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Global by Design

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Channel Title: Global by Design
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Channel Description: Adventures in web globalization, transcreation, marketing and design

Is your vendor putting your international business in jeopardy?
You hire a vendor to conduct a global survey. And let’s suppose this vendor refers to Taiwan as a country and the email goes out to people in China who believe differently, and they happen to be in a position to punish you by blocking your website within China. This is roughly what happened with … more

The top 25 websites from the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card
I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the most ambitious report I’ve written so far and it sheds light on a number of new and established best practices in website globalization. First, here are the top-scoring websites from the report: For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that … more

It’s coming…
The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card is well underway and I expect it to publish in February. You can preorder now. Lots more to come. For starters, it is looking like there might be a new overall winner this year. Stay tuned… more

Marriott in China: Website still down two weeks later (and three takeaways)
The Marriott website was taken down in China and Taiwan on or around January 11th. You can read why here. And here we are two weeks later and the websites are still blank — or nearly so. Here’s what I’m seeing at the .cn domain — appears to be a “maintenance” page: Delta, Zara and … more

Can displaying the Taiwan flag get your website shut down in China?
The short answer: It depends. The context of how you display this flag can make all the difference; for example, do you display the flag on a global gateway with text that reads Select Country or Select Country/Region? This may seem like a trivial distinction, but Select Country could cost your company millions in lost revenues … more

Marriott’s China websites get shut down — and your website could as well if you’re not careful
If you visit Marriott’s China website today you’re likely to see this: I dumped the text into Google Translate and here is what it loosely says: So what exactly happened here? According to Skift, Marriott sent a survey in Mandarin to its Chinese loyalty members that referred to Tibet, Macau and Taiwan as “countries.” As … more

Succeeding in the Translation Economy
Here is an article I wrote that was recently published in tcworld magazine. In it, I define the “translation economy” and the opportunities (and challenges) it presents to all organizations. From the information economy to the translation economy The internet connected the world’s computers, and the digitization of content enabled the rapid flow of information … more

Think Outside the Country is coming to Japan
I’m pleased to announce that Born Digital (in collaboration with Mitsue-Links) is publishing the Japanese edition of Think Outside the Country. The book will be available December 23rd and I look forward to promoting it next year! If you’re a member of the media and would like a review copy, please let me know. more

Day One for Amazon in Australia
Today marks the official day one for Amazon in Australia. While has been around for a number of years largely selling eBooks via the Kindle, today the company goes all-in, selling products across more than 20 categories, with Prime coming next year. It’s interesting to be here and talking to the locals about what … more

The Internet’s obesity crisis
In 2001, I published a report on website weights and their impacts on website performance. Why, may you ask, was I researching website weights all the way back in 2001? The great broadband divide At the time, in the United States and many other countries, homes and businesses were in the process of upgrading from … more

Amazon’s uneven (and not unusual) language strategy
Amazon Crossing is the Amazon publishing imprint dedicated to translating non-English books into English. In just a few years it has grown to be a leading translator of literary novels. I noted earlier that doesn’t significantly support Indian languages. But on the Amazon Crossing submission page, you will find support for Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi. … more

China sees the future in Africa (and it’s not alone)
Earlier this year, The Los Angeles Times ran a fascinating series on China and Africa and I only just got around to reading it. I recommend at least reading Part I. China is funding a massive railroad project connecting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to the port city of Djibouti where most of the country’s exports … more

Free webinar for class adoptions of Think Outside the Country
I’ve already conducted a few webinars in the US and abroad and realize that I’ve never formally announced this. If your class has adopted Think Outside the Country, I’d be happy to provide a Skype webinar to talk more about the book and answer any questions you have. If you have any questions, please let … more

The Language of Global Success (and the rise of the English-only multinational)
The dream is profound  — a global company united by one language. Employees communicating freely with one another across border and culture, improving productivity and sharing of ideas. The reality, however, is quite a bit messier than the dream. But that doesn’t stop CEOs from dreaming. Such as Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, Japan’s … more

China: 120 million international travelers and just getting started
In 2016, more than 120 million Chinese traveled internationally. which is roughly the entire population of Japan (or Canada, Italy and Australia combined). And only 10% of the country has a passport. Imagine the travel industry when 25% of Chinese residents are traveling abroad. Where will they go? What will they want to see? To … more

When looking at Asia, look beyond China, Japan and South Korea…
Historically, when a Western company planned its Asian expansion strategy, it primarily focused on three markets (or fewer):  China, Japan and South Korea. Today, any company with eyes on Asian expansion should not limit itself to these three markets. There are many opportunities in the emerging ASEAN countries. ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast … more

KPMG: The best global professional services website of 2017
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, we benchmarked the following professional services websites: Accenture Capgemini Deloitte Ernst & Young KPMG PWC Over the past 18 months, KPMG, Deloitte, and PwC all launched new web designs. In addition, these websites continue to improve in not just creating locally relevant content but promoting this content on the … more

The growing language gap between travel and tourism websites
The travel industry has long been at the forefront of web globalization. Take, with support for 41 languages, or Uber, with support for 36 languages, or KLM, with support for 32 languages. And yet, if you wish to research destinations online, tourism websites are not nearly so globally friendly. While the leading travel websites … more

Nissan: The best global automotive website of 2017
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 14 automotive websites: Audi BMW Chevrolet Ford Honda Hyundai Land Rover Lexus Mercedes Mini Nissan Tesla Toyota Volkswagen Historically, automotive websites have been strong on languages but weak on global consistency and global navigation. And while most automotive websites continue to struggle on these fronts, I … more

Announcing the top 10 global tourism websites
While I’ve closely studied travel websites for many years (such as airlines, hotels, travel agencies) as part of The Web Globalization Report Card, I’ve not spent much time looking closely at destination websites, such as for cities, regions and countries.  That is, until earlier this year. I’m pleased to announce the publication of Destination: Marketing – Global … more

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