We at Gateway Globalization have long adhered to the credo of “thinking globally, acting locally.” We devote a lot of time to educating our customers about the importance of considering local languages, customs and norms in order to succeed in doing business internationally.
It seems that delivering products with local precision at international scale will become a required competency for companies to succeed internationally. There are three key trends influencing this need.
First, global economies are more integrated and interdependent than ever before. Despite political moves in the United States and Britain, the march of globalization is going to continue. International economic relationships are far too complex, deep and broad to be undone at the stroke of a pen. We see an increase in demand for languages in general and an uptick in the diversity of languages our customers require.
Second, competition is fierce across most industries. Expanding into and competing in international markets is a logical way to generate additional revenue and profits. Customers are far more likely to purchase products when product information is provided in their native language. As translation industry analyst Common Sense Advisory has long emphasized in their research, “can’t read, won’t buy.” Of course, translation must make business sense, but in most cases the cost is minimal compared to the revenue it helps generate.
Third, customers across the world have more and more product choice. Looking, communicating and acting local increases your chances of competing effectively against local suppliers. Localization of product, in addition to language, is happening at unprecedented levels, especially, but not exclusively in the B2C environment. For example, the April 2017 McKinsey Quarterly article entitled The Global Forces Inspiring a New Narrative of Progress cited a couple of interesting examples of well-known companies competing “with an increasing number of world-class local players…by carefully recognizing the subtle differences in local taste and customs.” Estée Lauder was one such company. Despite their well-known and well-understood global brand, they decided to develop a China-specific line of cosmetics called Osiao. Not only does Osaio communicate in the local language, but also caters to the specific tastes and preferences of Chinese women. The decision makes good business sense given the size of the Chinese cosmetics market. Like many recent trends, McKinsey indicates this trend will stretch beyond the realms of B2C markets into B2B as global competition continues to increase.
According to McKinsey, “when traditional barriers to competition are removed and businesses want products that meet their exact specification—while having local and international supplier options—the only way for the international player to compete is to provide what the local company can deliver,” including language.
We believe it is only a matter of time before this kind of local precision on a global scale will be required of all businesses, especially in high-growth markets with extremely large populations such as India, Southeast Asia and potentially Africa.
Language will certainly play increasingly important part of this equation to help international players compete at a local level with the precision demanded by customers. Gateway Globalization Gateway Globalization is here to help guide you through the process of identifying the level of linguistic support required in international markets and provide you with translations that will give you the local precision and competitive edge that will ensure your success.
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