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ANALYSIS

Being a niche company doesn’t preclude you from taking your company global. Burton has invested heavily in its global web site, both in response to its growing global markets and as a means of expanding them. The Burton site still has a ways to go; much of the text is not translated, including some key menu items. Nevertheless, Burton has a competitive advantage over its competitors, many of whom have made no attempt at web localization.

Many companies do not put enough thought into how they will direct users to their language-specific web sites. Burton, however, does an excellent and stylistic job of building a “global gateway.” When users first visit the Burton site, they arrive at the gateway page shown in Figure 2. After users select a language, a cookie is stored on their computers so that this page is not seen again. The next time they visit, they go directly to the localized site. For example, the German home page is shown in Figure 3.


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