Last updated on December 6th, 2019 at 02:24 pm
You’re planning to take your company international! Where do you start on that journey? Language is a great place to start, and our translation agency would like to give you some tips on taking your company global from a linguistic standpoint.
The International Trade Administration estimates that over 70% of the world’s purchasing power is outside the United States. There are over 6,000 languages in the world. That sounds overwhelming, but using a trusted translation company makes that vast multilingual market accessible. From Spanish translation to Simplified or Traditional Chinese, to Arabic or Russian, our translation services will make your message clear and localized to your audience.
Other than the fact that we’re a translation company, why are we taking a linguistic standpoint when talking about how to take your company global? Because language is how we communicate ideas, our product, services, and mission. Without language, whether spoken, written, or signed, we can’t make friends, do business, ask for help, or help others.
Our cultures and thought processes are deeply influenced by the nuances of our languages. For instance, some languages have gendered nouns, and some don’t. Others have formal and informal forms of speech. Some use different alphabets and others are written right to left. Thus, knowing all these elements and how to navigate them requires the use of an experienced translation company with an array of solutions to support your international endeavor.
If you’re planning to take your business international, the languages, values, and culture of your market need to be understood on a deep level, so they are all managed consistently through all your content and channels of communication.
A Linguistic Perspective
Taking your business international should start with the ability to communicate internationally. We’ve collected a few of the most important elements to consider when planning to take your business global.
Again, we want to enforce the idea of taking time to plan, select your language translation needs, and go with a partner that can support you every step of the way. You will need the right support for language translation services and the resources and depth of options to react and adjust to your needs in a global world.
Reasons Why You Should Go Global
A few reasons why you should take your company global:
Where to Start?
Before you begin looking into what languages to translate your business into, start by taking a good long look at the market. What locations and places have the demographics you’re looking for? How much do they use the internet? What is the market saturation like for your industry? How easy is it to do business there as a foreigner? What will local governments require? Consider logistics such as your ability to ship to certain geographical areas. Is your product even legal or needed in that region? Financial and legal implications are important elements. Resources needed and different approaches to investment and deployment should be analyzed. Start with one or several regions, local support and distribution, local employees, and cash flow should also be considered.
You may find yourself up against more immediate barriers than language services, so make sure to do careful market research and financial analysis before packing your bags.
Who to Target and How?
We mentioned that language communicates ideas, so you need to make sure that you’re communicating the ideas clearly and with the right approach to the culture receiving it. It is so easy, even in one’s own culture, to come off the wrong way. Take that to a global, multilingual level, and you have to tread even more carefully. Following, we have a couple examples of companies that localized poorly and one that localizes well.
Failed International Marketing and Localization
Tesco, a British grocery and convenience store, prominently displayed bacon-flavored Pringles during the 2015 month of Ramadan, a mayor Islamic religious observance. The phrase “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Happy Ramadan”, was placed directly on the array of chips. Islamic law prohibits the consumption of pork. Tesco quickly removed the displays after being amply informed of their mistake via Twitter.
In 2014, Cadillac released a commercial that is still widely available online. The ad heavily implied that Americans are the only people deserving of a Cadillac because Americans are driven and hardworking while others are passive and indolent. The reaction was more amusement than outrage, and Ford took the opportunity to release an ad of their own that praised intersectionality and human connection.
Successful International Marketing and Localization
Austrian beverage company Red Bull gets involved in local communities globally by hosting sporting events. And they don’t play soft. From kitesurfing in South Africa to BMX in Estonia to skateboarding on the French Riviera, Red Bull’s events get attention, attendance, and lots of people who are already loving the energy of the event and are ready for some liquid energy.
To follow Red Bull’s example, get close to the local community and let them know that you are passionate about your mission and just as passionate to get to know them and communicate with them. Especially show your commitment, investing in communicating well in the right language and respecting their culture.
When you are localizing a product or service to another region, many aspects come into play, like language, cultures, what they eat and don’t eat, the colors they prefer and their symbolism, their values, what they celebrate and what is prohibited. So, you need to partner with a translation services company that helps you navigate the translation and localization process. That is what quality localization does, which is only one of the services a professional translation agency brings to the table.
Global Commerce Starts at Home
Going global is not just an action but a mindset. The sooner you can instill into your company the mindset of working globally, internationally, multiculturally, and multilingually all the time, the more goodwill you will find and the larger your perspective will be.
The right translation company will help not only in the languages you need, but the cultures and values that speak to those languages. Language services affects every part of your business when you go international, from finances to eCommerce to marketing.
Contact JR Language today to introduce your brand to the world. We promise efficiency, attention to detail, accuracy, and effectiveness in our work, from legal translation to phone interpretation.