Whether you’ve already branched out overseas or you’re just beginning to think about selling internationally after conquering the domestic market, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to communicate with potential customers overseas.
With a range of automated webpage translation tools available, you might be thinking that’s enough because your audience will be able to understand what you’re saying, right? Not quite… Creating content for international markets is a little more complex – it will undergo a process called localisation. And not localising content correctly can be a real stumbling block when trying to win over audiences abroad, as different cultures have different norms and expectations when consumers buy products or services.
In this article we’ll explain what localisation is and why it’s essential if you want to make your brand go global.
What is localisation?
If you’re familiar with translation, you may be wondering exactly how localisation is different from this.
While there is a fair amount of overlap between the two, simply put, localisation goes much further than simply translating content from one language into another.
GALA (Globalization and Localization Association) defines localisation as: ‘the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market’, and translation is just one element of this. Localisation may include:
Getting localisation wrong could be costly, and the internet is full of humorous examples, such as Pepsi’s Chinese translation of ‘We bring you back to life’ which was translated as ‘We bring your ancestors back from the grave’. While we may laugh, these sorts of errors might make potential customers think twice before they buy, so they can be costly… It’s worth investing in high quality localisation if you want to attract and retain customers from different markets in order to make your business go global.