Three brands that do localisation well
Making a successful worldwide brand isn’t just about translating your website into local languages it needs to be localised. Localising your business is about hitting that fine balance between having a consistent worldwide brand and making sure your brand connects cross-culturally.
McDonald’s is an excellent and well-known brand that does localisation well, here are a few other brands that we think are doing pretty well.
A British business selling clothes through their catalogues and online, Boden are a good example of a retailer who have made sure they understand what local markets want. Their German website, for example, is not only translated into German throughout the lists and filters, but they also have the ‘euro’ sign after the numbers on their pricing – something which a surprising number of retailers don’t realise is the German custom.
Its enquiry form is also in German and has a German postal address on it – a good way to reassure local customers that any communication in their native language after they buy goods won’t be a problem.
Boden: a retailer that knows its local market.
Coca-Cola is probably one of the best-known global brands. After an all-american brand image which alienated some cultures in the 1980s and 1990s, Coca-Cola launched a ‘think local, act local’ strategy.
Coca-Cola have made sure they’re one of the biggest brands in the world by having consistent values, such as ‘sharing’, whilst still localising their products. For example, the UK Coca-Cola website has a strong focus on sugar free drinks, whereas their French website is much more focused on original Coca-Cola and Euro 2016.
Coca-Cola: its UK site has a strong focus on health
Whereas Coca-Cola’s French website currently focuses on Euro2016.
Unilever are a great example of successful localisation. In India, they realised the potential of aspirational customers who wanted to look good but didn’t have the money to buy their big products. They started to sell shampoos in affordable sachets to these customers – the products were such a success that other brands started to produce their products in India in smaller packages too. The unit price was higher, but consumers could afford to buy smaller quantities at a time. Adapting to different cultural markets is a sure sign of a successful brand.
Unilever adapt their products to local markets.
These three brands show that translating your website text simply isn’t enough – brands must have a good localisation strategy to be successful.