KNOWLEDGE BASE Product Localization
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PRODUCT LOCALIZATION FOR GERMANY
"Good localization is so invisible, it’s no wonder people have never heard of it. It’s only when it’s bad (or non-existent) that it’s noticeable. And believe me, people do notice it"
- Katie Botkin in her blog,
What is Localization?
For products, websites, services, and apps, "localization" means making things local and relevant to the people in that country - as if they were made for that country from the start. And when you get it right, it's a beautiful thing. But if you get it wrong or don't localize at all, it's obvious.
As you decide to enter the German market, it’s worth your time to consider how you will “localize” your efforts. While you may be familiar with doing business in your own country, there are many areas to plan for as you expand globally. Simply taking what works in your country and introducing it in a new country may not work. And if you don’t plan ahead, you could end up costing your company more than you needed to both financially and in wasted time – or you could even be risking failure. But if you take the right steps from the start, you can make localization a much easier process, even as you expand beyond Germany.
Let’s take a minute to put localization into context with internationalization and having a global strategy, since you will sometimes hear these terms used interchangeably. We'll also give you a quick definition of globalization to help you differentiate it from global strategy.
At some point, going global has entered your strategy, which is probably what brought you to Globig. Developing a global strategy is the process of addressing all of the logistical and organizational aspects for content, assets, and message across markets and cultures for your global expansion. Think of it as the first step in your process, as the foundation for what comes next. In the process of developing your global strategy you’ll want to consider:
The research, identification, market validation, and selection for any new global market
The capturing and formalizing of global business requirements
Identification of technology standards, available solutions, and how your systems, products, and services integrate with these standards
Language differences leading to translation needs
Cultural considerations that could impact your product, service, messaging, and interactions
Any opportunities for marketing or technological reuse across global markets as you expand
Internal alignment and support for your global strategy and the subsequent internationalization and localization
This is the process by which you prepare the technical aspects of your product or service to be easily localized, and requires both technical expertise and a knowledge of the markets you plan to enter. It is essentially building flexibility into your code, site layout, and documents so that you can easily switch from one language to another, from one cultural setting to another. If you have done your i18n correctly, you can much more quickly and cost-effectively localize as you expand.
With localization, you are making a product or service in such a way that it culturally belongs in that market, so that it feels natural and local. For example and depending on the market, localization may include:
Changing the language out to the one used in the new market
Changing out images, colors, and other visuals to be appropriate for that market
New time zones, contact information, hours of operation
We've already defined what having a global strategy means. Now we'll give you a good definition for globalization. They are two different things, though are commonly mistakenly used interchangeably. As you'll see, globalization is a very different concept from having a global strategy.
Globalization: The worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration.
Read through these Globig product localization sections to familiarize yourself with some of the most important ways in which you can localize and be sure to reach out for local help if needed. The Globig Marketplace contains a number of vetted experts who can help you get it right for Germany.
KNOWLEDGE BASE Product Localization