The Importance of Localization (and how Coca-Cola localizes successfully)

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Going global with a business is one of the best ways to strengthen a brand by giving it more leverage internationally, along with higher profit margins. However, one of the greatest difficulties is to break the barriers of culture and language in order to have successful products and/or services overseas, whilst still remaining true to brand image and company values. In doing so, a company must have a strategy for multilingual content marketing ahead of time in order to seize valuable opportunities in emerging markets. According to Fortune 500, “companies that translated information to keep up with or to gain an edge over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to have an increase in profits”. This requires companies to pay very close attention to cultural norms and nuances in order to convey their brand message appropriately and market their products or services effectively.

In order to be successful at localization, companies must consider alliances with local partners who can seamlessly tie the company’s brand message into the local culture. The key in this partnership is to effectively resonate the brand’s message with the local target market, while maintaining consistency in company image and values, no matter where the company is marketing. Consider, for example, Coca-Cola’s campaign during the FIFA World Cup. Each country’s webpage was localized with popular, local celebrities and culture, though every page still conveyed the same Coca-Cola brand message and image.

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Localization can not only help a company convey their brand image and message across cultures to gain a profit, but with proper planning, can help a company save both time and money when planning to market their product or service abroad. Companies must plan ahead by thinking of localization first, before creating their ad, rather than creating an ad in their native language and attempting to translate it into other languages after. Not only is this ineffective, it costs more time and money and a company is more susceptible to the pitfalls of localization. Additionally, doing this can hurt a brand’s image almost instantaneously and may also result in lost promotional opportunities in a new market. Taking the right steps to insuring that a brand is culturally relevant will give a company quicker success internationally and a better chance of gaining (and maintaining) loyal customers in a different culture’s market.

Lastly, here are a few advertisements displaying the same Coca-Cola ad in different languages and cultures. Each ad has children of a certain cultural background (based on the country of the advertisement) singing about joy and happiness, and the ad highlights different crises and troubles that are happening within the specific country, i.e. localization of ads. Enjoy!

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Based on the article:

Megarry, Darren, and Evelyn Toro. “Localization Should Be a Forethought: Five Tips for Success.” MarketingProfs. N.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.

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1 thought on “The Importance of Localization (and how Coca-Cola localizes successfully)”

  1. Coke’s campaign is a great example of adaptation for markets — exactly what we learned in tonight’s class! It’s amazing how one product can be marketed in so many different ways, and all sell the same product!

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