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Should you Localize Your Smartphone Applications as a Manufacturer?

If your manufacturing company has recently launched a Smartphone app, or even if you’ve had an app that’s been out for quite some time, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while to localize it. Localization, in this sense, basically entails adapting your product to another market or set of markets. This could involve language translation, but it could also mean adapting some of the images, colors or audio files within the app, or even the marketing materials you use to promote it.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that,” then you may have an understanding of just how important apps have become in our society. People use them for just about everything. Having a Smartphone application puts your business, quite literally, in the palm of someone’s hand. If well developed, it is convenient for the consumer to use and helps build brand loyalty and trust by delivering the information they need quickly and easily via their phone or other handheld device, just as they need or want it.

If your business markets itself toward different demographics, then it is important that these demographics be represented in all facets of your business, including in the use of your Smartphone app. In fact, according to a 2012 report from Distimo, The Impact of App Translations, a study of 200 iPhone apps that launched in different native languages saw a 128% increase in downloads the week following that launch, and a 26% increase in revenue from these downloads. Applications localized into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean saw the most growth from this update.

Although the US/English app market is still the most dominant market to date, other markets are growing at an impressive rate. In fact, according to the Global Mobile Market Report, global app revenues will reach $80.6 billion by 2020!

Since a user feels most secure reading something in his or her own native tongue, the potential to actively engage and reach these users through a properly localized app can increase exponentially. If a user is interested in your brand and has a basic understanding of English, he may download your non-localized application. However, if he cannot decipher the language of the app well enough to make purchases, he may become more hesitant to use it in the long term than he would an app in his own language. This can easily cause consumers to delete the app and disengage with a brand entirely.

Users value content in their native tongue, and the above statistics help demonstrate the impact that localizing a Smartphone application can have both on your business’ visibility, as well as on revenue. If you are actively working to expand into other markets and demographics, then Smartphone application localization is definitely something worth investigating for your manufacturing company.

Should you Localize Your Smartphone Applications?

If your company has recently launched a Smartphone app, or even if you’ve had an app that’s been out for quite some time, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while to localize it. Localization, in this sense, basically entails adapting your product to another market or set of markets. This could involve language translation, but it could also mean adapting some of the images, colors or audio files within the app, or even the marketing materials you use to promote it.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that,” then you may have an understanding of just how important apps have become in our society. People use them for just about everything. Having a Smartphone application puts your business, quite literally, in the palm of someone’s hand. If well developed, it is convenient for the consumer to use and helps build brand loyalty and trust by delivering the information they need quickly and easily via their phone or other handheld device, just as they need or want it.

If your business markets itself toward different demographics, then it is important that these demographics be represented in all facets of your business, including in the use of your Smartphone app. In fact, according to a 2012 report from Distimo, The Impact of App Translations, a study of 200 iPhone apps that launched in different native languages saw a 128% increase in downloads the week following that launch, and a 26% increase in revenue from these downloads. Applications localized into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean saw the most growth from this update.

Although the US/English app market is still the most dominant market to date, other markets are growing at an impressive rate. In fact, according to the Global Mobile Market Report, global app revenues will reach $80.6 billion by 2020!

Since a user feels most secure reading something in his or her own native tongue, the potential to actively engage and reach these users through a properly localized app can increase exponentially. If a user is interested in your brand and has a basic understanding of English, he may download your non-localized application. However, if he cannot decipher the language of the app well enough to make purchases, he may become more hesitant to use it in the long term than he would an app in his own language. This can easily cause consumers to delete the app and disengage with a brand entirely.

Users value content in their native tongue, and the above statistics help demonstrate the impact that localizing a Smartphone application can have both on your business’ visibility, as well as on revenue. If you are actively working to expand into other markets and demographics, then Smartphone application localization is definitely something worth investigating for your company.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Brochures For a Foreign Market

Once you decide to expand into a foreign market, creating a properly localized and unique brochure can really help you market your business successfully there. Whether the brochure you create is print or digital (or both!), it should be geared toward your target demographic in that market. Here are a few tips to for creating the best possible brochure for a successful marketing campaign.

creating effective brochures in foreign markets | Accessible Translation Solutions | www.accessibletranslations.com

· Get to know your customer. Ask yourself, “What’s important to them and how can it be incorporated into our brochure?” Take into consideration customs and preferences in that market that may be different than what your U.S.-based customers experience. Also, make sure the brochure is professionally translated and in the language your target audience primarily speaks, even if English is prevalent in that country or region. There is plenty of research to support that consumers feel most comfortable consuming information in their primary language, so the translation piece of the puzzle is critical.

