Case Study: How Canary Keeps Its Customers (and Developers) Happy

A long-term contract, a lawn sign, and a lack of customer support. For many years, these were the three inevitable accessories customers received with every home security system. Sensing an opportunity, Canary bet its business on the assumption that customers want product experiences that actually improve after purchase.

Turns out the industry disruptor was right. Within one month of launching its initial crowdfunding campaign, the home security startup pre-sold 10,000 devices to customers in 78 countries. To make good on its brand promise, though, the company would have to create an engineering environment capable of delivering hardware and mobile app updates on a rapid release schedule.

Today that objective has clearly been achieved. Canary’s product team currently ships updates every 2-4 weeks, delighting customers with a mix of requested repairs and unexpected innovations. Back when the company first decided to expand its brand abroad, though, developers had serious doubts about whether their standard of efficiency could be sustained.

Global Ambitions, Local Concerns

Canary executives were quick to recognize that mobile app and website translation would be key drivers of global growth.

“The fact that Canary is easy-to-use and gives people access to the information they need is an important point of differentiation for us — not just from traditional security solutions, but regular IP cameras as well,” noted Carmen Magar, Director of International at Canary. “Communicating with customers in their preferred language is a major prerequisite.”

But behind this multilingual strategy, several engineering questions were still lurking:

  • Would web and app localization work take resources away from the product development team?
  • What new tools would the localization team need to accelerate translation speed?
  • Would any third-party solutions actually stand up to Canary’s IT security requirements?

At the same time, Magar had her own set of concerns. She knew the technical ability to scale would be of little value if brand consistency was compromised in the process. Translation quality had to remain high — without triggering the kind of cost overruns that eat away at marketing ROI.

Growing With Grace

Smartling entered this arena determined to help build a translation strategy that suited all sides. After reviewing the requirements, we shared a plan that prioritized the following goals:

  • Automate the exchange of content between Canary’s infrastructure and its translators
  • Give translators the insights they need to get strings right the first time
  • Give administrators the power to strategically customize workflows as they see fit

Within weeks of implementation, Canary was able to localize its complete customer experience for French and German audiences. And since then, the company’s international achievements and ambitions have only grown.

“We believe we’re only at the beginning of our story, in terms of both international expansion and product innovation in general,” said Magar. “We’re happy to have a partner like Smartling that is capable of not only keeping pace, but actually accelerating our global outreach.”

Learn More

Want to know exactly how Smartling set the stage for Canary’s global growth? Find out in our complete case study below.

Canary Case Study