Whether it be mouth-watering delicacies, novel destinations, or social network connection, a local flavor is always appreciated by the end consumer. The world of electronic products is no different. An electronic product built with the knowledge of local needs is sure to be a market success. However, getting the proportion of the local essence right is absolutely essential.
Important questions to ask in this situation include the following: What product should we localize? Should we go for complete grounds-up design or garnish a global product with a tinge of local flavor? What should be our go-to-market strategy for a localized product — price point, market maturity, differing use-case, ecosystem influences to tap into, etc.? An engineering R&D partner with local expertise can go a long way in helping global companies create an appetite for their products in local markets, especially in emerging economies.
So, how can a global company develop a localized product strategy, and what role should a local engineering R&D partner play? To build a successful product for a local market one needs:
A deep understanding of the local market to adapt to market differences. Every market has specific pitfalls and challenges, including usage scenarios, business or cultural peculiarities, a local network of influencers, and regional regulations/policies. An engineering partner who is a part of the local ecosystem can bring such insights into play.
Resilient localization strategy. Based on the study and analysis of the local market along with the second opinion of a trusted local partner, a global company can decide among various product development approaches for local markets: reengineering or building a product from scratch for local market needs; partial localization or customization of an existing product range for local tastes; or selling its product as-is (zero localization.)
Thereafter, a local partner can help global companies take crucial product development decisions on whether to add features or simplify products, use standardized designs allowing customization, or build different models/platforms for different markets. Their in-depth knowledge of the ecosystem and regulatory frameworks can be leveraged to navigate regulatory requirements and redesign a product to meet local and emerging market needs and regulations.
Building effective go-to-market strategy. All efforts would fall flat without a sound go-to-market strategy in the local region. A global company can use the local partner to establish strong ties with local network/ecosystem players, thereby increasing its chances of reaching potential buyers. Further, global companies need to keep abreast of changing local dynamics to ensure sustenance of their current localized products and create derivatives for changing needs.