Why localization is a lot like running for president

Why localization is a lot like running for president

As the country – and the world – wait with much anticipation to see who will win the most coveted job in US politics, we’ve been just as spellbound as everyone else. It’s safe to say that this presidential race tops them all as far as dramatic flair, last-minute floor-crossing and social media battles go. Winning over an entire population isn’t a simple, nor easy, endeavor. In fact, capturing the hearts, minds and votes of millions is a lot like the localization process. Whether you’re a diehard Democrat or staunch Republican, there are lessons to be learned from the way Clinton and Trump have played their cards.

Currying the favor of an audience that consists of 319 million people requires a strategic approach.

You can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that both parties have an army of staff dedicated to building a strategy that’ll win them the Oval office. While their approaches differ wildly, they both know that a sure fire way to lose supporters is to champion or condemn a cause that’s close to the heart of their followers. While some of the presidential candidates are better than others when it comes to putting their proverbial feet into their mouths, both know that they need to equip themselves with accurate information about their supporters: their demographics, their financial standing and their belief systems. The localization process is much the same. Instead of winning votes, you need to win the patronage of your new market. This calls for a foolproof strategy that’s based on accurate data, and importantly, takes cultural nuance, sensitivity and context into account. In short, you need to cater to your market in the way that appeals to them the most.

The key to wooing a population lies in the degree you’re able to tailor your message.

Both Trump and Clinton know that their keynotes, addresses and debates are that much more effective when they address the issues most topical in a certain area. In other words, they’re masters at rolling out a targeted approach that resonates.

If you’re expanding your brand into several foreign markets, you can’t afford to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. Each market segment needs to be catered to in a way that’s tailored to its unique characteristics. The language and dialects you use, the price point you sell your goods at, and the channels you add to your marketing mix are just some of the things that need to be aligned to the unique characteristics of your market.

The most effective way to gain traction in a new market is to base your USP around its most pressing needs.

Both Trump and Clinton are masters in painting themselves as their supporters’ biggest ally. They know when to emphasize a certain solidarity or belief, and when to play others down.

In the same vein, the success of your localized brand, product or service is that much greater when you build it around the things your market cares about most. For example, Starbucks changed their formulaic store layout for their customers in China, adding extra seating and areas for groups in order to accommodate the fact that Chinese patrons see drinking a hot beverage as a social occasion. The brand further adapted their offering in line with their Chinese patrons’ preferences by adding tea and other popular Chinese beverages to their menu. By integrating their brand into the established culture, instead of expecting the Chinese market to adapt to their offering, Starbucks have successfully penetrated the Asian market, and continue to expand Asian operations due to their success.

We’re a Localization Service Provider that helps leading local and international brands to get their message across – no matter who their audience is. Download our latest eBook, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Global Product Expansion’ to learn about the best way to approach a brand new market.

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Blog roundup: 2016 so far…

Blog roundup: 2016 so far…

The first half of 2016 has been a bumper year for the Rubric team. We’ve helped companies big and small with the localization and translation of mobile apps, training collateral, web copy, videos, and a whole host of multimedia content.

We’ve rounded up the best of the best of our 2016 blogs to date, so before you set your sights on the second half of the year, make sure you haven’t missed out on the latest insight, advice and opinion on the translation and localization industry.

Video games, cultural awareness and your brand: lessons worth learning

The video and mobile game industry is big business. (Dare we even mention the real-life ramifications of Pokemon Go?) As video games become more sophisticated and immersive thanks to rapid advances in virtual reality and animation, one aspect that’s remained the same is a notable lack of cultural awareness. The gamer demographic is vast and diverse, which means that culturally sensitive content should be a no-brainer, yet it’s not. Find out what your brand can learn from the video game and cultural awareness conundrum, here.

Need to know: Six website localization dos and don’ts

Website localization is a crucial consideration for any company with an international presence. In a digital world, your website is more often than not, the first interaction someone has with your brand. Unfortunately, subpar website localization can trip up even the biggest of brands, resulting in a negative brand image and potentially jeopardizing your success in a foreign market. The good news is, if you’re aware of the potential pitfalls associated with localizing a website, you have a much better chance of steering clear of these blunders. Read all about it here.

