Why Localization is Essential for Companies Scaling Globally

Nov 14, 2019 | Leadership

Photo Courtesy of Straker Translations 

Alvaro Rocabayera, CEO of the revolutionary company Straker Translations’ Spain branch, explains the importance of creating multimedia content and localizing it for any business that operates globally.

When planning the communications strategy for a company’s global expansion or breaking into a new market, there’s no “one size fits all”. Getting the right message through can be key to success—and doing otherwise can lead entire endeavors into failure.

Honda had to learn this lesson the hard way when it launched a new compact model in 2001. The Japanese car manufacturer decided not to change the name of the Honda Fitta when releasing it in Sweden. “Fitta” is a vulgar word in Swedish and, unfortunately for Honda, this minor detail had a negative impact on the model’s sales performance in the Nordic country. In consequence, the name was changed to  Honda Jazz for the European market and Honda Fit in the U.S. This is how not using localization can affect a company into entering a new market. 

This is something Straker Translations knows very well. The technology services company has been helping businesses and individuals to get their message across since 1999. Since language is not the only barrier when trying to break into new markets, and Straker additionally provides a very innovative portfolio services to help companies achieve a seamless expansion abroad. 

Everything involving  a business process needs to be localized in order to give an organization an assertive global voice. This includes  human resources documentation, M&A documentation, legal files, company accounts, e-learnings, tenders, and marketing materials. All of this can be accomplished through proper localization and multimedia content. Investing on these two things will avoid many rough patches in the already exhausting road to going global and it will help companies reach more customers, offering a better experience and increasing revenues. 

But what exactly do these two services mean?  

Photo Courtesy of Straker Translations 

What is Localization?

Localizing is all about adapting your content physically, linguistically, and even culturally to a specific market. Alvaro Rocabayera, CEO at Straker Spain, gives an example of this process.

“Think about Monopoly: people in the USA, would have streets like 5th Avenue. In Spain, they would have Passeig de Gracia, and in the UK, they would have Fleet-street. It’s not only about the literal translation, but making people understand the meaning,” explains Rocabayera.

Straker Translations is said to be revolutionizing the translation industry by offering faster, easier and far more cost-effective translations with a unique translation model. When asked about whether companies should implement localization, Rocabayera affirms that they must. He’s confident that it can play a key role in helping a brand survive and by localizing their messages, and building a bridge to reach company’s targeted market is what drives Straker.

Why is it Important? 

Improve Customer Satisfaction

The user experience would be more personalized and therefore, overall customer conversions will increase. 

Market Expansion

It can help you to enter new markets more rapidly by overcoming cultural barriers. Better engagement will be reached and customers would be more likely to spread the word and accept the product or service. 

Sales Growth

Using the same language than your customers builds trust and commitment, and when having this, price is not the main issue anymore. 

Reduce Risk

Certain countries have political, historical and cultural issues and when trying to break into their market, companies should be aware of them. Localization then becomes a safety measure that avoids negative connotations and ensures your business runs smoothly internationally.

What About Multimedia Content?

Multimedia content is everything companies can use to get through the company’s messages and to help build brand awareness in a very unique and powerful way. 

It can be a combination of different forms like pictures, videos, podcasts, file sharing, text, mobile marketing, and live casting to facilitate communication between employees, customers, and potential customers. 

Dr. Lynell Burmark, a Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and expert on visual literacy, explains that words are processed by our short-term memory. However, images go directly into long-term memory making them more recordable

Straker Translations additionally owns studios were audio-visual transcriptions, subtitling, and voice over services. Multimedia content creation is also provided, using the most up-to-date technology, but always supported by human capabilities.

Photo Courtesy of Straker Translations 

“The ability that these technologies and formats have in order to make the most of business is enormous.” Said Rocabayera. 

The combination of multimedia forms and their localization make complex data more accessible, understandable, and usable. In this way, companies can craft spot-on communications without worrying that something as key as the branding of a brand new car model will be lost in translation from Japan to Sweden. 

Alvaro Rocabayera is currently a member of Opportunity Network 

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