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