Localization for small businesses

“You can buy in any language or culture, but to sell you have to understand their language and culture”

The world isn’t just flat – it’s completely open. With the explosive economic growth in emerging markets and digital technologies, international expansion is no longer reserved for big corporations with deep pockets. Rather, it’s a part of growth strategy for a company of any size.

Does that mean you can sell your products and services to anywhere in the world? The answer is Yes as long as you can provide the same high-quality user experience for your foreign customers as you do for your domestic customers. To simply put, you need ‘localization’ of your products and services in order to generate sustainable business in your target markets.

What is localization?
According to GALA (Globalization and Localization Association), “Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market”. While translation is a key aspect of localization, it alone cannot provide the same user experience. I know most of you saw brochures, operating manuals, etc. where text is translated, but the graphic or formats (date, time, currency, etc.) are left untouched. So, localization is not just about translation. Rather, it’s a series of coordinated efforts to make sure your target customers feel that your products are not translated version of foreign products, but products originated locally.
There is more.
The most successful global organizations sometimes customize their products or other marketing contents for the target market. Obviously, this takes a lot more investment than typical localization. However, if executed correctly, it could generate huge returns because a company can better communicate value of its products based on the cultural norm of the target market. There are many researches about the effect of culture on consumer behavior, and those researches confirm cultural norm and value can influence the decision making and judgement. For example,
“European Americans, for example, are generally influenced by the positive consequences of a decision, whereas Asians appear to be more influenced by the negative consequences that may occur due to a decision or line of action. Asians are therefore more “prevention” focused, manifesting a greater tendency to compromise, seek moderation or to postpone decisions if it is possible.”
Therefore, customization (in addition to localization) based on solid understanding of the culture can set you apart from your competition.

JW Global Insight helps small and medium businesses to expand their business overseas. Our customized market research will help our clients better understand not just market data, but also cultural norms and common business practices. With this unique approach, our clients are able to replicate their success in domestic markets in their target markets. For more information about how we can help, please contact us.

Key barriers in expanding business overseas

IDC Manufacturing Insights, sponsored by UPS, conducted a survey with supply chain stakeholders at more than 300 global high-tech firms last year. While this survey was designed to better understand opportunities and challenges in the supply chain management, it also reveals some of common challenges global high-tech companies are facing when they expand their business overseas.

Respondents of the survey are senior high-tech supply chain professionals who either are decision makers or have visibility into the supply chain initiatives of their company. The survey includes multiple industries such as semiconductors, electronic components, consumer electronics, etc. In terms of company size, all respondents were from company with at least US$5M in annual revenue.

We believe the question below is especially relevant for our clients and partners.

JW Brief 09032014

Please note that most respondents for this survey work for a large company with its global operations being already established. However, our experience tells us that these key barriers are very relevant, and even more pronounced for smaller firms.

At JW Global Insight, we have designed our services to address those key barriers especially for small and medium companies that do not have resources to deal with complexities in expanding their business into emerging markets.

For instance, our market development services help our clients understand the appeal of new or existing products in new markets as well as to provide relevant macro economic conditions. We are committed to provide customized in-depth market research, maximize returns on targeted marketing events, and to localize products and services.

Secondly, our business development services are tailored to develop local partners and distributors ensuring long-term sustainable growth of business. These local partners will play a critical role in navigating local regulations and cultural differences, which will reduce the time to set up initial operations.

Lastly, our sales operation services deliver comprehensive solutions for entering a new market, including post sales support, contract management, warehousing, etc. Our goal in providing these services is to simplify complexities in expanding business into a new market so that our clients can spend their precious resources for things that matter most.

JW Global Insight is not a typical consulting firm that focuses on providing economic data, case studies, and industry best practices while leaving execution to clients. Rather, we thrive to become our clients’ trusted business partner that complements each other’s strengths and makes up for weaknesses for greater and measurable business results.


Business views on trade agreements in Asia

World Trade Organization (WTO), which supervises and liberalizes international trades, has been working on renewing trade negotiations, Doha Development Round, for a while without much success. In the meantime, there have been many bilateral and regional free trade agreements by many governments especially in Asia. In general, free trade agreements, which are designed to reduce the barriers to trade, are believed to increase international trades. And, many believe that firms in export-oriented economies in Asia should be able to take advantage of it.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published very interesting survey results (For a full report, please visit this link) about views on free trade agreements among corporate executives in 8 Asia Pacific countries, and we would like to share key findings from the report. The findings are based on a survey conducted in Q1 2014 of senior executives from 800 companies in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. More than 80% of respondents’ companies are small and medium sized companies with annual revenue of less than US$150M.

1. FTA usage rates are low. On average, the usage rate of the more than 50 FAs signed by these 8 countries is just 26%.JW Brief_20040815_Figure1

2. The complexity of FTAs, which comprise hundreds of pages of legal text, is the most common reason for not usingJW Brief_20040815_Figure2

3. FTAs do help increase exports for firms that use them. More than 85% of respondents report that their exports have increased as a result of FTAs that they use.JW Brief_20040815_Figure3

At JW Global Insight, we believe companies in any size should be able to take advantage of these free trade agreements to expand their markets. We also understand that many companies, especially small and medium enterprise, face many roadblocks that prevent them from capitalizing export/import opportunities. We are committed to deliver measurable business results to our clients by simplifying complexities in expanding business overseas. To find out more, please contact us at info@jwglobalinsight.com.

Generate highly targeted and lucrative leads in Korea

With the right strategy, every trade show is an opportunity to drastically expand your company’s customer base. The people who attend trade shows tend to be motivated, interested in the products or services your company offers, and often ready to commit to a deal on the spot.

The right strategy should help you establish market presence with long lasting impression and provide cost-effective ways of competitive analysis, networking and advertising, while resulting in direct sales opportunities.

JW Global Insight has helped many small businesses to strategically use trade shows to gather local market insights and to develop local partners and distribution channels. We provide market research and due diligence for potential partners prior to the tradeshow, facilitate business meetings and networking events during the tradeshow, and provide contract management after the trade show.

JW Global Insight, via its Asia Pacific office, will attend the following premier trade shows in Korea. Please contact us

Korea Electronics Show, Oct 14thto 17th in Korea
Korea Electronics Show is listed amongst the leading electrical show that offers a comprehensive and energy saving lighting equipments. More than 773 exhibitors will participate in this show and they will organize more than 2343 exhibiting stalls and they will welcome over 52788 attendees coming from different parts of the world. The participants are availed with ample of networking opportunities which help them to increase their revenue count as well aid them to create a strong footage in the domestic as well as in the international market. Korea Electronics Show is the perfect place where the attendees can come in contact with the manufacturers and exporters and discuss about the various business related issues. Various designer and purpose of lighting products are displayed so that the demands of the customers are completely fulfilled.

World IT Show, Oct 20thto 23rd
World IT Show is the premier and one of the most popular trade show for IT Industry. The show will showcase Communication and Digital Multimedia, Home Network, e-Biz, Electrical Part and Module, Embedded and DMB etc.. World IT Show will be the best gathering place for IT Companies and IT Institutions. The show is being organized by K. Fairs Limited and will be held at BEXCO Busan Exhibition & Convention Center from October 20th to 23rd, 2014.