The Uber Guide to Localization: 6 Strategies Worth Stealing

Ready to take your business global? You can learn a lot about localization strategy from studying other business’ efforts. Case in point: ridesharing service Uber. Founded only 7 years ago in the USA, Uber is now available in 65 countries, 450 cities and 32 languages worldwide. How did they do it, and what can everyone else learn?

Uber’s campaign for world domination hasn’t always been a smooth ride, and they recently sold their business in China to their chief competitor. That said, the company’s localization strategies are worth studying for businesses with international ambitions.

Pablo Picasso is reported to have said that “bad artists copy, great artists steal.” Here are 6 localization strategies that have fueled Uber’s global expansion. Steal them, customise them for your business and make the world your oyster:

Steal This Localization Strategy: Localize Your Visuals

Did you know that Uber’s logo is different for different countries? Sometimes, it’s even customised for different cities in the same country.  When the Uber team rebranded the app earlier this year, they came up with a design that was easy to customise for different markets.  Then, they localized the imagery accordingly. According to a story in Wired:

Amin and his team decided to create colors, patterns, and images that were specific to each market, allowing Uber employees more autonomy in crafting messages for their own cities. The designers mocked up mood boards for individual cities, regions and countries, piecing together images representing architecture, textiles, fashion, and art, among other things.

The app interface varies between markets as well. For example, in China, “People’s Uber” cars are shown in Communist red.

Steal this Localization Strategy: Localize Your Products

Ride-sharing and other on-demand services are the glue that holds the Uber brand together. But the products Uber offers are different in each market. For example, in India you can use Uber to hire cars, but you can also use UberAuto to hire a rickshaw. In Turkey, a few taps on your smartphone can summon an UberBoat to pick you up on the seashore. Read more