How to build a brand localization strategy

brand localization strategy

Have you set your sights on international markets? Then you need to craft a winning brand localization strategy to ensure your brand resonates with audiences worldwide. Let’s discuss the key steps involved in creating a successful strategy, from understanding your target market to ensuring brand consistency across languages and gathering feedback.

1. Solidify your goals

First off, you need to ask yourself: what am I hoping to achieve? Don’t just say “go global.” Be specific. Are you aiming for brand awareness, increased sales, market leadership, or something else? You should define clear goals as this will help you tailor your approach. For example, if brand awareness is your priority, you might focus on social media marketing and influencer outreach in the target market.

2. Know your target market

Speaking of target market, you need to determine which regions or countries you want to expand into based on factors such as market size, growth potential, and cultural fit. Once you determine this, perform extensive research to understand the local culture, language, consumer behavior, competitors, and regulatory environment in each target market.

Do they primarily use social media? Read newspapers? Watch TV? Market data, surveys, consumer insights, and partnering with native speakers can help you gain understanding of the preferences and needs of your target audience in each market. This way, you can choose the best channels to reach them.

3. Analyze your brand

Before you get started with brand localization, examine your brand’s core values and messaging. Ask yourself things like: “What are the core values my brand represents?” and “What is my brand message?” Maintain consistency so you don’t risk diluting your brand’s core values and identity in the process.

4. Adapt your brand

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Moving on to the actual localization process, you need to establish what are the brand materials you need to adapt for other cultures. Think of things like website content, product descriptions, marketing campaigns, and customer support. Of course, you will most likely also need to adapt your messaging, visuals, and branding elements to align with local customs, traditions, and cultural sensitivities.

Here’s a breakdown of what to consider when adapting your brand for a new market:

  • Language. Literal translation can be disastrous. Use transcreation to ensure your brand’s message is conveyed accurately.
  • Visuals. Colors, symbols, and imagery can have different meanings across cultures.
  • Compliance. Regulations and legal requirements differ by country. Ensure your branding adheres to local laws regarding trademark restrictions, data privacy regulations, and advertising and marketing limitations.

5. Stay consistent

Don’t lose yourself in adaptation. Your voice still needs to reflect your brand’s personality, even when catering to new markets. For example, if your brand voice is friendly and informal, you wouldn’t want your translated marketing materials to sound overly formal and technical. A good brand localization strategy includes considerations such as keeping a balance between adapting to the local market and staying true to the brand’s essence.

6. Consider the customer journey

Map the customer’s touchpoints, such as website, social media platforms, marketing materials, packaging, and customer service interactions. If you wish to provide a seamless experience for your customers, all touchpoints should be localized. Imagine a customer who finds your ad on social media, visits your website, and then tries to contact customer service. Their journey, regardless of the touchpoint, should be in their native language and culturally relevant.

7. Plan and implement

You don’t have to localize everything at once, especially if you don’t have the necessary resources. Prioritize and start with some of the most critical elements, such as website/app and the marketing materials used for your initial market entry. But be sure to build your brand localization strategy in such a way that can it can accommodate future growth.

8. Measure your efforts

Don’t just implement your strategy and walk away; your work isn’t done. It’s time to measure its effectiveness and gather feedback for continuous improvement. Segment your website analytics by region to see how your localized content performs in your target market. Some of the ways you can track engagement based on different goals include:

  • Brand awareness: Track social media mentions, brand searches, and website traffic from your target market.
  • Increased sales: Monitor conversion rates (purchases), shopping cart abandonment rates, and revenue generated from the localized market.
  • Market leadership: Measure brand sentiment through social media listening tools and customer surveys. Track your market share compared to competitors in the localized region.

Another way to measure and refine your strategy is by gathering feedback. This can be done through several methods. You could conduct surveys and focus groups with your target audience in the localized market, use social media listening tools to monitor online conversations about your brand in the target market, or by encouraging customers to leave reviews on your website or app in the local language.

Once you have data and feedback, analyze it to identify possible areas for improvement. You may need to refine your translated content, make adjustments to your website layout or design for a more user-friendly experience, or develop additional localized content. After all, localization is an iterative process.

Localize with POEditor

With the right tools, localization becomes a less daunting task. POEditor helps businesses manage all localization projects in a single platform. It integrates with code hosting service like GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, or Azure DevOps and supports more than 20 file formats.

Choose from multiple translation options such as machine translation and professional translation services. Alternatively, you can invite your own translators, team members, and external reviewers to collaborate on translations in real-time.

Ready to revolutionize your brand localization process and enjoy other useful features like translation memory, glossaries, QA checks, history module, tags, and comments? Sign up for a free trial of POEditor and experience the power of integrated brand localization!

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