KNOWLEDGE BASE Product Localization

 

PRODUCT LOCALIZATION FOR THE UNITED STATES

 

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?

 

"Localization" means making products, websites, apps, and services 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.  

Before you enter the US market, 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 the US and into other countries.

Globig provides you with a wealth of information to help you with Product Localization. If you would like to get to work on localizing for the US market, Globig's US Expansion Plan gives you step-by-steps guides on not only Product Localization, but on a number of other areas to ease your entry into the US. 

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.

 

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

 

Internationalization (i18n)

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. We cover this in our Product Structure Localization section in more detail, but it is essentially building flexibility into your coding, 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.

 

Localization (l10n)

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

 

Globalization

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.

 

Globalization implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers.

BusinessDictionary.com

 

Read through these Globig product localization sections to familiarize yourself with the process 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 the US.

International SEO for the US

International Trademark in the US

Data Protection Regulations in the US

Sales and Billing Regulations in the US

Sales Tax in the US

Language Localization for the US

Cultural Localization for the US

KNOWLEDGE BASE Product Localization