Going global was once only for large businesses with a well-known product or service and enough money to solve international business complexities, which include jumping through many legal hoops.
Luckily, the costs and the complications have lessened, and businesses now have an opportunity to spread their wings beyond their home base.
However, before you decide to expand your business opportunities, you will need to do some market research. One of the first things to consider is if the product or service you are offering will be relevant in that country and whether or not modifications are required.
A perfect example of failure to do proper market research comes from the global giant Coca-Cola. They began to bottle their European product in various sizes, including 2 litres. However, unlike the large refrigerators in many American homes, in Spain they are much smaller; therefore a 2 litre bottle would not fit into a standard Spanish fridge and did not sell.
Important considerations to research include your product’s style, colour, packaging and size before launching into a new market. Ensure too that your colours, logo and slogans are not offensive or odd in the target country. The now famous case of the “come alive with Pepsi” slogan is said to have been translated in Chinese as “we will bring your ancestors back from the grave”. Obviously it was a slogan that would not have been well received by the Chinese public.
Ensure planning includes translation of your website into the target language, or have one designed to fit in with the culture and style of the target country. A proper online presence communicates professionalism between your potential customers and your company, and builds confidence and trust in your product. Use a professional translation service, so there are no costly or embarrassing mistakes. Machine translation has its uses, but not when your company’s reputation is at stake.
Use research tools such as Google Analytics to learn who is visiting your site and other valuable data. Once you find your international market, consider using social media as a marketing tool, although make sure the content is localized and relevant to your target audience.
A professional translation company can also be a valuable resource. When you select the right localization partner, you can rely on their experience to help guide your decisions.
There has never been a better time to go global no matter how large or small your business may be. As long as you do your homework, your business should see increased sales and a larger customer base.
Terralingua is an ISO certified translation and localization agency that can help you connect with your international clients. Terralingua has localized content for the world’s leading brands. Please visit our website for a budget quote.