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ASICS keeps its global content operations running fast with Lilt

ASICS increases translation velocity by 60% and reduces costs by 70% with Lilt
1,001 - 5,000

Company Size

1,001 - 5,000

Kobe, Japan

HQ Location

Kobe, Japan

Consumer Goods

Industry

Consumer Goods

Why Lilt?

Needed a partner that could move quickly and scale to match ASICS' growth

Result

Increased translation velocity by 60% and reduced costs by 70%

Background

A Sound Mind in a Sound Body. That's the English translation of the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, which is from where the name ASICS comes. For over 70 years, ASICS has manufactured and sold some of the highest performing athletic footwear and apparel on the market in order to fulfill its mission of "getting the whole world moving." The company has 54 offices around the world and goes to market via subsidiaries, local distributors, and its own ASICS owned and operated flagship stores.

Needless to say, the company's global operations can be complex. ASICS has made digital transformation a priority, looking for better ways to serve the needs of a new generation of customer who spends time on new platforms and shops through new channels. Its goal is to establish ASICS as the fitness brand most helpful in the eyes of the company's digital consumer. ASICS leadership established ASICS Digital, the company's innovation division, to lead its digital transformation efforts.

One of the key components of those efforts was to look for a localization partner to help accelerate growth. That's when they found Lilt.

"After taking a deep dive into how our global content and e-commerce systems worked, we realized that there were huge efficiency gains to be made through consolidation and standardization, so we migrated to a unified platform" said Dan Smith, President of ASICS Digital.

"Our goals with modernizing our localization stack are to expand our customer base and better compete with the new crop of nimble, digitally-native DTC brands," said Alessandra Binazzi, Director of Localization at ASICS Digital "We're in a more competitive retail and e-commerce environment than ever, and we knew we needed to increase speed and operational excellence - and find a localization partner who could do the same," added Binazzi.

Getting products in the hands of global consumers faster with increased speed-to-market

ASICS's digital ecosystem encompasses a wide variety of critical IT systems like e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, analytics and consumer insights tools, and other digital solutions. Given ASICS's renewed focus on innovation and speed, Binazzi was excited by the efficiency gains.

"With a business that operates at a massive scale, things like new product introduction planning have to move fast in order to meet the company's launch deadlines. Working with previous localization providers in the past, translation turnaround times have often been the biggest pain point for ASICS," said Binazzi.

Lilt's approach to combining skilled human translators with an adaptive neural MT system gives ASICS the increased time savings it needed to better serve its partners across the business, all while preserving the high quality on which a brand like ASICS prides itself. Lilt has been able to deliver 60% faster translation turnaround times for ASICS, making the localization team's job easier and enabling them to be even better business partners to their global stakeholders across product, marketing, digital, and merchandising teams.

"Lilt's vertically-integrated solution has had huge efficiency gains for ASICS. Now I finally have time to think more strategically about the how localization can help grow our business instead of spending all my time managing vendors."

Alessandra Binazzi

Director of Localization at ASICS Digital

Getting products in the hands of global consumers faster with increased speed-to-market

ASICS's digital ecosystem encompasses a wide variety of critical IT systems like e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, analytics and consumer insights tools, and other digital solutions. Given ASICS's renewed focus on innovation and speed, Binazzi was excited by the efficiency gains.

"With a business that operates at a massive scale, things like new product introduction planning have to move fast in order to meet the company's launch deadlines. Working with previous localization providers in the past, translation turnaround times have often been the biggest pain point for ASICS," said Binazzi.

Lilt's approach to combining skilled human translators with an adaptive neural MT system gives ASICS the increased time savings it needed to better serve its partners across the business, all while preserving the high quality on which a brand like ASICS prides itself. Lilt has been able to deliver 60% faster translation turnaround times for ASICS, making the localization team's job easier and enabling them to be even better business partners to their global stakeholders across product, marketing, digital, and merchandising teams.

Increasing localization ROI by driving costs down by 70%

As ASICS Digital becomes more of a center of excellence for digital transformation around the company's localization operations, cost control has become a major priority. Before Lilt, ASICS relied on 100% human translation. While quality was high, turnaround times were slow and costs were rising to unsustainable levels. By incorporating Lilt's human-in-the-loop solution, ASICS was able to not only increase turnaround times - but also achieve a 70% year over year decrease in localization cost.

"Lilt's solution gives us the ability to scale our localization program to address many different use cases and locales. We were hesitant to deploy raw MT given concerns about quality, but by combining Lilt's predictive, adaptive neural MT technology with its human translators who know our company, our products, and our brand, we get the best of both worlds!” remarked Binazzi.

"More than anything, I value a partner who moves fast and values innovation. That's why we work with Lilt."

Alessandra Binazzi

Director of Localization at ASICS Digital

A business partner that deeply invests in technology in order to grow with ASICS

ASICS is a storied brand that has operated for the better part of a century, but it's not content to rest on its laurels and past successes. As the company embraces digital transformation across its global operations, it is excited to have a partner that can adapt, grow, and scale with the rapidly changing needs of its business and the consumers it serves.

"Our current partnership with Lilt is just the beginning. Given the major improvements in our localization metrics, there are so many new areas to which we want to expand. Additional language pairs, new products, completely revamping our termbase strategy and governance process, and deeper integration of our localization analytics into our overall business metrics," said Binazzi.

"As someone who has worked across a number of different business functions - sales, marketing, strategy, and now localization - throughout my career, I appreciate a partner who can understand the varying challenges that different stakeholders face in localization," added Binazzi.

"ASICS has been an incredible partner in the process" said Spence Green, co-founder and CEO of Lilt. "As an avid runner myself and a longtime devoted ASICS customer, it was really an honor to have ASICS make the switch to Lilt for its localization efforts."

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