The importance of language for brands cannot be overstated. When a business wants to expand its market, it must balance and incorporate various cultures into its marketing materials—it is why brand localization was created.
Localization aims to translate information into something that a target audience can easily understand while also incorporating their culture, making it sound natural and relevant to them, resulting in familiarity. According to a 2020 Common Sense Advisory poll, more than 76% of respondents learned more about the brand when the information was available in their native language; they are looking for more than just pricing. Even if your brand provides value for its price, prestige, and quality, it will not be digested or converted if the message is not conveyed correctly to the audience.
To be an effective brand, it should be more inclusive. A well-researched brand strategy can help your brand gain global recognition. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Consider the tone or how you want to sound
Localizing your brand will require understanding how to sound in each market. The general approach is to stay true to your brand’s overall tone and personality but to express it in a relevant and appealing way to a new audience. Sometimes, adjusting the tone to better match local preferences may be appropriate.
For example, a casual or friendly brand in the United States may want to maintain the same tone when localized for other markets. However, if the brand aims for a more formal market, such as Japan, it makes sense to change the tone.
Research local preferences and customs
Any situation can benefit from research, so marketers must conduct extensive research on brands before entering a market. It will reduce losses and potential conflicts.
This step is crucial because it will assist the brand in learning about local preferences and customs. Understanding which colors, symbols, or animals are associated with positive or negative connotations in their culture is critical, helping you decide whether to include them in your marketing campaign.
To optimize your marketing efforts, you must be aware of that country’s or region’s traditions. Marketers should also investigate local preferences for businesses like yours and how they promote their products and services to give you an idea of how quickly you can enter the market.
Use local idioms, expressions, and humor to make your brand more relatable
When done well, localization provides a deeper connection with the target audience. It will make your brand more relatable and trustworthy. As we all know, trust is essential for any relationship.
Idioms are expressions that cannot be understood literally. They are often specific to a culture or region.
For example, “I’m pullin’ your leg” is an idiom that means “I’m joking with you.” Another example is “That’s a piece of cake.” This expression is often used to describe something easy to do. Localization experts need to research the target culture to see if these idioms can be used in their localization efforts. Local expressions and humor can also make your brand more relatable and trustworthy.
Localize your name and tagline, not translate
Your name is what your audience will remember the most. While the brand name may be appropriate in one language, it may not be appropriate in another. Thus, word-for-word translation is not recommended because a literal translation will not convey the message correctly.
Your tagline, on the contrary, is what your customers will remember if they don’t remember your brand name. Therefore, it should be short, sweet, and to the point, and just like your name, it needs to be localized, not translated.
If you’re having difficulty localizing it, consider what the brand can do. It should be reflected in the name following the language. If the word is not available, you can always use ideas related to the brand. This strategy benefits both the brand and potential customers.
Choose the right localization partner
Localization is a complex process, but it is required if you want to expand your brand globally. Thus, selecting the right localization partner who understands your goals and can provide high-quality localization services is critical.
The localization partner you choose should be able to provide you with a full range of localization services, from translation to cultural consultation, with a solid understanding of the target market and culture.
When selecting a localization partner, conduct thorough research and select a partner you can rely on—one of the most crucial steps in brand localization. Choosing the right partner will save you time and money. Thus, finding a localization partner who understands your brand and your localization objectives is essential.
Lexcode can be your brand localization partner. For the past two decades, we have assisted local and global brands in entering their target markets in the Philippines and South Korea. Contact us to speak with a localization manager.