When talking about corporate localization it is important to remember that this is a strategy located at the end of standardization. And in order to fully grasp the meaning of the previous sentence, perhaps it is better to start with some definitions.
Regarding localization, is a strategy that brings a shift of focus to the plate within an organization or a company. In other words, localization is when a corporation modifies its marketing mix in virtually every country that it operates to suit national tastes, preferences and culture.
To make this simpler, localization is also the process of adapting a product or a content to a specific role or market. This strategy does not only serve to translation. On the contrary, Translation is just an element. In fact, within the localization process, meta linguistic elements such as graphics, forms and designs also undergo a transformation process to fit the target culture or country.
Standarization VS Localization
The different between these two strategies rely on the very concept. Standardization in a corporation seeks global commonalty where companies sell standardized products in the same way, everywhere. This strategy pursues a worldwide and homogenized market that expands the company’s outreach with a low price.
On the other hand, localization goes after customized products for particular segments, that is considering the target market, audience or culture as an individual entity. As a consequence, the approach is unique and specific. The very end of this strategy is to give the final product the look and feel of having been created to that specific target market regardless of the language, culture or location.
To better illustrate the difference, an example of standardization is the marketing campaign and the products of Gillet razor blades, Sony Television and Coca-Cola. On the other hand, a perfect example of localization in corporation is Honda’s European car model Concerto, P&G’s Ariel and Vizir in Europe.
Another great example of localization in translation is the case of KFC. In the 80’s the catchy phrase was poorly translated from “finger-licking good” to “eat your fingers off”; this mistake set the company back in the Chinese market. However when they decided to adapt the menu to the culture’s traditional food along with the company’s image and language, and it was then when the nation accepted it into their culture.
Localization in Translator Pub
Localization strategy is no stranger to all freelance translators that take part within this translation portal that brings both employers and employees together. Given that this platform connects translators from all over the world, every agency or individual requesting a translation that “feels like it was tailor made” to a specific localization, culture or community will not be a surprised to find that there is a community of freelance translators ready to take on that challenge.