Business Translation Center

Planning your company's 2018 localization budget? Here are five things you need to consider

by OFER TIROSH 13/12/2017

As 2017 rolls inevitably into 2018, many companies are taking the time to pause and look at their budgetary commitments for the year ahead. For businesses that plan to branch out in 2018 in order to work in new markets overseas, one key consideration should be the use of localization services. These services can help smooth the way for companies to engage with new customers without fear of making a cultural blunder. 

If your business is currently planning its 2018 localization budget, here are five things to consider as you map out your global domination strategy. 

Localization is about seeing with foreign eyes

Each country offers its own unique national environment. Cultural norms, values and experiences shape all those who grow up there in countless ways. As such, each nationality will have its own way of seeing things. Professional localization services can help apply this unique perspective to the information that your company is presenting. Whether you’re opting just for website translation or have a whole stack of marketing documents to work through, you need to see them through the eyes of your intended audience. This is all but impossible to do without the guidance and knowledge of professional localization experts. 

Localization is about protecting your reputation

A localization company can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have done all you can to protect against reputational damage. Operating in new, foreign markets is a risky business. It’s surprisingly easy to cause offence unintentionally. It’s also very easy to become a laughing stock. 

Even big companies get caught out by localization fails. Apple’s early attempts to engage with European audiences fell flat when the company failed to include accents, umlauts and a range of other characters on the keyboard of its Apple II back in the 1980s. Unable to type properly in their native languages, European consumers quickly dismissed the device. 

More recently, Starbucks’ use of the Italian term ‘latte’ in Germany caused much hilarity when the chain launched its first coffee shop there. Senior Starbucks staff very quickly learned that ‘latte’ in German means ‘pole,’ which is used colloquially to mean ‘erection.’ Enough said. 

Localization is something you can learn from 

Companies planning their 2018 localization budget should also bear in mind that localization is something that can benefit them in more ways than just adapting their materials to foreign audiences. As we explore in this article, proactive businesspeople can use the localization process as an opportunity to gain lasting knowledge about their would-be customers overseas. 

Localization isn’t just about culture

Cultural considerations play a big role in the provision of localization services, but they’re not the only thing that localization experts bear in mind. Current political happenings, recent consumer trends and events such as local scandals or national news stories all have to be considered during the localization process, as they can impact the way that a company needs to present itself. 

Localization isn’t solely for written documents

Video translation is a rapidly growing market, as more and more companies appreciate the potential that video presents, particularly in the social media environment. It’s also an area where localization is immensely important. Not only can a localization expert advise on how best to reshape what is being said in the video, they can also provide guidance on matters like clothing and headwear. Such information is invaluable to companies looking to engage with overseas audiences in the right way and without causing offence. 

For more information and guidance on how professional localization services can help to grow your business in 2018, contact the Tomedes team