Global Product Strategy

This section contains some tips to help you define your global strategy. To find out more, 
scroll down or click on the heading of the following subsections:





While English is the language of business throughout the world, the need for multilingual communication that reaches the potential global audience in the user's language of choice is a challenge facing more and more businesses. On the Internet for example, even though English language sites (particularly American) dominate the Web, recent studies show that:

Over 70% of Internet users are non-native English speakers. Over 200 million users living in Asia, America and Europe do not use English as a first language and have vastly different expectations when it comes to dealing with web content including currency, cultural norms, marketing styles and language.

Internet users are twice as likely to stay on a site and three times as likely to make an online purchase if the site content is communicated in their own language.

Apart from English, the most common languages found on the Web are French, German, Chinese and Japanese, but other languages are appearing particularly from the EU and Scandinavian groups.

Communicating with users in the language of their choice is not only the preferred option for web users today, but is becoming an expectation.

Providing multilingual communication does mean an investment of time and money, but it is becoming a business necessity. Multilingual communication can benefit your business in a number of ways, providing:

Low cost entry into international markets
With a multilingual website, you can establish your business internationally and reach a global audience via the web in a much more cost-effective way compared to traditional "bricks and mortar" expansion.

International brand recognition
The web provides a cost-effective way to establish your brand internationally as an alternative to traditional marketing activities.

Higher sales
By targeting a global audience, the opportunities for increased sales via the web are massive. In Australia for example, 69% of online purchases are made on overseas sites according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Click here for more information on Website Localisation.



If you want to export your product into international markets, you have obviously looked at translation into the language of the target market. But translation is only part of the picture - read on to find out about some of the issues you'll need to think about in order to prepare your product for worldwide language markets, and how CTC can help you. 

Making the decision

To define the viability and true costs of entering a specific language market, you need some insights into the tasks, time and resources required. This is where your marketing department may be able to undertake some research - without it, the decision is a difficult one.

Creating an international product

An international product will easily lend itself to translation should you decide to target additional markets later. It must be free from any local or cultural biases – in this way it can be readily translated into any language. Write your copy without any cultural nuances. Make it deliberately objective, factual and designed for a broad readership.

Creating a localised product

A localised product is one that includes all the unique elements to a particular region or country. To market a product to a particular target group, it is necessary to understand their buying habits in order to develop a strategy that is appealing. Marketing styles vary from country to country. (For example, consider the "cutesy" style in Japanese advertising.)

Localising material designed to sell a product is an exercise that can potentially extend beyond translation, and may require advice from local advertising and marketing experts. Localising software is more straightforward. As a technical product, it is less likely to have any cultural implications. Where the localisation process is largely linguistic and technical, it can readily become part of the translation process through the use of standard software language glossaries.

Other localisation issues including product quality standards, weights and measures, or legal requirements which can mean that a localised product will also require adaptation and translation for another specific region.

Plan ahead

The translation component of your project needs to be treated as an integral part of the entire process, and not just tacked on at the last minute. If you plan ahead and prepare your documentation to accommodate future translation needs, you can save significant time and money.

Is additional product testing required?

The English version of your warranty in simple translation may not be adequate - it may need to be reviewed
and adapted by legal translators or lawyers in the target country.
Different countries have different service contracts and requirements for repair.
Is a customer survey required with your product registration card?
Is it culturally biased?
Can the style or tone be reproduced?
Trying to explain the meaning of a slang term or colloquialisms can often result in it losing its meaning and impact
when translated into another language.


Build translation and/or adaptation of your products into your schedules, and build in risks.
Be aware of the quality risks your company faces if you try to rush the process.
Consider how long it takes to prepare the original!
Pad out your schedule - take into account public holidays overseas.


Meet and get to know your localisation/globalisation supplier.
Attempt to understand the mutual processes involved.
Use the research you've undertaken in each country to inform your translation supplier about your product and your customers' profile.
Don't assume that the translator will protect you from variation across languages.
What translates easily directly from English and works in France may not work in Germany.
Test the compatibility of your tools at the outset, or determine a mutually suitable output method for things like fonts and desktop publishing.