· Select appropriate images. What works in brochures to target your U.S.-based customers will not necessarily work for a foreign audience. Use images that fit seamlessly into your target market’s culture instead of using the same images that you would for your U.S.-based audience. Remember, however, to be careful not to display images that portray stereotypes, as they might not be well received.

· Make sure the brochure is organized to optimize your selling points. As with any brochure, there should be a clear and clean flow of text and images that tell your business’ story. Make them as enticing as possible so that potential customers will feel engaged with your content. Use catchy headlines that are relevant to your target market and will draw them in. Once you have their attention, show them how your business can benefit their work or lifestyle.

· Choose content wisely. Share information that is both useful for your readers, as well as concise. If people see too much text immediately, they may not be inclined to read it all. You could even lose them all together. Keep in mind that some text will be longer once translated, and some shorter, depending on the language. Spanish translations, for example,  are often about 30% longer than their original English content, so be sure to consider this when deciding what to include.

· Make it simple to respond. If potential customers are interested in your content, it’s important to be easy to contact or find. They need to know what action to take next and how to reach you, whether it be to purchase your product or service, or to get more information. List your business name, phone number, website, and social media channels on the brochure for an easy connection. If you have someone who can help customers in their own language, make sure they know that so they feel comfortable reaching out. If you don’t, not to worry. A telephonic interpreting service could be the answer. You don’t have to speak your customers’ primary language in order to do business with them.

Remember, every piece of literature you send out represents your business and leaves an impression on potential customers. If you are unsure how effectively localize your brochures and other promotional materials, be sure to choose a professional company to help you with the process. This will help avoid potential blunders with content in unfamiliar foreign markets.

Tips for a Custom Welcome Packet for International Students

International students have a lot to prepare for before they begin their first semester at your university. Having a comprehensive welcome packet created with them in mind can truly go a long way in making them feel a little less nervous (and a little more ready!) about adjusting to life in the United States and at your institution.

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Since students will receive your university’s welcome packet while they are still in their home country, and will likely be going over certain aspects of it with their families, it can be beneficial to have certain parts of the packet translated in a dual-language format. This way, both the student and their family can review the information together in a way that helps everyone feel confident about the student traveling so far away from home. It will also solidify their decision that your university is the right place for this next adventure.

While translating the entire packet may not be necessary, here are a few sections you may consider translating before sending future welcome packets to international students:

Tips for preparing to come to the U.S. There is a lot that goes into preparing for international travel and study. From visas, to travel tips about U.S. airlines, which documents the student will need upon reaching a port of entry, to even whether or not his or her mobile phone will still work here, there are so many factors to consider. Many students may wish to review this section with their families. Having it available in their native language will make the process that much smoother.

Finances (tuition, budgets, banking). Many families may be assisting with or covering tuition costs or other monetary needs for the student. Making this information available in the family’s primary language could prove very helpful in the event the family needs to reference it in order to help the student prepare his or her finances and budget in advance.

Information on medical care and options. The health care system in the United States is quite different than in any other country. If your international students will be automatically enrolled in any type of insurance through your university, or if they need to shop for some sort of plan on their own, this is an important distinction to make and something students may also wish to review with their families before departure. This helps everyone to know that the student is safe and covered in the event of a medical emergency or simply for routine doctor’s visits. It may also be helpful to translate information regarding the different types of immunizations that may be required before the student travels to the U.S.

Providing this information in a student’s primary language can be a great start in making things just a little easier for everyone involved. Above all, though, simply having an easily accessible and specific welcome packet emailed to the student once they are accepted to your university will create a lasting impression that they are valued and welcome on your campus.

How to Prepare Your Product for Certifications Before You Export

When deciding to export your product to another country there are many things to consider. One of these things is potential product certifications in these countries that you may not have to have obtain here in the U.S. Knowing which certifications are required for exporting your product is vital in gaining approval to sell your product abroad.

