Companies are looking for more opportunities to capture international markets. More markets mean a higher customer base, sales, and revenue. To make the most of international expansions, companies follow one mantra: think global, act local.
To dominate the global marketplace, you must target each of them on local parameters. There is when localization comes in. We localize our brand, so they can easily blend with local cultures. Creating brand-cultural resonance makes your product more attractive and trustworthy to local customers. You can use a localization management platform or a web-based translation management system to make your localization processes seamless. However, when it comes to brand localization, you have to be very careful because a minor mistake could cause so much harm to your brand reputation. In this article, we will be discussing the major cultural mistakes that brands should avoid in the first place.
Why Should Companies Be Culture Sensitive?
How you present your brand in a market, which stories you tell, and what values you have all have a huge influence on your target customers. Brands that embrace local cultures are more likely to appeal to more customers. Companies have to be really mindful of the cultural beliefs, trends, and traditions of the market that they want to target. While localizing the brand, companies have to be very careful about the cultural intricacies. Ignoring the cultural side of things could get a brand in trouble. There could be some brand characteristics that could offend locals and build a bad reputation in that market.
Top Cultural Mistakes in Brand Localization
Let’s have a look at some common brand mistakes that you better avoid in the localization process.
Not Transcreating Your Content
When you enter a foreign marketplace, language is the first barrier between you and your customers. That’s why you translate your content into the local language to communicate with local customers and create brand awareness. However, you can’t go for direct translation for all types of content. Content like marketing copies, website content, or social media posts needs to be transcreated into the local language. Transcreation is a more creative approach to translation that not just focuses on the exact meaning of the world but the emotions and feelings behind it. When you don’t transcreate marketing and promotional content, you are not targeting the local customers right. There will always be gaps in their understanding of your brand.
Using the Same Design Everywhere
No matter how you find the design and layouts of your website, software, or ad campaign, you can’t use it for all regions. By considering the interests and preferences of your local customers, your design should be localized for each region accordingly. The impact of different colors, symbols, and images in different cultures are totally different. That’s why some designs might not work similarly for all regions.
So, understanding the culture would allow you to understand the psychology attached to different symbols, colors, and graphics. For this, you can also hire a culture consultant who would assist you in creating culturally appropriate designs for every region. With the help of a localization project management platform, you can easily manage multiple layout designs for the same ad campaign in different regions globally.
Ignoring Tones and Styles
When it comes to translating the content, you have to be very particular about the translation tones and styles. Some regions appreciate formal speech, while others are cooler with casual tones. For instance, if you want to take your brand to Japan, you should know that they are used to a formal way of speaking, which is more comprehensive. Therefore, translating for Japan, your translation tone should be formal, and try to provide more in detail information about your product. In contrast, if you are targeting regions like the United States, you can use a more casual tone and slang in your translations. Feel free to add some humor to your translation as well.
Similarly, the style and formatting of elements that you put up on a website should be according to local customers’ preferences.
Hiring Bilingual for Translations
This is probably the most common reason why some brands end up creating disastrous translations, and they don’t even know it. Bilinguals are not a good choice for your brand translators unless they get the certification, qualification, or experience to do professional translations. You may find many bilinguals on freelancing websites who claim to provide high-quality and credible translations. You better do some research, visit their profiles, check their rating, and analyze previous track records.
Doing some research would help you get an idea about the credibility of online resources. Ask them whether they have a third-party certification and how many years of experience they have in your specific niche. Also, inquire them about the localization management platform or web-based translation management system they use to manage translation projects.