Gone are the days when a brand could emerge in a domestic market and then, when the conditions were just right, launch strategically in new markets with tight control over brand identity and a limited number of communication channels to manage. Nowadays, brands are launching into a global engagement with customer perception from day one, whether you are ready for it or not.
The largest companies in the world, an increasing number of which are technology companies, have experienced and continue a experience a sustained shift in revenue, assets and employees away from domestic markets and toward foreign markets. As all industries become digitalized, the opportunity and need for global workforce mobility grows as well. Even as business grapples with how to manage new organizational models with relatively homogeneous groups of employees in their domestic markets, the challenge is made doubly complex when we add cross-cultural collaboration to the mix.
The truth has caught up with us. The localization industry has come to the point where I believe we are misrepresenting the idea of “globalization.” Despite the bells and whistles, at the end of the day, the industry largely sells a commodity called “technologically-enabled translation.” We actively try to rebrand our work as “localization.” However, we mislead our clients by pretending that we are applying finesse to their global ventures, when really we are simply translating words for digital interfaces .
Developing a global brand strategy while living in self-imposed cultural isolation is problematic. When the approach to global branding becomes mono-cultural, it is more difficult to apply in new markets. In not leveraging ground-floor observations from a variety of cultures to assemble an inclusive and authentic brand vision, the approach reinforces a wide-spread skepticism and resentment of American cultural arrogance.
Idiosynch is advisory firm that focuses on the human side of globalization. We work with forward-thinking leaders in business and education to transform the ways people collaborate across cultures, develop globally enabled products and drive global business expansion. Through inclusion and humility, Idiosynch empowers organizations and individuals to maximize their potential in the global economy. ...