Marketing messaging for a global audience on social media: A how-to guide, part I

Marketing messaging for a global audience on social media: A how-to guide, part II

In our social media-obsessed age, brands who aren’t making use of Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and the like are missing out on a powerful way to broadcast their message and increase their brand awareness. That said, if you’re targeting audiences across several territories, your social media marketing needs to be localized to the unique cultural contexts of each.

In our two part blog series, we look at the best ways to go about localizing your social media messaging, crucial considerations to be cognizant of, and the potential pitfalls to avoid when implementing a social strategy in a new market. Read about how to go about this here and here.

Are you considering the following when mitigating potential marketing translation errors?

Google ‘translation errors’ and you’ll be met with pages and pages (and pages) of dire examples of translations gone horribly, horribly wrong. And when your market is a foreign one, this is a scenario you never want to encounter. Besides the embarrassment factor, inaccurate translations can cost you your reputation, a substantial amount of money, and the success of your entire foreign expansion to boot. Read more to find out what you need to keep in mind in order to avoid the fallout from marketing translation errors, here.

If you’d like to chat to us about our localization services, you can get in touch with us here.

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The Rubric Approach to Localization Services [Slideshare]

The Rubric Approach to Localization Services [Slideshare]

Not all localization services are made equal. But what makes the Rubric process different to our competitors? As it turns out, several things in fact. Our SlideShare highlights the fundamental building-blocks of our localization services, from beginning to end, and everything in between.

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Lost in Translation: Why You Can’t Go Without a Localization Service

Lost in Translation: Why You Can’t Go Without a Localization Service

Ben is at the start of a business trip, and he is nervous. In his hands is an inflight magazine with an article on the wonderful attractions of Hong Kong – dragon boat races, eat-all-you-can dim sum, and world renowned tailors. He should be looking forward to having a great time in this exotic city. But, instead, he is thinking about the different things that could go wrong.

Ben’s concerns are not completely unfounded. He has only been with his present company for two years, but he has already committed several cultural faux pas on similar business trips. In Iran, he gave the president of a partner company the thumbs up, an insult that almost cost his company the contract, and in Thailand he caused offence by patting a child on the head. How was he supposed to know that they believed that the soul resided on top of the head?

And all this before they even got to the tricky business of localization and the translation of documents and other assets. Only last month they put out an instruction manual for a gantry that told engineers to insert one pin instead of pin one. The result? An injured employee, three tons of damaged Norwegian Salmon, and a factory that smelled very fishy. Fishy. That was how he starting to regard his current localization service provider. They had promised him a cheap localization consulting solution, but so far they had cost him far more than his company had paid for their services.

A localization service provider should be capable of consistent, accurate translation.

He didn’t expect them to warn him that in Brazil the OK sign was the same as the middle finger, or that in Russia an even number of flowers would be translated as “I hope you die.” But it would be nice if they could spare him the expense and humiliation caused by mistranslated documents. Ben wished that he had someone who could reduce the risk of misunderstanding. Someone with real experience in translation and the regions into which his company wanted to expand. Someone who has the cultural sensitivity to manage the nuances so important in intercultural communication. He wished he could outsource to reliable localization consultants.

His current LSP was definitely not that someone. Before the problem with the gantry assembly instructions, there was the issue with their German website, where ‘logistics services’ somehow got translated into the German words for ‘ballistics services.’ And before that there was the Chinese TV ad in which a Western businessman referred to a Chinese businesswoman as “Miss”, a word which by itself means prostitute. His company’s relationship with the LSP had been fraught with several other such snafus.

Effective localization depends on a solid relationship between an LSP and its client.

And therein lay the root of the problem: it had not been much of a relationship. Localization consulting depends on open and honest communication between an LSP and its client, and their communication had been anything but that. Their localization service provider had made no attempt to understand the company’s needs and had done nothing to guide them in their localization efforts. If the LSP had been more concerned about the success of his company, they would have done a better job of ensuring that their documents were designed to get the right response in the countries where they were released.

A quality localization service provider doesn’t only ensure that documents are accurately translated.

It should also offer end-to-end project management to ensure absolute consistency, and employs strategies to keep costs down. It knows that no two clients are the same and that these strategies need to be tailored for every business. We at Rubric do just this. We take every aspect of our clients’ needs into consideration when offering localization consulting and make sure that assets are translated with their goals in mind. We offer a level of translation accuracy that is only possible when you employ translators and software developers native to your target regions, and offer the kind of valuable advice that can be given only by those who have global reach. Learn more about our localization consulting services, here

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