Move over FIGS; Here Comes BRIC

Emerging markets are driving the Web globalization revolution.

Investment bankers use an acronym that is going to have a major impact on the future of the globalization industry: BRIC.

BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the four countries that pose the greatest opportunities for long-term growth among emerging markets. Of course, the key words are “long term” – these markets are anything but sure bets over the short term.

The localization industry has long used the acronym FIGS, which stands for French, Italian, German, Spanish, the most popular four languages chosen when companies enter Europe. CJK, for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, is also frequently used when expanding in Asia.

But I see BRIC gaining currency in the localization industry, because where investment bankers see growth so too do the multinationals who hope to capitalize on that growth. And while FIGS and CJK are geographically oriented, BRIC focuses purely on opportunity. This is great news for translators of Tamil, Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese and the vendors who learn to speak “BRIC.”

(NOTE: This essay is from the April issue of Global By Design — on newsstands everwhere!)

StarOffice Learns a Few More Languages

Sun says that it localize its StarOffice software suite into five additional languages over the next year, which will include Russian, Polish and Dutch. The software is currently available in 11 languages.

StarOffice costs a great deal less than Microsoft’s Office suite, which makes it particularly appealing in an emerging market like Russia. While Microsoft’s Office suite is available more languages than StarOffice, the gap is narrowing.

Pampering Russia

This is a great article about Procter & Gamble’s adventures in Russia.

While currency devalatuations have been challenging, the economy has since stabilized and sales are growing at 50% annually (although revenues are still a fraction of US revenues). Products such as Pampers, Tide and Pantene have been very successful (though they must be priced aggressively).


Here’s an excerpt that highlights the complexities of marketing in Russia:

…P&G must alter marketing strategies that have worked for decades in the United States.

Alex Nasard of Procter’s Moscow marketing office said the company uses straightforward pitches rather than the entertaining, nuanced ads aired in the United States. Nasard said Russians are more immune to propaganda because of years of communism.

P&G also has left English labels on most products, to maintain the company’s global branding as well as appealing to Russian customers’ desire for anything American.

Here’s the article.