Standardization vs. Localization—Which is right for you?

Many companies struggle with the decision between a localization and standardization strategy when marketing their products. At first glance, they appear to be opposites of each other, but both are valid strategies and can be used to great effect. Here’s what you need to know about each of them to make an informed decision about which one will work best for your business.

What is Localization?

When a company decides to localize, they aim to create content for various parts of their audience. Therefore, the focus of localization is that each market and its needs are different.

Companies with a wider audience and plans to reach out to new markets can focus on their localization strategy. This includes translating apps and website content, altering designs based on culture, and developing local ad campaigns. However, companies should be wary of choosing a full localization strategy because they will often lose sight of what they originally created their product for in the first place.

According to Contentful, “It is more critical than ever for organizations to prioritize creating a global localization strategy. Luckily, new advances in technology can help you do more than just hit the translate button. Make sure your customers don’t just hear you but understand you.”

What is Standardization?

A standardized product has no variation. It looks and behaves in exactly the same way across every market it enters. For example, a soft drink like Coca-Cola would be considered a standardized product. Coca-Cola will always look and taste just like Coca-Cola, regardless of where you are. Most standardized products are heavily advertised, so consumers know exactly what to expect when they purchase them.

Difference Between Localization and Standardization

Localization includes adapting software, websites, and other kinds of media to multiple languages and cultures. Standardization is more focused on making sure that a service is uniform everywhere it’s available. So if you need to adapt your services to local audiences, don’t worry too much about whether you’re standardizing or localizing—you probably just need to keep both in mind.

Can I Mix And Match Both Approaches?

Using both a localization and standardization strategy in your cross-cultural marketing is possible. For example, you may want to customize one element of your cross-cultural marketing but stick with other standardized parts. This can help you achieve your marketing goals while avoiding situations where you may not be reaching out to certain groups or regions. Below are some examples of when it would make sense to combine localization and standardization strategies in your cross-cultural marketing

How Do I Implement These Approaches?

In brief, localization involves providing content targeted to specific markets, while standardization creates a uniform product. Standardization is easier, faster, and cheaper than localization. That’s why it wins over localization. But all of these advantages don’t make it better because standardization comes with certain disadvantages.

Which is the Best Strategy for You?

Standardization means offering a service or product in one language and formatting. This approach makes it easier to develop products since you only have to get them right once. On the other hand, localization involves translating your content for a particular region to reach customers who speak different languages. Depending on your goals and resources, each type of strategy might make more sense for you than others.

When it comes to localizing your product for international markets, there are numerous factors to consider. But by adopting a localization strategy that balances standardization with localization techniques and solutions, you can maximize profits while still delivering an exceptional customer experience.

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