Globalization vs. Localization: How Are They Different

Encountering a global brand is a great customer experience. Learn how big businesses use the power of localization and globalization to seize the global market.

There is really no globalization vs. localization debate when going global. Serving a global audience, companies must deal with different consumer experiences. From adapting their products and services to tailoring the content and communication with the local audience. Localization and globalization go hand in hand in creating a winning global strategy.

What is localization? 

Localization is adapting your products and services to a specific local audience. Localization is an extension of the translation process. It means adjusting your products and services to a local audience.

Localization does not only revolve around words but also includes adapting visuals. Different imagery will drive a different appeal from country to country. Spotify does a great job of localizing visuals. Read how Spotify uses image localization when operating on the global market.

The goal is to create a sense of comfort and trust among customers and make them feel appreciated and understood. Companies implement localization strategies to enter new markets and create a tailored experience for local customers. It is mostly used for website content, emails, training product information and descriptions, and marketing materials. 

Localization strategy will include:

  • Converting currencies, dates, and measurement systems in locally accepted formats.
  • Adjust your branding and visuals to fit the local audience.
  • Understand the most popular communication and social channels in a targeted market
  • Ensure your marketing campaign and business operations align with the local regulations
  • Payment methods and processes

Localization good practices

To understand the localization strategy a bit better, let us take a closer look at these 3 companies.


Spotify relies heavily on using the localization strategy when entering new markets. Firstly, they change the songs in their playlists. This means that playlist “All out 80s” will have a different lineup in Croatia than in Costa Rica. The second thing is adapting visual content like images. Its mission is to appear “just right” in every country they operate. 

Source: Spotify Design


H&M takes localization seriously and rearranges its physical stores around the world. Based on data, H&M analyses the shopping patterns and consumer behavior of customers visiting their stores globally. According to the data, H&M tailors its offering to the local audience. This strategy has dramatically improved turnover and revenue growth. 

Coca Cola

Last but not least is Coca-Cola, the most famous soft drink in the western world. With more than 200 domains, the company is easily discoverable in every market. When visiting the page from different countries, you will notice two things. The content is in the local language visuals supporting the copy. The whole website is built for the local audience, including the design.

Source: Coca-Cola

What is globalization? 

Like translation is part of localization, the latter is part of globalization. Globalization is a more sophisticated process for companies operating in global markets. It contains both localization and internationalization and is used as framework businesses use to go to new markets. 

Globalization is the key mission for brands selling in foreign markets. The goal is to create slightly altered products and services to get ahead of the competition. Marketers around the world see globalization as the strategy to make their products a go-to solution in every market.

The primary driver of globalization is to be the #1 in every country you enter. Having superior service will go a long way in every market. Some examples of globalization would be: 

- Market entry strategy that considers what steps a business must take to enter a foreign market. This includes licensing, franchising, exporting, partnering with local companies, and buying and investing in the required infrastructure.

- Global branding that helps you get recognized everywhere in the world. The goal is to clearly communicate your value proposition in every market. Think about what makes you different from the local competition.

- Supply chain to ensure a deal with a reliable shipping carrier. Speed and convenience are what make big companies great. Having a reliable and undisrupted supply chain process is thus crucial for success. 

- Understanding and complying with local regulations and laws. Every country has a slightly different legal system and special rules to follow.

The difference between globalization vs. localization 

Localization and globalization go hand in hand when you want to operate in a new foreign market. Localization focuses on the difference between your and foreign audience. It means adapting your products and services for the local audience in a new market. The process includes adjusting the content and communication to specific cultural references and language, using suitable imagery, and more. 

If localization can help you gain trust and attract a new audience, globalization is the process of operating in a new market. It considers adjusting to legal and regulatory policies, creating a smooth supply chain, establishing business operations, partnering with local businesses, etc. 

Globalization builds a solid foundation for your company to work in multiple markets. It helps you establish your value proposition no matter the audience and the market. Localization then adapts your messaging and service/product to better align with the local audience. 

Linguana helps you conquer both. We are a multilingual SaaS tool specialized in Webflow only. With the help of MT technology, we enable you to translate your page into multiple languages without the assistance of human translators. Every translation is SEO optimized and helps you get discovered in every new market you want to enter. Sign up for early access and experience the power of Linguana.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between localization and internationalization?

The difference between localization and internationalization is that

localization is adapting products and services to the local audience. Internationalization is the process of building the fundamentals to expand into international markets. 

Why is globalization important?

Globalization is important for businesses that want to reach a new audience and go beyond the local border. It also helps benefit developing countries, as they tend to receive more cost-effective products and services. 

What is the difference between globalization and localization?

Localization focuses on differences between your and foreign audience and adapting your products and services for the local audience. Globalization builds a solid foundation and helps you establish your value proposition in a new market.