When it comes to international expansion, businesses need to think both globally and locally. How can you create a coherent global brand image with products and services that are also relevant to customers in specific regions? The answer lies in glocalization.
Should I expand internationally?
Going global takes time and consideration, but when it’s done right, there can be great benefits. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons for your specific business and consult an expert if you are unsure.
So, what might the benefits be? Financially speaking, opening up your business to new clients creates greater revenue potential and the opportunity to venture into new lucrative markets. New partnerships can arise through international collaboration. What’s more, you might just find yourself leaving competitors behind as your brand recognition grows.
However, before expanding internationally, it’s important to have a solid plan in place. Part of that plan should be glocalization.
What is Glocalization?
Glocalization is a hybrid of the terms globalization and localization. As the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, “glocalization means the creation of products/services/communications for the global market that are adaptable to local cultures”.
In simple terms, glocalization links both global and local strategies, creating a business model that works on a wide scale, without losing its relevancy to customers. For example, major brand Airbnb has created certain features that appeal to users in specific regions, such as login options for Chinese users, all while maintaining a global brand identity. Localization services can assist with the process.
Localization vs glocalization
When we talk about localization services, we mean the act of transforming a product or service so that it is both linguistically and culturally relevant to an audience in a specific place.
This might involve changing imagery, using particular units of measurement, adapting to local dialects, adding new payment options, altering a storyline, or more. Even colors and layouts can be enhanced to work better for a specific audience.
This process makes a customer feel as though a particular product or service was made with them in mind, with the aim of boosting engagement and retention.
Glocalization builds on this by also considering distribution and development on a global scale.
Advantages of glocalization
Just because a business has the means to distribute globally, it doesn’t mean the product or service will necessarily be a success. By looking at global and local factors at the same time, businesses can adapt to their customers’ needs without losing their brand identity.
Instead of rolling out the product only to find the name doesn’t translate properly or the consumer habits don’t line up with your features, businesses who use glocalization are better prepared.
As the head of business for TikTok India explains, “our localization strategy helps us in encouraging users to create relevant and local content along with incorporating global trends in localized flavor”.
Tips for glocalization
In order to adapt a product to a local audience, you need to understand both the language and culture at an expert level. Language service providers (LSP) that offer localization services are in a good position to help with this.
Their native-speaking specialists can spot nuances that others might miss and help you decide both what and how features need to be adapted. Localization services can change as much or as little of your content as needed, helping you launch a successful project.
Here at Future Trans, we specialize in localization and translation in the MENA region. With over 25 years’ experience, our specialists are on hand to help. Simply send us a message to get your free quote or browse our localization services page for more information.