Non-localised products impose a ‘consumption’ tax on customers abroad:

1. If your company tries to attract consumers or new buyers at a lower level in organizations, you will find that these new consumers may not respond to your marketing messages or may not even be able to use what you offer them unless you offer them localized products and supporting information in their own language, tailored to their own environment and business practices. Whether they could (or would even try) to use your product depends on what Common Sense Advisory calls “the tipping point for localization.”  

2. The “tipping point for localization”  is the intersection at which adaptation becomes mandatory for a particular market. Factors such as the educational level of users and business customers, the level of regulatory compliance required, and the cost of product ownership, drive companies to tailor individual products, services, marketing, sales systems, documentation, websites and other materials to the specific needs of the market.

3. The “tipping point” is not an absolute or constant quantity. It appears to vary by country, by individual product, by consumer – and even by sales channel. For example, shoppers may find themselves more language-savvy in online sales than in the supermarket. This tipping point also changes over time, so a decision made today not to localise a product may be wrong six months from now – as consumer attitudes, competition and other external pressures never stand still. Advances deeper into retail channels and transnational supply chains are increasingly pushing single-language products on consumers that do not meet their needs or expectations.

Text courtesy of leading consultancy Common Sense Advisory.