International marketing

Globalization and internationalization in business

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Expansion strategies: corporate globalization and internationalization

Expanding business beyond national borders has become critical in today’s economic climate, although it has always been important. Two key parts of this process are globalization and internationalization, which, although closely related, have fundamental differences that companies must understand and apply strategically. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what each one entails and how they apply in the business world.

Understanding globalization and its impact on the world economy

A corporate globalization strategy often entails a homogeneous operating model, wherein a product or service is presented uniformly across various markets. Leading examples include McDonald’s and Apple Siri, which have achieved a recognizable global presence. These companies have crafted products and services that are easily identifiable and accessible across diverse cultural and geographic landscapes, facilitating their entry into markets worldwide and broadening their target audience. While a corporate globalization strategy presents significant opportunities for expansion and growth, it also presents challenges in terms of adapting to cultural, regulatory, and market disparities in each country of operation.

Globalization is a process that has evolved gradually in recent decades, driven by the increasing interconnectedness and interdependence of nations worldwide. This phenomenon manifests itself in different areas, including economics, politics, culture and technology. In the context of globalization, there is diminished resistance to international trade, facilitating the movement of goods, services, capital, and labor across national borders. This economic and cultural exchange has a profound impact on the way societies interact and develop in today’s global landscape.

Within the world economy, globalization has engendered a more interconnected and competitive marketplace, enabling companies to not only operate and sell locally but also extend their reach to a global audience. Technological advancements, particularly in communication and transportation, along with trade liberalization policies, have propelled this evolution. The transition to a more interconnected economy has spawned both opportunities and challenges for businesses, governments, and workers worldwide.

Corporate internationalization: stepping into the global marketplace

Internationalization is the expansion of a company’s operations to a variety of countries. Unlike globalization, which tends to focus on the standardization of products or services for global distribution, internationalization requires significant adaptation to the specific nature of each individual market. This process involves not only selling products or services in other countries, but also comprehending and accommodating the cultural, legal, regulatory, and economic disparities of each country when strategizing and executing international expansion initiatives.

For companies looking to internationalize, the process may encompass several stages, ranging from initial goods exportation to the establishment of subsidiaries or the acquisition of local enterprises. One notable example of internationalization is Apple, which tailors its product range and marketing approach to meet the needs and preferences of consumers in each country of operation.

The internationalization process poses unique challenges. Companies embarking on internationalization must undertake comprehensive market analysis and meticulously study local conditions in each target country. This enables them to craft effective strategies that capitalize on opportunities while mitigating the risks inherent in entering new markets. Furthermore, internationalization may necessitate establishing strategic alliances, acquiring local companies, or adapting products and services to align with the specific needs and preferences of consumers in each country. This personalized and adaptive approach is indispensable for ensuring the long-term success of corporate internationalization efforts.

The importance of localization as part of the international expansion strategy

Localization is a pivotal component of internationalization, involving the adaptation of products, services, and content to suit specific cultural contexts. This process extends beyond mere linguistic translation, encompassing a profound understanding and sensitivity to the cultural norms, inherent values, and expectations of local consumers in the target market. Its aim is to ensure that language, symbols, or imagery resonate effectively with the local audience. Pixar serves as a prime example of successful localization, as it tailors its movies to ensure cultural appropriateness and appeal across different markets.

Localization strategy applies not only to physical products or digital content, but also to business models and marketing strategies. Thus, successful localization not only enhances the acceptance and relevance of products or services in the local market but also fosters a stronger emotional connection and trust in the brand among consumers. This can lead to more robust and enduring business relationships, facilitating greater success in foreign markets.

In a recent post, we explained how the term glocalizationis increasingly being adopted. This new concept simply refers to the new global model that brings together the concepts of “think globally” and “act locally”.

How iDISC can help you internationalize your services

At iDISC, we specialize in localization and translation services, which are essential when it comes to ensuring that content is relevant and resonates with the target audience. iDISC boasts more than 30 years of experience, and has been instrumental in assisting companies in internationalizing their services. It has consolidated its position as a leading agency in corporate internationalization, offering a comprehensive suite of services including international marketing, translation services, and IT services.

In conclusion, companies looking to expand internationally must understand that globalization aims to create a consistent presence and operations around the world, while internationalization is the process by which this goal is achieved by adapting to local markets.

Mastering these strategies and executing them effectively can spell the difference between success and failure for a company in the global marketplace. Among these strategies, localization stands out as a multifaceted yet pivotal undertaking, demanding substantial investments in time and resources. Yet, by astutely discerning the nuances between globalization and internationalization, companies can craft an expansion blueprint that optimizes growth opportunities while mitigating the inherent risks of venturing into new markets.


We hope you found this information useful. Do not hesitate to contact us or visit our blog for more information.

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