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Striking the Perfect Balance: Global Brand Expansion and the Art of Localization 

Navigating scaling your FMCG business internationally can be challenging. Learn how adapting your product or service to local markets can help your brand find success on the international stage in this article.

November 7, 2023

6 mins read

Isabel Murphy, Anastasia Hamurari

In today's interconnected world, businesses have unprecedented opportunities to expand their global reach and capture new markets. However, the path to success on the global stage is far from one-size-fits-all.

Striking the perfect balance between maintaining a strong global brand identity while adapting to local markets is a delicate art, often referred to as localization. For brands, mastering this art is an opportunity to tap into new markets, gain a competitive advantage, and diversify consumer bases.

Here’s proof: 72% of shoppers are more inclined to make an online purchase from a company whose website is written in their native language.

This article explores the intricate dance that businesses must perform as they navigate the complex terrain of international expansion, and how the skillful execution of localization can be the key to unlocking new horizons for their brand.

Keep on reading to learn how you can streamline your localization strategy without sacrificing your existing consumer base or revenue goals. 

What is localisation?

Localisation is the process of adapting a product or a service to a specific location or market. It involves adjusting the product or its content to meet the linguistic, cultural, technical, and legal requirements of a particular region or target audience.

Successful localization requires tailoring various aspects such as language, design, pricing, and marketing strategies to resonate with the target audience, making the offering feel native and relevant to that particular market. Effective localization enhances a product's or brand's appeal and accessibility in diverse regions, fostering greater acceptance and success in international markets

How to create a localization strategy for your global FMCG brand 

Creating a localization strategy involves systematically adapting an FMCG brand’s products, services, and marketing efforts to the standards and preferences of local markets and consumers. Here are the key aspects of developing an effective localization strategy:  

Conduct market research 

Conduct comprehensive market research to gain insights into the culture, demographics, preferences, and buying behaviours of your target audience in each specific region. This research will help you identify what aspects of your brand or product need adaptation.

Additionally, analyze local competitors to understand marketing strategies and shopper engagement approaches that might resonate with the market. 

Integrate professional translation 

Ensure content is translated accurately. This includes product information, marketing materials, website content, and consumer support materials. This can be done using online platforms or companies that specialize in culturally sensitive translation of content.

Establish a thorough quality assurance process to review and refine translated content. Make sure that idioms, context, and cultural references are appropriately incorporated to maintain authenticity in the target language. 

Customize product or service offerings 

Modify your products or services to meet local consumer preferences, including size, colour, features, packaging, and pricing. Note that you should still maintain a clear brand image so that consumers can recognise your FMCG company, no matter the market or platform.

Most importantly, understand and adhere to local laws, regulations, and industry standards. This includes compliance in areas like product labelling, data privacy, and advertising. 

Impact Whey Protein in Strawberry Milk flavor

Leverage your digital presence and local partnerships 

Localize your website, including language, content, and user experience. Implement effective SEO strategies for each target market to improve visibility in local search engines. 

On top of that, partner with local agencies, influencers, or distributors who have a deep understanding of the market and can help you navigate cultural nuances and preferences. 

Streamline workflows and processes  

Optimize your internal operations to efficiently manage the localization process. Consider factors such as workflow automation, content management, and project management tools to streamline the localization workflow. 

Adapt marketing campaigns 

As many as 86% of localized advertising campaigns yield higher click-through and conversion rates compared with their English counterparts. 

Tailor your marketing strategies to align with the cultural and behavioral nuances of each target market. This includes crafting region-specific advertising campaigns, social media content, and promotional materials that resonate with local audiences. 

Test and iterate 

It’s also crucial to continuously collect feedback from local customers, sales teams and stakeholders to understand the effectiveness of the localized strategies, and be prepared to adapt your strategy based on market dynamics. 

While localizing, ensure that your brand's core values and identity are consistently represented across all markets. Strive for a balance that respects local differences while upholding the essence of your global brand. 

Myprotein: cracking the Japanese market

The sports, nutrition and clothing FMCG brand Myprotein has grown to become the number one nutrition brand globally. Having launched in 56 international markets in 33 different languages after being acquired by THG in 2011, it’s seen tangible success in Japan, with growth of over 400% between 2017 and 2020.

As the number one market for the brand outside of the UK, success in Japan has been attributed to multiple different factors implemented by THG over the last 12 years. These include: 

  • Data on local tastes: collecting data on local preferences in Japan regarding flavours allowed Myprotein to develop a range of new products tailored to the Japanese consumer. These included flavors that aren’t traditionally utilized in other international markets, including milk and burnt sugar. 

  • Localized content creation: THG compiled research on content which they believed would resonate best with the local market. This allowed them to make decisions based on the channels consumers preferred and how they reacted to influencer content, while creating content in the local language. 
 
  • Operational setup for localisation: THG implemented local fulfilment methods to ensure customer satisfaction. This included originally shipping from a Singapore warehouse using local couriers, and leveraging local payment methods. 

Mastering the art of localization for FMCG brands 

By adopting a culturally sensitive approach that preserves core brand values and tailors offerings to suit local preferences, FMCG businesses can navigate the complexities of diverse markets and find success on the international stage. 

With these elements in place, your global brand is well-positioned to thrive and resonate with audiences worldwide, ensuring a profitable future in the global business landscape. 

Ingenuity’s complete commerce solution is ultimately designed to support brand ambitions, handling marketing, operations and technology for some of the world’s largest FMCG brands, with a proven track record of scaling brands internationally.  

Start a conversation today with our solution experts and discover how Ingenuity can enable growth on a global scale for your FMCG business. 

Myprotein pop roll sweet potato flavor

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FMCG

Internationalisation

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