localization of Nissan’s mini van Moco name is one of the unfortunate cases. They decided to just leave that name without considering that in Spanish the word “moco” means “mucus.” Even more disastrous was that within the colors of that model they included a green one, so you can imagine the laughs that the little detail generated.

To avoid any shameful situations and make your brand succeed anywhere, our advice is to always focus on the people, check the details, and always think local.

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