Using the localization maturity model to globalize your brandIt’s safe to assume that you want to put your brand’s best foot forward. One of the best ways to do that is through localization.

Do you know how well your marketing, documentation, and other important business tools do that now? Unless you are familiar with the localization maturity model, the answer is probably no.

The localization process is defined as “…adapting websites, software, documentation, and other products to satisfy the needs and requirements of other markets or cultures.” Only a handful of brands do this well.

To help your company reach local markets more effectively, the Common Sense Advisory put together a localized maturity model. This model gives five stages of maturity that your business must go through before reaching the point of localized perfection. They include:

Level 1 (Reactive). Companies at this stage respond to business demands for international or domestic multicultural opportunities with ad hoc measures. There are few if any processes; roles and responsibilities are unclear; and technology support for localization tasks is minimal at best.

Level 2 (Repeatable). This level of localization maturity constitutes a discovery phase, during which companies recognize and begin to formalize processes for the core localization tasks and events. They also start to identify roles and responsibilities, recognize the importance of external providers, and often re-purpose mainstream productivity and project management solutions to localization and translation tasks.

Level 3 (Managed). By this point in an organization’s progression, it has documented a set of basic processes and started pushing their consistent use. There are likely to be multiple points of contact for localization around the company, sometimes in the same division. Increased demand for translation and localization means a growing number of external suppliers. Specialized translation and localization tools start to appear.

Level 4 (Optimized). At this level, core processes are in place and are regularly followed for standard tasks. Efforts to extend the application of these procedures across the enterprise get under way. Operational roles trend toward centralization in recognition of the importance of localization to the entire enterprise. As part of this transition, shared technology services appear, and specialized applications such as translation management systems become a major part of the automation strategy.

Level 5 (Transparent). Companies in the most evolved state of localization maturity recognize the importance of globalization to their businesses. They have internalized the concept into their code and content life cycles, business planning, total quality management initiatives, and corporate vision. They undertake a program of continuous process improvement with the goal of globalizing every product, employee, and customer touchpoint.By this point in an organization’s progression, it has documented a set of basic processes and started pushing their consistent use. There are likely to be multiple points of contact for localization around the company, sometimes in the same division. Increased demand for translation and localization means a growing number of external suppliers. Specialized translation and localization tools start to appear.

Each stage of the localization maturity model requires the help, expertise, and guidance of trained translators. Without this help, your business risks sending the wrong signals, unintentionally making a bad impression, and alienating your target market.

The team at BURG works with large companies to facilitate climbing the localization maturity model in three key ways.

1. Speaking the language of the locals.

Every region has a unique dialect. Every market speaks its own individual language.

Many translators do not realize the difference between making a direct translation word-for-word, and making a translation that will speak to the needs of the market. There is a dramatic difference between those two styles of translation. BURG translators are some of the few who understand it.

When you speak the language of the locals where you want to grow your brand and company, you connect on a deeper level. Through text, you immediately form a connection and develop a sense of trust when you market your business using the local dialect.

When your audience reads your copy, they will feel as if your brand is speaking to them, instead of to a mass market. This has a dramatic impact on how well your content works in achieving your business goals.

2. Telling better brand stories.

In sales, people only buy from brands they know, like, and trust. To reach that level, you need to establish a strong foundation. To do this, you must tell a compelling story that gives people a reason to let you into their world and open their wallets to you.

With the help of a BURG translator, you can tell a better brand story. BURG translators understand the importance of raising your brand up the localization maturity scale so you go from negligent to optimized and transparent. By telling a different story in your target market’s localized language, you build a stronger relationship with that audience.

3. Competing at a higher level.

In addition to speaking the language and telling your story, you need to compete. To raise your maturity level even higher, you need to understand your competition in the local market and differentiate your brand.

Many translators do not know the value of this final step. They translate your sales copy word-for-word without researching your competition. At BURG, you have a project manager and team of translators familiar with your local market who can better position your brand.

When you work with a translator familiar with what is happening in the region and demographic you target, you can compete at a higher level.

If your business wants to tap into local markets and grow along the localization maturity model, you need an expert partner to guide your efforts. For more information about how BURG can help you reach your brand’s goals, contact us today.

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