María Palomares Tarí
THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE IN YOUR LOCALIZATION STRATEGY
Today, it is no secret that buyers and customers are no longer limited by geography — they expect to have access to a variety of products and information and not only on-demand, but preferably in their native language.
However, when a business enters a new foreign market, it can be challenging to give buyers in that country a customer experience that feels familiar and comfortable to them. Hence why, before you even consider entering a new market, you need to understand it.
For that, it is essential for any company to use a unique market approach to address purchasing habits, customer behaviors and overall cultural differences and nuances in each country or area it works in. This is known as LOCALIZATION STRATEGY.
Today we will be focusing on the role that these cultural aspects play when creating your localization strategy for your global brand.
Culture and Localization
Have you ever tried to describe what culture is? Why is it so important for us?
UNESCO defines culture as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, that encompasses, not only art and literature, but lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Consequently, the ways in which culture impacts localization are many.
When we localize, we are in fact prioritizing a very specific element of diversity: culture. For instance, creating a fresh website that contains local symbols, images, and even colors can enhance the website’s relatability factor. From doing that, it is highly likely that people within the local market start to see your brand as something that “belongs”, which will make your brand more recognizable.
In order to understand your target market, it is a must, specially in the initial phases, to conduct extensive research and bringing on knowledgeable language and cultural consultants — the last thing you desire is to offend prospective customers on arrival! Apart from that, you need to ensure proper translation and localization of your products will be conducted accurately.
In conclusion, for companies going global, it is critical to possess all the information needed before planning the business expansion, and cultural research is critical to understand the target market.
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