We are continuing our series of articles about famous product localization. Read Part 1 to learn more about how Netflix, Harry Potter, and Witcher 3 take over the world. As a localization services provider, we are inspired by companies that successfully expand their business. We hope the following stories will motivate you to try new localization strategies and make yourself known globally.
Today music streaming service Spotify is available in 195 countries in 65 languages and has around 456 Million active users worldwide. That's about 6% of the entire world population. Sounds impressive, isn't it? Let's overview the main steps they took to reach such a result.
As discussed in the previous article about localization strategy development - one of the criteria for global product development is audience analysis. And one of the points of your users' understanding is financials — average salary per region, check, and the ability for payment.
We overviewed the Spotify pricing for the USA, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Poland regions to show you exactly how it works.
The individual plan provides next prices:
- USA - 9,99$
- Switzerland - 12.95₣ (~14$)
- Ukraine -4,99$
- Poland - 19.99zl (4.62$)
As you can see, they are different and depend on the regional purchasing power to fit the customers' opportunities and compete inside the market.
To make the pricing policy uniformly in each area, the sales, marketing teams, and linguists must have a common source of truth. For example, at Lingohub, we provide a style guide feature that will help you keep all the information in a single place for different regions, topics, audiences, and whatever.
Respect for traditions and culture
The Spotify team scrupulously pays attention not only to the general translation but also to the visual context. For example, they are grouping countries where they can use the same playlist and images, but for others, preparing unique content to fit the cultural peculiarities.
If you want to listen to the Romantic Mix in the Middle East, you will never see kissing couples on the cover like in the USA and Europe.
Using Spotify, users always receive content related to their culture or preferences. An example is "Daily Mix" with local singers, Bollywood music for India, or K-pop for South Korea. This strategy also includes playlists dedicated to national and traditional holidays. You can learn on the Spotify website how they choose the appropriate style for different regions in detail.
Can you imagine a traveling service without perfect localization? Booking.com is one of the first traveling platforms founded more than a quarter of a century ago. Nowadays, they have around 100 million users in their mobile application, offices in 70 countries, and work with 50+ languages. Let's take a look at the primary things Booking is doing.
By using Booking, you always know that you can use the local currency, and the system will suggest the appropriate language(s) for your region. But it is not the end. The team profoundly understands each market. A simple example - Booking.com always does different email marketing for all regions. In Israel, the standard work week is from Sunday through Thursday. So creating an email campaign on Friday (mostly, it is a short day) is time-wasting. The value proposition will be out of place. Such small things from the first eye are considered because each user appreciates respect from the service providers.
Understand the context
At Booking.com, there are more than 200 language specialists. Their team actively uses local experts/native speakers and checks each potentially questionable word with their audience to improve the product. Moreover, they understand that the localization team can only provide local-targeted and selling content if they know the user journey and text placed on the page. That is why the localization strategy in Booking.com includes a deep dive for the writers and collaboration with other teams.
At Lingohub, we fully understand the importance of context. That is why you can automatically provide context images with our feature. With Figma integration, our customers can check the suitability of each text segment in the design stage without continuously and manually back-and-force.
League of Legends
Riot Games debuted the first version of LoL in 2009 in English. Now, in 2023, there are around 180 Million monthly players in ten different game regions. Why are they famous and are the choice of a player from all over the world?
Characters are close to the users
League of Legends is constantly upgrading. They provide new characters, lore upgrades, game balance a few times per year, etc. The characters they created reflect different nationalities and cultures. But more interesting are the references to them in myths and legends of various countries. Unlike some competitors, Riot borrows only key features of the character, complementing it with its own highlights.
Who can users meet in the Summoner's Rift (main game map)?
- nine-tail fox Ahri as a reference to Japanese Kitsune
- Wukong - the character from the Chinese roman - "Journey to the West."
- Kassiopea is a reference to Greek medusa gorgon
- personages similar to Egypt gods' (by visual and history)
- and many other
Such a solution provides an intimate understanding from people from different regions about the characters' abilities, individualism, and nature.
Of course, in the localization process, the Riot team pays attention to details like:
- Is it allowed in culture to show blood?
- Сan characters smoke and drink?
- How is profanity treated in the region?
- What special holidays are there in the region?
Attractive voice acting
One of the essential things in computer games is high-quality voice acting. It helps the player stay in the character's context, keep track of specific moments, etc.
The text for voice acting in LoL is perfectly adapted with understandable jokes and thoughtful dialogues between different personages. You don't hear calque from English by playing on a Russian or other non-English server.
One example is a Kled - a fascinating character from the localization side. His peculiarity is insane phrases and non-transferable sounds.
In the Latin American localization team used the made-up word in Spanish, "¡Jodoño!" to replace the original English, "Dagnabbit!" which has no exact translation.
Characters phrases are widely used in the lore content or marketing promo. To stay unified, the localization team requires a glossary to provide an appropriate option for the term for different employees. That is why Lingohub provides term base features. With automatic suggestions, your team will avoid human errors and save time.
Any challenge can be overcome, and localization is not an exception. With the right tool, your effort will bring much more results in the shortest time. Think about the global task while Lingohub translates for you. Let us know which issues your team faced during localization on a demo call, and let's grow together!