Our 4 top competitor analysis tips for product expansion [Slideshare]

Our 4 top competitor analysis tips for product expansion [Slideshare]

Any business looking to expand will have their sights set on international shores. But global expansion isn’t a simple endeavor. The more established your competition is in their respective markets, the harder it is for you to break into those markets and make your mark. But before you make your big move, it’s important to take some preparatory steps to ensure your products or services are a good fit in these new locations. Click through to find out our four essential components of competitor analysis for product expansion.

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How Top Translation Agencies Tackle Technical Document Translation

How Top Translation Agencies Tackle Technical Document Translation

The ramifications of inaccurate technical document translation range from disastrous to dire. As we wrote in a recent post, it only takes one error to throw your entire message off. It goes without saying then that in order to avoid sleepless nights, you need to make use of a document translation service that can ensure yours are nothing short of 100% accurately translated – in a way that’s also in line with the cultural sensitivities of your target market. But how do you tell the difference between a stellar LSP and one that’s run of the mill?


Here’s what separates leading LSPs from the rest of the pack:


  • Their document translation process is designed to eliminate errors from the beginning.

    Contrary to popular belief, ‘market ready’ does not mean, “once x, y and z are changed and the formatting is tweaked, the documents will be ready for sign off”. Tight deadlines and time to market mean that there’s no time for multiple rewrites or discovering oversights at the last minute. Top technical document translation service providers will help you to eliminate any potential gremlins right from the get go.

  • They don’t just translate technical documents, they localize them too.

    Accurate document translation requires changing one language into another, and then some. If you’ve ever used Google Translate, you’ll know that directly translating text is a shot in the dark at best. Mangled translations result from an omittance or ignorance of context and cultural nuance – the two major factors that influence all translation efforts. Leading LSPs make use of expert native language translators and are equipped with thorough understanding of cultural norms and sensitivities too, enabling them to create content that’s translated in line with all cultural facets of your target market.

  • They tackle technical document translation with the bigger picture in mind.

    World-class translation service providers are masters of efficiency, convenience and ease of use (for their clients and the end-user). They implement processes that streamline all aspects of your document creation and translation requirements. This includes guidance and education on best practice for cleaning and organizing your content library, creating and implementing uniform naming conventions and translation-ready formatting styles.

  • They educate their clients about every aspect of the document translation process.

    A quality LSP will walk you through every single step of the process, educating you as to the whys and hows. This not only better equips you for future translation projects, it helps your content team to create source documents that are translation-ready, as well as giving you invaluable insight into your target market and what to be cognizant of when creating and translating content.

  • They view the technical document translation process as a partnership.

    In order to provide you with translations that hit the mark, leading LSPs value collaboration and will ensure you’re kept in the loop from beginning to end. They’re aware that no one knows your brand better than you, and will work together with all involved to combine your respective areas of expertise. The result? A document translation process that’s streamlined and transparent.

  • They’re proactive project managers.

    Possibly the most laborious aspect of document translation is having to orchestrate multiple tasks and role players – preferably in a way that preserves everyone’s peace of mind. They know all too well that document translation is not so much a ‘product’, but a service. They’ll coordinate all facets of the project, ensuring that everything is progressing as planned and that you’re on board throughout.

  • They’re equipped with both linguistic and technical knowledge.

    Technical document translation requires technical know-how as much as it does linguistic expertise. Top LSPs are well versed in both. They’ll be able to advise you as to the best way to go about sorting source files, which applications and tools to use, as well as overcoming coding issues when your original files are localized.

  • They prioritize the end-user experience.

    Technical document translation is for the benefit of your clients. If your translations aren’t easy to understand and put into practice, your efforts are for naught. Leading LSPs put their knowledge of your target market into practice when creating localized content, enabling you to serve your audience with translations that facilitate ease of use, and ultimately, an optimal experience.

We provide leading global brands with superior product localization, enabling them to thrive in foreign markets. Contact us today to find out how get your message across to the people who matter.

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Why this social experiment proves cultural sensitivity is everything.

Why this social experiment proves cultural sensitivity is everything.

If you consumed some form of digital media in the past month, chances are you’ll be familiar with a social experiment dubbed “Perceptions of Perfection: Part ii”. The initiative, rolled out by UK based online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors saw graphic designers from all corners of the globe retouch the same image in line with their culture’s image of the ‘perfect man’. Once all the images were sent back, the project’s founders were left with nineteen versions that were all vastly different from the original, as well as from each other.

Each different designer’s unique interpretation of this concept emphasizes just how differently we see the world around us.

