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Major Brand Localization Mistakes You Should Avoid

Halen Terry

If you want to scale your business internationally, it won’t be easy at all. It involves a lot of market research, audience analysis, secure financing, and collaboration among team members.

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If you want to scale your business internationally, it won’t be easy at all. It involves a lot of market research, audience analysis, secure financing, and collaboration among team members. Localization is an essential step to fulfill your business’s global expansion goals. And if you are thinking of localizing your brand, you have already taken an important step forward to capture global markets.  

Now the question here is, how to prepare your brand for the global market, and localize your content without making mistakes? It is very common to make mistakes in language translation due to lack of experience, gaps in communication, or ineffective localization strategy. It is imperative to avoid such mistakes to maintain your brand consistency globally and represent yourself as a trustworthy business to your targeted customers. 

 Below are listed some common mistakes in language localization made by businesses that can affect their growth and defame their brand internationally.

Common Localization Mistakes to Avoid 

Replying On Open-Source Translations

There are many free-to-use translation tools available online, but are they really suitable for your language localization? The answer is no. These tools are not meant for your digital content translation that needs creativity and should be in context. Many businesses simply put their content into these machine translation systems and get translation free of cost. It might cost you no money, but the quality is not guaranteed either.

 You never know whether these systems have considered the context of your message, or completely put it off track. If you want to get machine translation, you must buy a reliable TMS that is professional, reliable, and tested. Even with this professional system, you would need the assistance of human translators to review the content. This would help you keep your content quality higher without compromising the context of the original message.

Not Considering Culture Nuances 

Whenever you are preparing to target a new market, knowing their culture is probably the most significant thing. The culture of a region helps you understand the preferences, interests, and psychologies of your targeted audiences. It allows you to better shape your brand persona in a way that resonates with native audiences. It also helps them connect with your product or services. 

When it comes to localization, you have to revisit every aspect of your brand, including design, graphics, formatting, slogans, and even the mission statements. You must modify your brand in a way that it syncs with the culture and norms of that region. Make sure your developers and translators have enough experience to generate content and develop code considering the cultural nuances.

Limiting Your Localization to Translations 

It is one of the most common mistakes made by global enterprises, they limit their localization strategy to language translations only. Make sure your localization strategy is covering all elements of the brand, from designs to payment methods. The purpose of localization is to make your audiences feel connected with the brand and to achieve this, language translation is not enough.

For instance, if you have designed a mobile application and want to launch it in the global marketplace, then you have to come up with a localization strategy. Under this strategy, you have to adjust all elements of your mobile app including, text, graphics, designs, colors, date & time, currency, unit of measurement, etc. So, in your localization team, you must have experienced developers along with content translators and editors.

Not Developing with Localization in Mind 

The reason why most businesses could not make it in the global market is that they never start with globalization in mind. Their developers have hard-coded the software/app, and now out-of-the-blue they want to go global. Not having your localization strategy planned from the beginning can cause many issues. For example, when your developers hard-code everything, you have to update the code every time you enter a new market. Moreover, the localization process would be more time-consuming and complicated. To save yourself from the hassle and keep things in control from the beginning, you should start with globalization in mind.

When you know that you would want to go global in the future, you will be writing Unicode that can be easily modified and changed. This way, you are not wasting any time rewriting codes.

Gaps In Communication 

Effective communication between localization teams is the key to the success of your business localization. When you have communication gaps between localization teams and project managers, it can lead to costly oversights and delays. It is important for all team members to collaborate in real-time and have a productive conversation more often. Project managers should be more open to communication and carefully listen to the concerns of their team. Similarly, if you are hiring a language service provider, make sure you have no communication gaps with your localization partner. 

Most of the problems arise during your localization plan execution because of a lack of communication. Moreover, you can try some TMS with smart communication features that would promote good communication between the localization team. These systems would also keep updating you regarding the latest updates on the project. So there will be no need to send emails to all team members whenever an update happens.

Wrapping Up!

Reading this article, you might get an idea about all potential mistakes that you can make while executing your localization strategy. Make sure you are carefully designing your localization plan to avoid these mistakes. You can also get help from a reliable language service provider to handle your localization project. You should better define the scope of your localization project before making the strategy. It would help you make more realistic global expansion goals.

Halen Terry

Halen Terry is a creative writer and a professional linguist with expertise in using advanced translation management systems. She has been working in the localization industry for more than 6 years now. She creates informational content every day with the aim to serve the community and aspire translators to grow professionally.

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