Start-ups vs localization

Krakow has been hailed a Polish Silicon Valley, but this is not the only place in Poland where startups try their hand in mature business. By the way, the geographical location is of secondary importance to these enterprises. Why? Because a vast majority of them presuppose, from the very beginning, that they will operate in an international environment, enjoying the benefits of the global village.

Companies founded by young people are focused on conquering the market – not the Polish or even the European ones but the global market – which explains the so far unprecedented cosmopolitanism exhibited by them. Young entrepreneurs founding startups definitely know what international customers may expect from them – they are well-educated, creative and speak foreign languages. The linguistic gap is the last thing that may prevent them from being successful. There is yet another aspect which only few people take into account, namely cultural adaptation of content.

For several years, global LSPs have been much less concerned with translation, focusing on localization instead. Localization seems necessary if one wants to be successful on a foreign market. A literally translated message will be unsuccessful if its addressee does not grasp it also at the emotional level. Therefore localization is a must for startups. Targeting, from the very beginning, at foreign customers, startups should take into account – already at the stage of developing and implementing a product – the importance of the localized content, name, logo and communication channels.

One of the leading Polish manufacturers of building materials for which Summa Linguae conducted an audit related to rebranding can serve as an example. It was pretty soon concluded that the suggested changes in the visual identification would not work abroad. While the relationship between the company’s name and its logo was clear for Poles, the foreign customer would not grasp it at all. A thorough analysis of cognitive competence of potential customers of the brand and localization of the message communicated by it enable the company to preserve a coherent image.

It should be noted that not only translation agencies can affect startups but startups can affect translation agencies as well. By cooperating with such enterprises, more mature companies learn to operate in a new environment. What matters for startups, which order e.g. translations or localization, are a quick response and a flexible approach to B2B relations, with no compromise, however, in the service quality.

Startups not only operate in a global network which is open to new opportunities, relies on technology and is not afraid of risk themselves, but they also teach other entities to cooperate in this way. Structures and business models of startups may offer a wealth of knowledge to an enterprise with an established market position.

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