Many businesses strive to be classified as global or international. It’s viewed as a major marker of success for most companies and adds a level of authenticity and professionalism to your brand.
Going global enables businesses to tap into entirely new markets. This means not only are you pumping up your bottom line, but you are also extending the shelf life of your messaging and giving it arms to reach a more global audience.
Globalization braces your company for growth and expansion, both significant qualifiers for potential shareholders and partnerships.
What is Globalization?
Globalization is the economic concept of making products or services accessible to a new international demographic by applying a unified concept or direction across all markets.
In other words, Globalization is when organizations operate on an international scale with a similar offering.
The essential truth is globalization is most likely to bear fruit when the product is general enough to reach a wide audience. The ability to connect with an audience on the other side of the world enables us to share our values in addition to goods and services.
Therefore, when we are able to share, we are increasing the trustworthiness of our efforts as well as potential for success in additional markets🤑
How Does Globalization Work?
The concept of globalization inherently holds the capability to touch many pieces of modern life, including social media, advertising and voice search.
It can change brand reputations and alter opinions. It can make or break companies based on how it is prioritized within corporate strategy. Simply put, globalization will affect your business whether you want it to or not.
One great example to look at are cars. In the past, automakers would target different models to different locations depending on the needs or desires of those markets. This would be localization.
However, more recently, brands have begun to expand a unified design language and brand identity across numerous international markets. Just look at the Ford Mustang -- previously, this used to be a US only offering.
However, with the launch of the most recent model, Ford has begun offering the Mustang in Europe. Furthermore, the Mustang follows a new global design language that dictates the styling and architecture of Ford’s cars for all markets.
But that doesn’t mean it was easy -- the Mustang still had to be localized for sale in Europe. Specifically, clear tail lights instead of the red tail lights we’re familiar with in America and larger side mirrors to accommodate legal regulations.
Design wise, Ford removed stylistic vents on the hood of the Mustang for a more sophisticated look with the European model to localize the experience.
Some considerations you will have to make before you can globalize include:
- Knowing regulations and legal limitations of each country.
- Incorporating each region’s dialect, reflecting on value systems (including but not limiting religion and cultural considerations).
- Relying on stats regarding the interest and needs of your locale
Benefits of Globalization for Businesses
Globalization enables brands to engage customers and users across the world with a similar offering, tailored to fit each locale. Benefits of utilizing globalization include:
- Potential for additional sources of revenue
- Ability to reach a foreign culture in a meaningful way
- Build trust between company and customer / client
- Accelerate creativity and innovation
- Opportunity to lead within industry
If this sounds a little familiar, you may be thinking of localization.
Globalization and localization could be considered the siblings of language translation: localization is more of nuance in form (ex. English is read left to right whereas Arabic and Hebrew are read from right to left) and globalization is about creating a unified message that resonates with all cultures and locales around the world.
Best Practices for Globalization
There are a number of best methods that brands can utilize to incorporate globalization in their product strategy. These include:
- Creating content with evergreen messaging by incorporating the essence of living as a human on earth: emotions, common worries, hopes.
- Managing the company value chain to align with top goals and ensure competitive advantage.
- Optimize your content for maximum market saturation by avoiding acronyms, write in the active voice, use one term to identify a single concept.
The Bottom Line
There will always be alluring shortcuts in business, but putting a globalization strategy into place is an advantageous move that can curtail major international mistakes.
When your reputation is on the table, trusted industry leaders like Smartling can help set you up for international success.
Consider a trial run - all you have to do is identify 1,000 words, choose three languages and provide some guidelines and we will show you how Smartling can get your globalization strategy started. Set up a meeting here!
Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.