Localisation – What can it do for your business?

A recent HSBC advertisement proposes five reasons why we should do business in China:

  1. It’s one of the largest global economies and growing;
  2. It’s one of the world’s largest digital economies;
  3. It has more consumers than the US and Europe combined;
  4. It’s the most attractive for inbound investment; and
  5. As a nation it is in transition and open to opportunity.

The reasons why are well rehearsed and require no elaboration. What ThinkChinese can offer to local businesses is assistance with the how. What does a business need to know before entering the Chinese market?

One of the first things a business needs to recognise is that there is a whole range of cultural nuances which can impact upon its reception by a Chinese audience. Building on our existing service offering in Jersey, ThinkChinese can now introduce our brand new localisation service, which demonstrates our commitment to strengthen the links between Jersey and China even further. Using our experience, our knowledge of industry and cultural insights, we are well positioned to add value to a local business’s efforts to establish a presence in the Chinese market.

What is localisation?

Localisation is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localisation process. In addition to translation, the localisation process may also include:

  • Adapting graphics to target markets
  • Modifying content to suit the tastes and consumption habits of other markets
  • Adapting design and layout to properly display translated text
  • Converting to local requirements (such as currencies and units of measure)
  • Using proper local formats for dates, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Addressing local regulations and legal requirements

A translated website or article only tells your potential customers what you do. A localised product or service tells our potential customers what you do for them!

There are numerous examples of localisation which allowed business to thrive, the most famous of which we think is KFC.

KFC had an infamous localising blunder in China in the 80’s. Their catchphrase “finger-licking good” was literally translated to “eat your fingers off”. This set KFC back in the Chinese market. But they bounced back with gusto by adjusting their menus in China. Obviously KFC is famous for its “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, but in China they added local foods to join the western menu. Foods such as Chinese porridge, traditional Chinese breakfast breads and a variety of rice-based dishes were introduced. This allowed for mass appeal of their food. Young people would try this new American meal, while older people could focus on more traditional dishes. This spectrum of food allowed everyone to enjoy something in KFC. The Chinese had accepted them into their culture. To date, KFC attracts much more customers in mainland China than its competitor McDonalds, whose products are the same globally.

Cited from Transit

For more information about our localisation services, please contact our team at (01534) 864973. ThinkChinese has a proven track record in providing professional translating and interpreting services. Its clients have included the Jersey government, local trust companies, law firms and other service providers.

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