Global Brand Localization and Brand Consistency

Why Is Brand Localization Important?

The need to localize brand and website content for new markets is becoming greater each day, and global brands seek to preserve their established brand voice, despite translation and website localization. To ensure the most efficient and effective brand localization process, marketers should adopt a translation management system that will help them cut costs and speed up delivery, while at the same time help them control their brand message as it moves across borders.

Brand Localization

The need to localize brands follows from global expansion. Why are so many brands going global?

  • Growth is distributed across the world. Along with the well-known growth stories from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, many markets in countries within Europe and Latin America continue to grow steadily.
  • Online potential of many countries is yet to be exploited. With the world average of internet usage under 50%, there continues to be huge potential for further growth, particularly in emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
  • Many countries are highly sensitive to content in their languages, like Japan, Russia, Germany, and others. Users in these countries are exposed to a high level of in-language content online already. Translation into local language is a must-have for any brand that wants to concentrate their efforts on market penetration and tap into such countries.
  • Brand consistency and localization protects brand image and preserves brand equity. Companies can use brand assets — loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality, strong brand associations — to access or maintain their position in global markets. Doing so both protects and leverages brand equity. Consistency of localizations efforts is an especially important strategy for brands that also embody a lifestyle or an experience.

From a strategic perspective, there is incredible potential for growth into new markets. On the other hand, there is also risk for companies that enter new markets without the proper positioning strategy. Forays into global markets must be strategic and executed with the local user in mind. Whether a user is in the United States, Asia, or Europe (and even countries or sub-regions within these areas) will influence the way they perceive and interact with the brand. Localization is now seen as a significant, integral part of a global brand strategy.

Translate Marketing Content and Maintain Brand Consistency

The challenge of growing a brand globally becomes finding the middle ground between adapting to local tastes and preserving the brand. Companies must strike a balance between customizing their brand and products to the local market and ensuring the localized brand is consistent with the parent, and that the global brand is recognizable in every market.

It’s essential to understand what the brand represents to the target market, what attracts international consumers, and how the local market’s perception of the brand may imitate or differ from the original market in which it was developed. Brand perception and market penetration in local markets worldwide can help inform global branding strategies, and can help a company determine which of their international growth strategies are sustainable, or how they should be modified to make them sustainable.

When maintaining and preserving a brand’s established voice, there are a few key ways to ensure brand consistency across global markets. Brands that use simplicity in their messaging typically have an easier time translating their overall brand voice. Avoiding buzzwords and instead sharing emotional values can help translate a brand voice be more universal. It is important to be aware of localization trends for different cultures, as some cultures and languages might be more subtle in their nuance of context, other cultures require more explicit language to capture the essence of a brand voice. Brands with the strongest consistency avoid using an erratic tone, which can create confusion with customers.

Power Your Brand and Website Localization with Translation Management Technology

As you work on localizing your brand and website content, it’s important to choose the best translation software. Smartling’s Global Fluency Platform has the built-in functionality to extract content out of the code or CMS and automatically route it to the translation resource of your choice. It allows content to be pushed easily into a translation workflow and ensures continuous synchronization, even if content is updated on a daily — or hourly — basis. The Global Fluency Platform provides a solution for ambitious brands looking to localize their brand messaging into dozens of languages providing the workflows, flexibility and control necessary to manage the localization of all the complexities of a brand’s voice.