As the global marketplace expands, there is a growing convergence in consumer behavior in markets around the world. With increasing cultural cross-fertilization and internationalization, this evolutionary process to convergence challenges businesses to meet global-grade standards for them to reach a more international audience and increase their participation in world trade. Understanding the language, among other things, is essential for businesses as they venture outside of their country. However, culture, taste, history, customs, and tones are just as vital for them to understand to fit what their market’s accustomed to. Translating and localizing the content your market consumes helps with this. With translation, you can reach a wider audience, provide them with content they are most likely to interact with, avoid risking your reputation, and increase customer satisfaction.
Companies typically start their operations domestically as they are more familiar with the market conditions, laws, policies, and customer behavior, so functioning is easier for them. However, the scope and reach of the domestic market are limited. The company’s growth might also become stagnant if they continue with this locally customized approach. And as companies approach the global market and take on additional risks and opportunities, challenges may make it difficult for them to maintain a constant, sustainable, and reliable revenue. There will always be new skills and knowledge that the business must acquire before targeting the global marketplace.
A company’s approach to its domestic market may differ from how they target its market internationally. Requirements, regulations, customer preferences, culture, and clear language communication shall be developed by businesses to reduce their risk when entering their international target market. This is made possible by localization, something that most companies should consider investing in.
Translation in international trade
As technology progresses, businesses emerge and ease their struggle to reach customers beyond their respective country’s borders. To keep up with the changing demand and buyer behavior in international trade, you must speak your customers’ language. Organizations attempting to communicate with international customers using their approach for their local clientele usually results in failure to relate to their new market. According to Common Sense Advisory, 40% of customers choose not to buy products in another language, stating that a whopping 75% wanted all product information in their native language.
With this strong link between in-language content and a customer’s likelihood of purchase, companies like The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) have devised strategies to thrive in different parts of the world. Coke, a beverage industry leader operating in more than 200 countries, has dominated this scene with its “think local, act local” marketing strategy. The business prioritized selling “an experience” and resonating with its buyers by localizing its message. This is evident in their “Share a Coke” scheme, which allowed thew company to garner a 2.5% increase in sales and 7% in consumption less than a year after its initial release. Its multi-channel rollout, powerful call to action, and personal connection with its consumers are the most significant factors in its success.
To do this, Coke had to translate its calls to action, marketing strategies, and modes of communication to make use of translation for their venture into the country they were targeting. The speed of turnover, affordability, and the accuracy of translations for their materials was essential for Coke to keep up with as the fast-paced industry rapidly changed. Globalization, in this context, included facilitating trade, promoting cultural understanding, and using translation to gain loyal customers for Coke.
Translation to draw in and capture clients
An effective website is probably the first thing potential customers will look at. According to a survey, 72.41% of consumers spend most of their time on websites. Customers are also more likely to buy a product with information written in their language.
Translation plays a crucial role in facilitating international trade, so effective texts are essential to building your brand in the market; identifying cultural issues and writing pieces in your target language will help create authenticity and trust. With translation, you don’t just translate your content to their language, but you also resonate with their culture.
Creating materials your audience consumes should be easily understandable and in their language. The business should also be able to answer inquiries in their language. You don’t want anything to be misinterpreted by your audience. Producing materials about your services/products in their language with translation can help eliminate the barriers and create opportunities for future partnerships.
Translation to put your product in the spotlight
Localization and translation of your products, their manuals, best-before dates, and product labels are essential for your end users to better understand the benefits you are to give them. Understanding the message that the brand and company want to convey is necessary. Here, accuracy of the translation is key. Some technical translations can also use some niche terminology, so it’s best to be familiar with the relevant terms for these statements. This is why most product manuals are translated to most of the most used languages to prevent misunderstandings between the products and the users.
Translation to meet legal requirements
Depending on your product, most countries might require you to translate the documents into their local language. Localization, now, is not optional but a legal requirement. Most of the time, your trade adviser will help you identify the documents you need a translation.
And according to the International Trade Administration, whenever you sell and ship your products outside of the United States, there are standard documents you’ll need for exporting. It’s good to take note of this if they need you to translate this into their language as this will help your customer efficiently clear the goods on their customs. Pro forma and commercial invoices, export licenses, packing list, export compliance documents, and transportation documents are some legal documents that export businesses commonly use translation services for.
Errors in translating your legal files can cause potential damage to your branding and reputation. All versions of your document should be identical to the source document as it changes the details of a transaction, which can result in future legal actions and capital loss. Additionally, potential partners might see legal translation errors as a lack of professionalism and possibly opt to pursue business elsewhere. HSBC ventured out on the global market and wanted to expand its “Assume Nothing” campaign as it prides itself on security and transparency. However, problems arose as they mistranslated their slogan to “Do Nothing” in some countries, which implied that they do not act for their customers. This eventually led to them losing over 10 million for damage control and rebranding the company. This is why legal translators and agencies play a significant role in companies seeking the international market, to prevent getting lost in translation.
Translation in today’s market
Globalization in the world economy has led to an increase in the demand for translation services. The number of people employed in the interpretation industry doubled in seven years. This increase in employment also enabled the number of companies in the industry to rise to 24%, according to ATA. From the interview of the president of the ATA with CBC, David Rumsey, said, “As the economy becomes more globalized and businesses realize the need for translation and interpreting to market their products and services, the opportunities for people with advanced language skills will continue to grow sharply.” He also added that the association predicts the most prominent growth is in the contracted positions that give its workers and company more flexibility.
However, despite the rising demand and increasing benefits of translation services, there remain some businesses that still do not take advantage of them. Quality translation can help enterprises increase their reach and achieve their customer-oriented goals. Companies can grow and improve their competitive advantage in the global marketplace with relatable translations of highly curated messages.