Doing business in the 21st century has become easier than ever, which caused a whole way of entrepreneurs of all ages, many of which manage to become successful. And most of them owe their success largely to marketing efforts that ensure their businesses are successfully targeted to as great audiences as possible. Those that go even further conquer the international market by successfully using a brand strategy that works for multiple audiences on many levels. That would be one reason to start an international marketing campaign with a multilingual brand strategy, even if you did not initiate an international expansion yet.
Multilingual Brand Strategy – Going Multi-Brand
Essentially, when you create a multilingual brand, you create multiple brands, each of which will reach a different audience, thus, boosting your revenue and granting international success. Lots of big businesses do that for quite a while now, and you probably heard that the “Lay’s” chips are called “Walker’s” in the UK while the “Degree” deodorants were renamed to “Rexona” in Europe. One of the reasons for that, Translation Report experts assume, is the appeal toward a stronger-sounding name. While there are many other reasons why companies change the names of their brand to localize their products for specific foreign markets, it’s also not all about multilingual brand strategy.
In today’s world, everything tends to be viewed holistically, that is, as a system rather than a set of independent components, especially in business. For an international marketing or brand campaign, that means that changing the brand name is not enough; the image presented to a consumer has to be reviewed completely. The brand’s slogan, visual representation, advertisement style, medium, and many other aspects have to be tested, redesigned if needed, retested and launched only after a successful attempt. There are many other steps for marketers to take to generate the most balanced and appealing multilingual brand strategy in between. And here are only some of the ingredients.
5 Steps to Creating a Multilingual Brand Strategy
Study Your Audience
And that means doing great research. It’s absolutely pointless to rely on your basic knowledge of the country you plan to target your products to. Research not only consumer habits, the common language of media in that country but also other vital factors like language specifics, cultural norms and taboos, and maybe even the meaning of colors and shapes. Failure to do so and blindly creating a brand strategy based on your or your marketing department’s guesses can lead to unnecessarily comedic situations that can make your potential customers not take you seriously in the best-case scenario.
Review Your Main Message and Localize It
Your brand might carry a powerful and positive message in your country and native language, yet this can be totally different for a consumer speaking the other language. For instance, Irish Mist liqueur had to be renamed for German-speaking countries because “mist” is translated as “manure” in German. Similarly, the Swedish magazine “Fart” (translated “Speed” from Swedish) had to be renamed in English countries. The same story goes for the brand slogans, logos, colors, and other elements. Just as it is important to study your audience, it’s important to study your own brand before international expansion. While it’s important to preserve the original message you’re intending, it’s also important to localize, not just translate it. If you’re interested to learn the distinction between those two, visit the TranslateHub website. There are tons of materials explaining the difference there.
Make Sure You Use the Right Tools and Experts for All Processes
As you go to distant lands of international expansion, it is important to understand that you must use the whole team of experts rather than one translation or localization specialist. There must be a researcher in your team, an economist, an experienced marketer, a brand expert, and pretty much anyone else who might help. If every team member is focused enough on their task, the synergy that will occur will be much more effective than the efficiency of the members. On top of that, each member must use the right tools for their work and always have them at their disposal. For instance, for translators, translation memory tools are often lifesaving when it comes to interdisciplinary work.
Integrate Your Multilingual Brand Strategy
Everything stated above should not work in one direction only. Just as you should make sure that your multilingual brand goes in-line with the original message, the original message might borrow something from the international experience. If you observe that something in your multilingual/international strategy works great, make use of it in your home country, if applicable. In any case, you can always create a new and original marketing strategy that might attract additional customers if branded as exotic or an exotic re-imagination, for example.
Create Further Content that Can Be Easily or Universally Localized
Whenever your creative and marketing departments develop ideas that are understandable in multiple countries, never discard them. Quite the opposite, make sure to use it. While not all such ideas might seem original or artsy, they likely bring lots of money, and there’s absolutely nothing bad in using commercially efficient ideas. After all, you came to do business, not art.
Multilingual Brand Strategy – A Conquest of Marketing
Creating a good international marketing strategy can be not just challenging but also pretty tough. And making sure that your brand strategy works well in multiple languages is only one of those components. Still, there’s vast room for creativity when it comes to branding your products and company in another country. You can always look at seemingly hard-to-understand or unpleasant things from a different perspective and use that obvious ugliness or grossness to your benefit, making your potential consumer laugh or shocked. You never know what works for sure, even after research, so it’s always okay to experiment as well.
Merissa has faced many challenges throughout her career. However, one thing she could never give up for sure was her constant learning and her interest to move forward. Only by being able to adapt and learn new things, Merissa was able to become the successful author, researcher, and educator she is today.
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