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If you are exporting to countries within the European Union (EU), you’ll want to look into the European CE Marking Guidance. Once your product has the CE marking, it shows that the product has been or will be certified to meet EU health, safety and environmental requirements to ensure consumer safety. Once you’ve obtained this CE marking, only then will you be able to market your product throughout the EU. For more information on the program (and whether or not your product may require the CE marking), you can review the program overview.

If, on the other hand, you decide to export your product to China, you’ll need to work on obtaining the China Compulsory Certification (CCC Mark). This went into effect in 2002, replacing the certifications of the China Import and Export commodity Inspection Bureau and the China Commission for conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment. If it has been many years since you exported products to China and you are looking to do so again, be sure to familiarize yourself with the new certification process for the CCC Mark.

If you find that a specific country’s certifications, standards or trade barriers for your product are unfairly arduous or discriminatory, you can seek help from the U.S. Government to press for their removal. You can look into filing a complaint online with the Trade Compliance Center or you can also contact the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) at 202-395-3000.

Although you can certainly complete the steps for certification on your own, you may also find that you wish to work with a professional agency when you decide to certify your product in a foreign market. There are several from which to choose, so if you do decide to go with one to potentially simplify things for you, check around for the company or agency that will best suit your needs.

*Accessible Translation Solutions provides this information for informational purposes only and is not responsible for its use or perception by the reader. For more information on any of the product certifications mentioned, rely on your own research in order to make the most informed decision possible.

Global Business Etiquette for Your Brand

If your company is based in the United States, you are likely familiar with business etiquette here in North America. It would be normal for you to arrive on time (or better… early!) and shake someone’s hand when you greet them during a business meeting, for example, or to even invite fellow associates out for dinner to both discuss the agenda and socialize with your colleagues.

If you’ve never given thought to globalization and expanding your business to an international market, it is likely you might also not have considered how business etiquette may differ in other countries and how adapting to these differences could vastly impact your ability to perform well in a global market.

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Translating and/or localizing your product and services are a great first step to entering the global market. You can read more about the importance of localizing your product here. However, localization isn’t the only step in moving your business forward in a foreign culture. It’s probable that you will need to work directly with other business associates in the target country for a successful launch, so learning a little about proper business etiquette there can really go a long way. It is not necessary to learn each and every custom in every location where you plan to do business, but it will help if you have a basic understanding of how business etiquette works in each one.

If you are holding a business meeting in Mexico, for instance, it would not be uncommon for the meeting to begin a little late, and for your colleagues to engage in an embrace as a greeting, instead of a handshake, once a perceived friendship is established. Conversely, if you are conducting business in Germany, arriving late is considered rude and business meetings are very formal (always shake hands and greet someone as Herr [Mister] last name even when you know them well).

In China, it can be inappropriate to begin your meeting by discussing the deal you want to close directly. This may be considered rude, and you may come home without the deal you had hoped for. Instead, it is more appropriate to develop a relationship with your business partner and avoid interrupting him/her at all costs! When handing your business card to someone in China, or receiving one from a potential business partner, do so with both hands. This is considered a sign of respect.

Since there is no global standard of business etiquette, we recommend always researching the area you’re traveling to (or speaking with) to ensure you are abiding by that country’s customs and standards. This shows respect for your business associates abroad and makes a good impression for your products and services. Being prepared shows that you are dedicated to doing business in that area and will greatly improve your chance of success when launching your localized product or service.

Three Things to Consider Before Exporting Your Product to Another Country

Three Things to Consider Before Exporting Your Product to Another Country

Thinking about launching a new product overseas? There are certain factors you should consider before you do. While it can be very lucrative for your company to expand to other markets, it can also be detrimental if you overlook some key considerations. So how do you make the call for your business? These three points can help you decide if your business is ready to launch a new product overseas.

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How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

If your company is based in the United States, you are likely familiar with business etiquette here in North America. It would be normal, expected even, for you to arrive on time (or better… early!) and shake someone’s hand when you greet them during a business meeting, for example, or even to invite fellow associates out for dinner to both discuss a potential deal and socialize with your colleagues.

Read More