Participants were given artistic license as to how they could alter the image, which resulted in changes being made to skin color, body hair, eye color, muscularity and even underwear. In an effort to demonstrate that there’s no such thing as an universal ideal, the project’s press release said: “Watch [the image] evolve based on each culture’s beauty standards and ethnic norms: barrel-chested or slim, muscular thighs or sinewy legs, wide eyes or hooded lids, a smattering of body hair or a baby-smooth body.” While Perceptions of Perfection aimed to highlight the importance of health over image, as well as to promote body confidence – regardless of what your particular body looks like – the findings aren’t only of interest to anthropologist and socialist, but to companies looking to localize their products too.

So what can we learn from this demonstration on the unique characteristics of various cultures?

The biggest takeaway from the way the designers altered the image is that cultural sensitivity and nuance is a subtly entrenched aspect of every single culture. But that’s where the similarities end. While all of the retouched images still resembled a man, their subtle (and in some cases, glaringly obvious) tweaks emphasized the fact that no two cultures view the world in the same way. Just as there’s no such thing as a global ideal of how the perfect man should look, there’s no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to branding, images, colors and messaging. If you showed China’s rendering to someone in, Russia, for example, upon insisting that this was in fact, the very definition of an ideal man, you’d have a hard time finding anyone who agreed with you. Hop on plane to China however, and most people would probably concur with you.

The interpretation of both visual, written and audio content is completely dependent on the culture at hand.

Our cultural climate influences our relationship with myriad things: from a photograph, joke or common turn of phrase, to an instructional video, press release and even, product packaging. For companies in the process of expanding into a foreign market, being cognizant of cultural sensitivity should be top of mind. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Countless instances of cringe-worthy localization abound. One such example saw the Helmsley Palace Hotel in New York equate staying at their establish with a ‘stay’ at the Taj Mahal, According to Translation Directory, What their marketing department failed to realize however, is that the Taj Mahal is in fact a mausoleum, which is probably the last place any living person would want to spend a night.

Make sure that all of your product localization prioritize cultural sensitivity by contacting us today to learn more about how we created quality localized assets that seamlessly fit into the culture at hand.

Image Credit: onlinedoctor.superdrug.com

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Why Starbuck’s product localization is proof that localization pays off – big time.

Why Starbuck’s product localization is proof that localization pays off – big time.

Any successful localization project comes down to the same thing: dollars and cents. You need to do everything you can to make sure that any product localization results in increased market share and ultimately, ROI. When entering a foreign market, product localization that’s on point is a case of do or die. And those that ‘do’ product localization successfully are reaping the rewards – in a big way.

Starbucks – the global go-to for coffee on the go – has their product localization perfected.

Millions of people rely on their daily dose of caffeine to conquer the commute, boost productivity and generally behave in a civilized manner. That said, the preferred means of obtaining a caffeine buzz are remarkably different around the globe. Starbucks owes its global success to being able to provide cranky adults everywhere with a steaming hot cup of java – in over 255 varieties.

Thanks to their fine-tuned product localization strategy, Starbucks increased their profits by a massive 30%.

Yup, 30%. If that statistic isn’t enough to make you embrace localization, well, then we don’t know what will. Even more impressive is the fact that this surge in ROI was in stark comparison to an increase of only 10% at home, reports China Daily.com. So just how did the coffee giant get this right? Put simply, they tailored their offering in line with the unique cultural characteristics of their Chinese market.

Starbucks cleverly adapted their take on a universal fondness for caffeine to suit their Chinese market.

While a portion of the Chinese market also enjoys a regular cup of joe, they’re just as fond of getting their caffeine fix from green tea. Instead of sticking to their brand identity of providing coffee to millions, Starbucks added to their offering to include new menu additions that weren’t made out of coffee beans. Starbucks added two tea drinks to their menu and … launched a low-price strategy of serving dim sum within the range of 8 to 15 yuan ($1.25 to $2.40) in South China, where dim sum attracts a big clientele.” says ChinaDaily.com. To date, Starbucks now offers nine tea drinks to its Chinese customers, and is enjoying the taste of sweet success as a result. “The net revenue of the Asia-Pacific market accounted to $167 million, an increase of 38 percent over the previous year.”

The coffee company owes its success to its willingness to meet their customers in their comfort zone.

Starbucks’ product localization involves far more than merely adding local food and beverages to its menu; they also adapted their stores to fit in with local cultural conventions. For example, tea drinking is seen as a social occasion (a mile away from the traditionally routine “coffee to go” culture) in the States. GlobalMarketingCulture.com reports that Chinese Starbucks stores feature re-arrangable furniture to seat large groups, and in a further move to seamlessly fit into the culture at hand, “Starbucks has re-done its storefront to blend in to the local and traditional architecture of the surrounding area in order to capture the attention of a wider variety of customers.”

Starbucks’ impressive take on product localization is evident across the globe.

