What is Global Localization: Principles & Strategy

Adedamola Ojedokun
10 Jul 2023

7 min. read


While the borders keep shrinking, global business keeps growing. And to thrive in this highly-competitive environment, businesses must adapt their products, services, and content to align with the preferences of their international audiences.

That’s where global localization comes in.

In this article, we will explore what global localization is, its key components, examples, and how to create a global localization strategy.

Pro tip: To implement a global localization strategy, use a professional localization platform – Centus. The platform offers translation automation, glossaries, translation memory, quality assurance tools, project management features, and everything else you need to ensure speedy completion and outstanding outcomes of your localization projects. Learn more.

What is global localization?

Global localization is the process of adapting products, services, and content to align with the linguistic, cultural, functional, and regulatory needs of specific target markets. It goes beyond translation and involves a comprehensive modification of product or service experiences to resonate with audiences worldwide.

what global localization is

By recognizing the unique qualities of local markets, businesses can develop a localized experience that seems native to local users. This attention to detail is crucial to businesses seeking to develop their international presence. It allows them to interact with customers on a deeper level, build trust, and form long-term relationships across different cultures and regions.

Key components of global localization

key components of global localization To successfully develop a global localization strategy, focus on its critical components detailed below.

Web localization

Web localization is the process of customizing websites to meet the language and cultural needs of target locations. This includes translating website text, modifying visuals and images, adjusting date and time formats, and adhering to local regulations.

Web localization attempts to provide visitors with an immersive and personalized experience, thereby allowing them to interact with the website in their native language and understand localized content.

Mobile app localization

Mobile app localization involves the translation of app interfaces, menus, notifications, and other textual features for different markets. Mobile app localization may also include adapting app features, layouts, and functionalities to reflect regional preferences.

Effective mobile app localization allows users to explore and interact with the app more easily, resulting in higher user satisfaction and adoption rates.

Content localization

Content localization is the customization of various forms of content to connect with the intended audience in target regions. The types of content requiring localization are marketing materials, product descriptions, user manuals, customer support resources, legal agreements, and multimedia assets.

The localization process goes beyond mere content translation to include cultural references, idioms, symbols, and other elements that may influence the comprehension and acceptance of the text. By localizing their content, businesses amplify the impact of their messages and forge stronger relationships with their customers.t.

Software localization

Software localization refers to customizing software applications to work flawlessly in different languages and cultural contexts. The process involves translating user interfaces, notifications, date and time formats, units of measurement, legal documentation, and customer support materials.

By investing in software localization, businesses can create an experience that feels native to end users, thereby boosting their satisfaction and software adoption rates.

What is global localization strategy?

A global localization strategy is a plan used by organizations to adapt their products, services, and marketing to the unique demands, preferences, and cultural nuances of global markets. The development and implementation of such strategy requires a thorough grasp of the local culture, customs, language, and user behavior. what is a strategy for global localization? Here are the key things to know about an effective global localization strategy:

  • An effective global localization strategy ensures that a company's products and services are not just linguistically correct but also culturally suitable and appealing to the local market.
  • It goes beyond mere translation and involves the adaptation of the user experience, including design, content, functionality, and user interface.
  • Implementing a global localization strategy requires careful planning, research, and collaboration across all departments within a company.
  • Different factors, such as language, cultural differences, legal constraints, and technical considerations, must be considered to make the localized product suitable for the preferences of the target audience.
  • A good global localization strategy may include adapting visual components, symbols, colors, and imagery to align with local cultural norms and values.
  • It also involves the modification of the product's functionality to meet certain market or regulatory needs.

The 4 Key benefits of a global localization strategy

Consider the key benefits of developing and implementing a global localization strategy:

1. Aligning with target markets and cultures

Adapting your products, services, and content to the unique demands and preferences of different markets is crucial for global success.

A global localization strategy allows you to modify your products and services to each target market's cultural, linguistic, and regulatory requirements. This shows respect for local norms, builds trust with customers, and creates a closer relationship with your audience.

2. Maximizing user experience and customer satisfaction

A global localization strategy ensures that your product or service is user-friendly, intuitive, and successfully communicates its value proposition to your customers. By providing a seamless and personalized experience, you increase user satisfaction and engagement, which drives repeat business.

3. Improving brand perception and credibility

A global localization strategy can have a considerable impact on the perception of your brand in international markets. Investing in localization demonstrates your dedication to serving the specific needs of your international customers.

This attention to detail and understanding of local nuances help to develop trust, credibility, and a strong brand image. Customers are more inclined to choose a brand that speaks their language and caters to cultural differences.

4. Unlocking new market opportunities

Implementing a global localization strategy positions your company to capitalize on new market opportunities. By localizing your products and services, you can reach a larger client base and increase your global footprint.

An effective global localization strategy also allows you to overcome language hurdles, comply with local regulations, and cater to a wide range of customer preferences. You can obtain a competitive advantage and establish yourself as a global leader in your niche by implementing an effective localization strategy.

How to develop a global localization strategy in 4 steps

how to develop a global localization strategy If you are looking to expand your reach and serve international markets, follow these steps to build a global localization strategy:

Step 1 - Research target markets and languages

Carry out thorough research on your target markets before embarking on a localization task. Learn about your target market’s consumer behavior, cultural nuances, and language preferences. Determine the languages spoken in each market and the level of localization required for each language.

Step 2 - Identify localization goals and priorities

Define your localization goals clearly and prioritize them depending on the importance of each market. Consider factors like market size, growth prospects, and cultural fit. Determine whether you need to translate your website, mobile apps, content, or software, and create a priority list.

Step 3 - Adopt localization technologies and tools

Research the localization technologies and solutions that are available to help with the localization process. Translation management systems, multilingual content management systems, and localization platforms can greatly simplify the process.

Examine the functionality, scalability, and compatibility of these tools and adopt the ones that best meet your localization goals.

Step 4 - Establish a localization process

Create a well-defined localization workflow detailing all steps of the localization process, such as content generation, translation, quality assurance, and deployment. Define the roles and responsibilities of team members that will participate in the localization project.

Also, establish effective communication channels and feedback loops to ensure a smooth collaboration between translators, project managers, and other stakeholders.

Perform global localization with Centus

Implementing a global localization strategy can be a daunting task. To make it easier, use a professional localization suite – Centus.

Below are the key features of Centus that can be instrumental in performing global localization for your product or service:

  • Wide language support: Centus accommodates multiple languages, enabling you to localize your content for any target market.
  • Translation memory: Centus incorporates a translation memory system, storing previously translated content. This feature saves time and costs by reusing existing translations for future projects.
  • Quality assurance (QA) system: Centus includes a robust QA system for the precision and uniformity of your translations.
  • Project management tools: Centus offers comprehensive project management features to help you track the progress of your localization projects.
  • Reporting tools: Centus provides reporting tools to monitor the performance of your localization projects. You can track costs, schedules, and quality metrics to gain valuable insights into project outcomes.
  • Collaborative environment: Centus fosters collaboration among team members via file sharing, commenting, editing, and chat features.
  • Integration capabilities: Centus seamlessly integrates with a range of tools, including content management systems (CMS), Figma, and Jira. This integration simplifies content import/export and streamlines your localization workflow.
  • Scalability: Centus is designed to be scalable, allowing you to easily add users and projects as your localization needs grow.
  • Security: Centus prioritizes data security, ensuring that your valuable information remains safe and protected.

By leveraging Centus, you can streamline and enhance your localization processes, ensuring accurate and consistent translations while optimizing efficiency and collaboration. Learn more.

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