Lucy Xu

Reaching New Global Markets in a Time of Uncertainty: Examples & Best Practices

These new times bring new challenges but also new opportunities. This period of time has accelerated our digital connectedness. This, combined with our already increasingly global world, has resulted in the breaking down of some of the physical market barriers to entry that previously existed. In short, more people becoming more connected through technology and spending more time on the internet means a more leveled digital playing fields for companies across the world.

When it comes to specific markets, we have seen companies achieve success when localizing into specific global regions of the world. In particular: Asia, Europe, and South America. While this is partially due to the ease of localization into such markets, it is also largely due to the current business trends and flow in such areas.

In this post, we break down some examples of how companies have successfully localized into these key global markets and some of the best practices to keep in mind while you do so.

South American Markets

One of our favorite examples of a company successfully localizing into the South American region is Trello. After seeing increased product adoption specifically from South American countries, the Trello team creatively tapped into this pool of global users to localize their product to become even more accessible to South American markets. After crowdsourcing translations to localize into Brazilian Portuguese, Trello saw a 35% increase in users from Brazil.

For companies looking to localize into South American markets, it will be fairly straightforward if your native product language is English- or Latin-based. This is because most South American languages are Latin-based, which means that you won’t face as many technical challenges when it comes to word length and characters (like the ones you see below). The key thing to keep in mind here is quality control and accuracy. To combat this, we recommend two key areas: First, building QA into your development cycle and localization workflows; and second, leveraging a team-wide Translation Glossary and Style Guide to ensure that your translations are consistent, whether they are crowdsourced or not.

European Markets

When it comes to localizing into European Markets, Insightly is a prime success story. After driving 60% of their revenue from non-American markets, Insightly saw the opportunity to capture this momentum to drive even more global revenue. To do so, the team localized their website and apps into Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese; and, as a result, saw an 10% increase in their customer base in a short time after their global products launched.

The Insightly case study showed us that having a solid infrastructure and workflow for localization will give you the power to successfully localize into one or multiple languages. Of course, localizing into European markets does not come without its common challenges.  That’s why for companies looking to expand their presence into European markets, we recommending understanding all the must-knows from one of our latest guides: Localisation for EU Companies: Trends & Best Practices.

Asian Markets

A prime example of a company that successfully penetrated the APAC region through localization is U.S.-based Onshape. The Onshape team localized all of their product into specific East Asian languages and, in doing so, established a localization infrastructure that enables them to publish multilingual content more quickly and effectively than ever before.

From the Onshape example we take one of the key best practices of localizing not only into Asian markets but all languages: building a centralized global repository. This repository enables the team to continue to contribute to, refine, and access a continuously updated database of translated content. In turn, companies with this repository model are able to overcome one of the common challenges of localizing into Asian languages (as well as any character-based language): accounting for the text string length that will vary greatly from language to language. Finally, another best practice of companies most accurately and effectively localizing into Asian languages is the use of Machine Translation.

Reach Your Global Markets Today

The companies we see surviving and succeeding in this new challenging landscape are those that have invested in localization to reach new markets. Whichever region or language you are localizing into, whichever localization method or best practice you implement … and whether you are a localization veteran that has been going global for years or are new to the game, understanding the importance of reaching new audiences is the critical first step to global success.

If you’re ready to give localization a try to see exactly how you can start reaching international audiences at scale, Transifex is here for you: sign up to try Transifex for free for 15 days. We are also now offering our localization Starter Plan for 3 months to projects related to COVID-19 and to SMBs across the globe (new organizations only) — to access this offer, use the code OpenForBusiness20 after you sign up. If you have any question or are looking to connect with other localization professionals and global teams during this difficult period, visit and join the Transifex Community.

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