How to Localize Product Selection Based on Your Target Country’s Needs
Customer wants and needs vary extensively depending on where they live, the geopolitical conditions, and emerging trends in their locale. Your business must cater to these diverse demands if you want it to appeal to a global audience. This usually involves moulding a product to better fit the needs of your intended audience.
There are many advantages to executing a good product localization strategy. For example, businesses that localise their marketing and advertising collateral have an edge over their competitors.
But despite this and many other apparent advantages, many brands still don't have a well-thought-out product localization strategy.
Let's find out why that matters.
Product Localization: Crafting Local Customer Experiences
Product localization focuses mainly on enhancing every aspect of user experience — visuals, messages, UX elements — for a specific country's target market.
Lead generation, engagement, and demand all centre around product localization, as marketing resources and assets with area relevance are better at persuading customers in those regions.
Simply put, marketing efforts often fall flat if they don't resonate with regional audiences. In severe cases, they may even backfire. Product localization ensures that doesn’t happen to you.
- How can engagement levels potentially increase when marketing materials are not localised to reflect the regional preferences and local culture in terms of style, colours, language, and flavour?
- How can you increase your product's demand overseas if the marketing collateral you generate feels and looks like a stranger's idea of what that market should be interested in?
- Why would prospective customers even fill out your marketing form that feels uninviting and appears foreign?
Product localization highlights the top problems marketers need to resolve and helps create a plan tailored to the cultural context of the specific target market.
Beyond language, product localization entails modifying marketing to local etiquette, customs, consumer behaviour patterns, norms, and values.
Why Product Localisation Matters
A well-placed product localization strategy enhances customer experience and enables you to communicate your specific offerings to the local target market effectively. Simultaneously, it also helps you sustain brand consistency and identity.
Use product localisation strategies to truly resonate with your new target markets and meet customer needs effectively. In turn, your potential customers will feel more connected with your brand.
Here are some reasons why product localization matters:
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Localisation is critical to maximising customer satisfaction as it helps deliver customised products or solutions for each market. An excellent example of this is Netflix incredibly successful localization strategy.
The trick to effective product localisation is to generate new versions that don't feel like adaptations or translations. Instead, they feel like a unique and original product experience.
Broader Customer Base
A successful product localisation approach helps your offerings reach a broader audience in your target country. This is imperative because the more varied your clientele, the more significant sales and revenue you can expect.
For instance, while some brands are popular globally, others do well when they localise their product selection to meet local preferences and tastes.
Easier Product Expansion
Ensure that expansion into different markets is as smooth as possible without hindering the experience of existing users. This is crucial because your current customer base isn't impacted when you start growing.
With localisation, the core product generally remains unchanged to ensure that you aren't alienating existing users when you capture and cater to new markets. It's just a more customised version of your product that takes into account the regional needs and their specific preferences.
How to Localise Your Product Effectively Based on Your Target Audience
Here’s how you can effectively localise your products according to the target market's needs and preferences:
Conduct Adequate Market Research
It is pivotal to have a sound idea of who your target market will be, their language preferences for visual and audio content, and any cultural or local considerations you need to make.
Considering your target market's cultural preferences and differences is crucial. There may be aspects of your current marketing campaign that won’t resonate with other cultures. So, you wouldn't want to alienate prospective customers by creating a cultural faux pas.
For instance, in Japan, patronising your competitors is never a good idea. So despite the fiery exchanges with their customers in other parts of the world, Apple abstained from using its PC vs. Mac marketing campaign during their expansion into the Japanese market.
Build a Competent Product Localisation Team
You'll need a dedicated team or department to ensure your product localisation strategy works. So you'll need translators, product developers, and a project manager.
- Project manager — The project manager will oversee the localisation team and ensure they’re on-task and organised throughout the process. Also, they should be near-fluent or fluent in the specific country's languages you may be planning to localise for, have strong communication skills, excellent attention to detail, and extensive experience in project management.
- Translators — The translators will have the responsibility for converting the product marketing and related aspects into the specific country's language. Therefore, they must be native speakers of both the target and source language. It's better when more translators manage the product, as different people find innovative and creative solutions while proofreading each other's work.
- Product developers — Product developers build tools to make it easier for interpreters to complete their tasks, test new translation versions on existing devices, roll out updates as required, review finished translations with precision, and ensure consistency across various locales or platforms. Product developers work closely with product localisation teams during the entire campaign. Their responsibilities typically include pinpointing and fixing technical issues before translation starts.
For instance, Netflix outsources most of its translation capabilities to global vendors, led by Directors of Localization, Language Managers, Product Developers, and Localization Project Managers — all in-house.
Make Use of Your Expertise and Relevant Software
This is yet another crucial step in the product localisation process.
Localising your product-specific content for a particular target market takes practice and time. So make sure you do it appropriately with the help of experts who know successful localisation techniques for both regional users and search engines.
The right platform can offer you many solutions, helping your business with experienced translators and resources.
When it comes to product localisation, you can't merely rely on a one-size-fits-all method. What works in the United States won't necessarily work for China and vice versa. Always make sure you target and cater to each market's needs and demands.
Test the Results
Once you’re finished with the product localisation process, it's time to thoroughly test your strategy to assess how well your offering will perform in the new market. Also, consider beta testing your strategy on real people. This can give you a better and more accurate idea of the challenges new customers might experience so you can fix them before launching.
Moreover, make sure you test with your most valuable customers in the new target market to draw relevant deductions regarding which approach is working and which one isn’t.
Optimising and preparing product localisation may seem overwhelming at first, but it's an ongoing process with a specific level of trial and error.
Keep track of your strategies in local markets, and don't forget to test your plan to gauge your localisation approach's effectiveness.
Remember, developing trust with audiences takes patience and time. So, achieving success will require comprehensive and careful implementation.
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Connect with Lingble today to represent your brand and provide a top-notch customer experience to a global clientele.