Localized Websites are able to communicate effortlessly with a brand’s targeted customer. A localized website is a specialist in conveying a special kind of information that cannot be achieved with mere machine translation. Unlike a generic stock brand webpage, the localized website is especially suited for meeting a customer’s needs, be it cultural, currency-based, language-based or the desire for products or services with a personal touch.
To help your brand website emote and communicate like a native and appear inviting and pleasant to a local populace, we have uncovered the following 5 secrets to successfully localized websites:
Identifying a Target Market
The first logical step is deciding in which country to market a brand’s products and services. The following questions help to shape this decision:
Is the country interested in the product?
Will the targeted consumer willingly choose the brand?
Can the business survive the already existing competition?
Is the brand’s product or service affordable to the targeted consumer?
Does that country’s market promise a healthy growth rate?
Are product delivery costs in the country manageable?
Is Customer Support in the local tongue affordable for the business?
Will the ROI justify the investment in website localization?
The sensible thing to do is to first enter a market where there is the highest probability of the product getting sold. As costs can increase with multiple target countries and languages, it is better to start small and go with the flow until the brand finds new emerging markets.
If the brand’s product is a bestseller in one particular region, it should be treated like a benchmark around which the rest of the business plan can be figured out.
The objective is to reach the highest number of potential customers without crossing the budget. After the marketing and financial indicators mentioned above have been studied, a business should consider the experiences of others regarding specific markets and learn from that as well. For example – the stories of Nike and Mercedes-Benz in China clearly prove that the cultural appropriateness of a product and its marketing technique are MORE IMPORTANT than plain statistics. China has a MASSIVE customer base (a misleading statistic from a business perspective) that is mostly untapped. This is because the localized websites operating here till date had been initially forced to explore the market without rock-solid guidance or expertise in Chinese culture and linguistics. Let’s see what happened.
Nike: They designed white sneakers for The Year of the Monkey. The Chinese character on the left shoe, Fa (發), supposedly means good fortune. The character on the right shoe, Fu (福), is believed to denote wealth. Nike understandably thought that they have invented an excellent marketing gimmick. Despite their sincere efforts, this gimmick bombed. What they failed to grasp is that Chinese characters change in meaning when used in combination. So when the wearer of the sneakers joined heels, the resulting message, instead of “good fortune and wealth,” read “fat!” Read more...
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