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Startups: What Localization Can Do for Your Products

Success stories of global startups seem to be everywhere. In reality, it takes more than a unique business idea for success. Today, we’re looking at the advantages of creating a strong strategy for multinational businesses, including how to make product localization work.

Meet the needs of a target market

40% of people simply won’t buy from websites in another language. Clearly, translation is important when launching a new product abroad. But changing the language doesn’t guarantee the product will appeal in a new market.

Target customers want products that are relevant to them, culturally, linguistically, and functionally. This is even more important for startups that haven’t yet established a global reputation. 

Localization definition

The key lies in product localization, tweaking your offering to suit your new market. This might mean changes to the language you use, the way a product works, imagery, cultural references… anything that makes the product feel as though it was made with the new customer in mind. 

Product localization example

Many major brands have product localization strategies, even if the customer doesn’t always notice. For example, Coca-Cola uses the same basic recipe around the world, but it varies the flavors it offers. The company’s website says:

 “Some of our other drinks are only available in certain countries. We tailor our drinks to local tastes. Some flavors are more popular in one country than another and often there are different ingredients in different countries.”

This way, Coca-Cola can cater to the tastes and expectations of its different customers. It takes a local approach on a global scale.

Getting the most value from localization

Ideally, localization won’t be an afterthought for startups. It might be more difficult or take longer to adapt a product or service that was made with solely one market in mind. This may increase your time to market.

Of course, it’s always best to consult an expert before making decisions on international expansion strategies, balancing costs and weighing up the benefits for your business.

What to include in a product localization strategy

Localization is a process that can be applied to almost any product or service. Exactly what should change depends on your target market, your product, and aspects like budget and time.

Below, you can find elements you might need to include in a product localization strategy. The key is to remember successful localization relies on good market knowledge. It’s about creating a product that feels “right”, respecting cultural norms and local habits. As such, these elements will vary from project to project.

1. Changes to the product itself

As in the case of Coca-Cola, businesses may need to adapt their product range for local markets. For example, a clothing company might offer different colors of jackets to suit local tastes, while a software company might change third-party app compatibility to include local favorites. 

2. Marketing

The way you present your product is important. This means making sure that marketing campaigns resonate with the new audience, and that your brand messaging is received the same way in every country and region. You might need to adapt slogans, use different images, and more.

3. Packaging and documents

Everything that comes with your product says something about it. As a startup, it’s especially important to show attention to detail. This means creating clear documents in the right language and ensuring packaging makes your product stand out from the crowd, in the right way.

4. Pricing

You may need to change your pricing structure or add different options or packages abroad. For example, bundles of certain products might work better in one country, or perhaps users prefer a certain payment method. 

The importance of quality

When it comes to localization, it’s vital to work with an expert who understands the local markets, cultures, languages, and your product. Testing language and quality is important to ensure that everything works just as it should, as is having stringent quality control processes in place.

At Future Group, our team of specialists is here to help startups localize the right way, with local knowledge and years of experience to guide you through the process. 

Let us know what you need and one of our team will call you back. 

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