“Mexicans see Starbucks as a sort of ‘bar’, where group conversations and get-togethers take place. For that reason, Starbucks changed their look to emulate a local bar on the streets of Mexico.” adds GlobalMarketingCulture.com. And to meet the needs of their Japanese market, Starbucks used the traditional Japanese “ichi-go ichi-e”, or “one time, one meeting” to inspire their store design, which is reminiscent of traditional Japanese tea gardens.

Besides coffee, billions of global citizens rely on accurate weather forecasts to prepare for the day ahead.

We worked with AccuWeather to assist with localization services to deliver hyper-localized, personalized weather information to millions of users in locations across the world. Their product localization has seen AccuWeather become the fastest growing weather provider in the world, providing information to individuals and companies including radio and television channels, newspapers, over 180 000 websites and 240 of the Fortune 500 companies.

Find out how we partnered with AccuWeather, enabling them to provide accurate, up-to-the-minute detailed weather information in over 100 languages and dialects – download the AccuWeather Case Study here.

Image Credit: cdn3.benzinga.com


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Be a product localization pioneer: How to recognize global emerging markets

Be a product localization pioneer: How to recognize global emerging markets

The world we live in is growing smaller by the minute. This (figurative) shrinking of the globe is the result of the explosion of technology that allows us to Facetime with family on another continent, watch revolutions unfold by the minute and navigate a strange city armed only with a translation app. For businesses, the globalization of the world presents myriad opportunities for growth. That said, while we might all be global citizens (ask Mos Def), intrinsic cultural differences remain.

Successfully crossing borders to set up shop in a foreign country requires far more than good internet connectivity and a vague idea of the culture at hand.

Whether you’re looking to expand due to market saturation in your native country, or due to the fact that you’ve reached the proverbial glass ceiling, launching your offering in a new county entails numerous considerations. In order to ensure that your product localization doesn’t go belly-up, here’s what you need to be cognizant of:

Emerging markets are not all equal, which means that your product localization requirements will be as unique as the territory in question.

Countries such as Russia, Namibia and Indonesia are ripe with opportunity reports Bloomberg Business – whether to create demand where this is none, command majority market share or undercut existing competitors. Measuring the potential of an emerging market is an undertaking in itself; you’ll need to do extensive research and build your proposed expansion on concrete facts instead of gut feel. Many companies fail to look at the bigger picture when it comes to expansion – to their own detriment. While a territory make look promising on paper, the reality may be strikingly different. If you’ve ever watch the cult-hit reality TV show Catfish, you’ll know that not everything is as it seems. Catfish – people who pose as a fictional person or who appropriate someone else’s identity – lure unsuspecting individuals into a web of cleverly-constructed lies. Whether due to a need for revenge or merely some narcissistic form of affirmation, thousands of people get caught – hook, line and sinker. When the team from Catfish confronts individuals whose activity is raising suspicion, nine times out of ten, the real person behind the facade is miles away from their digital mask. In other words, hearsay or a gut feel seldom reflect the reality of a situation. And if you’re going to pour your time and money into product localization for a new market, it’s essential that your decision is a thoroughly informed on.

Measuring the potential of emerging markets – and the way they’ll affect your product localization involves several factors –  each as important as the next.

The World Bank identifies and ranks emerging markets according to set criteria that fall under the term ‘’ease of doing business”. Several factors are taken into account to give the country a score of between 1 – 189; the higher the score, the better. Factors that are taken into account include: trading across borders, access to electricity, obtaining credit and paying taxes. Bloomberg Business uses this rating, as well as the “inflation rate, perceived level of corruption and economic freedom” to rank the top twenty emerging markets. While indexes like these are useful – they’re merely one piece of the puzzle.

Crunching the numbers is necessary, but the factors that make a market viable for one business, can often deem it as unsuitable for another.

It’s tempting to launch your product or service in a foreign territory after tracking the success of other foreign investors, or NASDAQ, but a healthy dose of realism is required if you want to make sure your product localization is a fruitful endeavour. Several equally important factors that influence whether or not the territory is viable:

  • Product interaction (i.e: Is there a need for your product or service?)
  • Customer buying behaviour (For example, do they prefer to pay in cash, with a credit card or online?)
  • Cultural sensitivities
  • Language
  • Religious and political climates

Effective product localization that takes all of these factors into account requires in-depth insight and localization expertise

A product localization strategy that incorporates every facet of your new market is crucial – and only possible with the assistance of a localization service provider (LSP). They’ll be aware of the factors that frequently trip up localization efforts, have extensive experience of the specific culture at hand and will be able to use this expertise to build a product localization strategy that’s effective. Importantly, they’ll be able to ensure that this is implemented with agility in mind in order to easily conduct further product localization down the line.

We offer localization services and consulting to help businesses thrive in a global market. Find out more about our approach to product localization, here.

Image Credit: www.hometownsevier.com

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