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Localization in Portuguese: the Importance of Adapting Your Business to Local Markets

Localization is Essential in an Era of Truly Global Markets

Localization is essential in today’s markets and globalized economy. Companies have access to customers and partners from all around the world, but they need to develop strategies to reach them. Simply expanding your business to new markets doesn’t guarantee success. Many companies have failed to connect with new audiences because they didn’t adapt their products, services or marketing strategies to local cultures and languages.

This is where localization comes in. Localization is a game-changer if you want to expand your company’s reach. This article will explore the importance of Portuguese localization and why it is essential for any business looking to succeed in these regions.

Why It Matters

The process of localization is more than just translating your website or products into a different language. It’s about adapting your entire business to local audiences’ specific needs, preferences and expectations, especially when doing localization in Portuguese. Let’s look at the basics of localization:

  • Language: Translating your content is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to make sure that your messaging resonates with local audiences. The right tone, expressions and cultural references are very significant. This is particularly challenging when going in Portuguese localization, where different dialects, norms and cultural nuances significantly impact your message. Do you know how many countries speak Portuguese and the differences between them? Check this other article from our blog, where we cover some nuances of the Portuguese language.
  • Culture: Localizing your business also means understanding and respecting local customs, traditions and values. For example, in Portugal, business meetings tend to be more formal than in Brazil, where they are often more relaxed and informal. Many words have totally different meanings and change drastically what your message delivers. There is a case where some common words have one meaning in Portugal and are curses in Brazil. You don’t want that in your slogan, right?!
  • Regulations: Localizing your business also means complying with local laws and regulations. This can be particularly complex in Portuguese-speaking markets, where each country has its own legal system and business practices. For example, in Brazil, strict labour laws regulate how companies can hire and terminate employees, while in Portugal, there are specific regulations regarding consumer rights and data protection.

Improving Chances of Success

Teams Actively Working on Localization Tasks Define Strategies and Outline Content Marketing Solutions

With good localization, the chances of the product reaching the right audiences grow substantially. You will have better customer engagement, showing you understand their needs, preferences and challenges. This method builds trust and loyalty and differentiates you from competitors.

Another good argument for your Portuguese localization is the ability to identify and address local demand. For example, Brazil is experiencing a surge in vegetarian and vegan product demand. Besides the high price, these products can be difficult to find due to the local economy and market. The same is not valid for Portugal, which, although this niche market has also grown, can offer a wide variety of products for these consumers at a more accessible price.

Reputation also matters: By showing that you are committed to local markets, you can also improve your brand reputation. It is important to invest in local communities, supports local causes and respect local regulations. These actions can build a positive image and gain the support of local stakeholders.

There are well-documented cases of companies that have failed to do their homework and tailor their material to the regional audience, both for the Portuguese language and also for several others. Here are some examples:

  • A recognized case of international miss-localization is the big automaker General Motors and its cars that “won’t go”. Creating various car models requires a lot of creativity, also for model designations. After all, the company needs a strong name which attracts the consumer. Then, GM created the “Nova” model, which was successful in its launch in English-speaking countries. But the reception was not the same in countries like Spain and Italy. That’s because the car model means “don’t go” in those places. Who wants to ride in a car that, in the name, already says it doesn’t go?
  • McDonald’s has faced challenges in several markets, including Japan and India, where it had to significantly alter its menu and marketing strategies to cater to local tastes and preferences. In some cases, the company has also faced backlash from consumers over perceived cultural insensitivity.
  • Walmart’s entry into the German market in 1998 was met with significant resistance from German consumers, who were not receptive to Walmart’s low-price, self-service model. The company struggled to adapt to local customs and preferences and eventually withdrew from the market after sustained losses.
  • A well-known case to the Brazilian public is the disastrous failure of the giant Coca-Cola to promote its Cherry Coke in the region. The cherry flavour of the world’s best-selling soda is a well-established product in many countries, even being considered the tastiest in some. How could such a product fail in some countries? Well, that’s what happened in Brazil. Marketing experts concluded that although the public generally liked the product, its sales campaigns were terrible, incapable of appealing to them. To make matters worse, the company chose a poster boy badly seen by the young public, the target public of the drink, generating a silent aversion to the product because of his image.

Portuguese localization and SEO

SEO is Essential to Achieve Great Results in Each Market

Did you know that a well-done localization can help your company to be on top of search engines? With the growth of the internet, more and more consumers are turning to online searches to find products and services. Businesses can increase their visibility on search engines by creating localized content that includes relevant keywords and phrases.

Just think about it: Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor. Think about the millions of searches every day coming from these Portuguese-speakers countries. With the proper localization, you raise the chances that they will find your website and not the competitor.

Final Thoughts on Localization for Portuguese Markets

Place Your Audience at the Centre of Everything You Do to Maximize Results

Localization in Portuguese countries is essential for businesses looking to succeed in those markets. By adapting to the local culture, companies can connect with consumers on a personal level, avoid cultural missteps, increase brand recognition, stand out in a competitive market and raise revenue.

Our team can help you achieve just that. Contact us today, and we’ll ensure your business will soon speak the right language for the right audience. Those looking to make an impact in Brazil and Portugal can rely on our range of solutions for most content marketing needs. We invite you to learn more about our company or simply get in touch.

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