Companies today are deciding to grow their influence abroad so that they can improve their global footprint. Companies are seeking Germany for expansion but to establish oneself within the German market it is necessary to use the tactics of localization. To correctly localize either services or products it is necessary to understand the difference between globalizing and localizing. Globalising is basically extending a product’s influence overseas while adapting to regional, linguistic and cultural barriers to give it a global feel. However, product localizing focuses on trying to make the product seem as if it was made for and by those who reside in the targeted area. A correctly localized product looks as though its origin is not overseas.
The German culture plays a significant role in how successful a new service or product is. The business marketing a new product needs to appraise age, amount of disposable income, education, buying behavior, and how to build trust when localizing a product for the German market.
Germans need to have accumulated significant reliable facts and scientific data before making decisions about purchasing a product and prefer to think carefully before the final decision is made.
This is important for the German market such as dislikes and likes, expectations, manners, gestures, behavior, and beliefs. One important cultural consideration is payment methods. Germans like PayPal and a few methods that are just used in Germany, like Sofortüberweisung.de, Giropay, and ClickandBuy. For bigger purchases, Germans often prefer to pay “on account,” e.g. after being issued with an invoice.
For all business, to customer transactions, you will need to communicate effectively. This means speaking, advertising, marketing, and offering customer service in the German language. Although in Germany many people speak a variety of dialects High German is preferable for use by the business. If you intend to target specific areas in Germany, it is vital to localize both the German dialects and culture.
To be competitive it may be necessary to adapt a product to suit the German market. This could include changing the packaging of the product, adapting it so it suits any German regulations for the selling such a product, 24/7 customer support, as well as different marketing and sales methods.
The use of currency
The German currency used today is the Euro. You will need to consider currency exchange rates so that the product’s prices are fair but competitive. Germans typically expect that VAT, which is sales tax, is included in the shelf price.
The legal environment in Germany
There are some laws like Germany’s data privacy law which is strict and German consumers are particular about businesses not sharing information. Email marketing law in Germany needs to be considered too. Ensuring laws are followed helps to prevent mistakes from being made.
Germans have jobs and money to spend so it is a good country for companies to target. However, Germans do have a unique culture that must be taken into consideration when marketing and localizing a new service or product that is to be introduced into the German market.