Transcreation: Letters spelling brandYour global company’s brand has an identity that’s all its own. You’ve worked hard to build its presence, but sometimes the winds of change come sweeping over you unexpectedly. Maybe your industry fundamentally changed, and now your customers have different demands. In response, you add services or products and carve out a new specialization, but prospects may still see you the way you were—not how you are today.

In this way, whether it’s shifting consumer expectations, a changing industry landscape or unforeseen competition, you might need to evolve your global brand.

If what your customers see in your brand today isn’t what you want them to see, change the picture and perception of who you are. To do that, you’ll need to convey this message to your global audience through transcreation—and as it happens, we have some tips.

Have the conversation, then involve us

It starts with a discussion among your company’s decision makers. What do you want to achieve with your rebranding initiative? How does your overall brand identity need to shift to shape your customers’ perceptions? How should your new logo look?

From there, we’ll help you figure out the transcreation approach for all your customer touch points worldwide: the targeted advertising campaigns in every target country, your corporate website and its localized iterations, the tagline on your sales collateral and more.

While most companies get in touch with their translation provider down the road when the actual transcreation work needs to be done, it’s important to involve us as early as possible. We can even help you devise a strategy right at the beginning if you’d like.

Hammer out a plan and priority list

Once we’re in discussions with you, we can help you determine the best course for achieving your goals in each target market. We’ll talk about which pieces should be addressed first when stepping into transcreation territory. After all, there are many facets to your global brand’s identity, and all of them must carry a unified and consistent brand message.

Your marketing personnel will be heavily involved as we look at each component below, listed by general order of importance:

  • Your global website and its localized versions for various      countries—this includes digital marketing content that’s available on the      website
  • Slogans, logo and taglines
  • Sales enablement materials and other customer-facing content
  • Internal communications

As a guideline, anything customer-facing should receive transcreation attention first. Arguably the most critical piece is your website since it’s the digital front door of your organization, leading in to an information-filled virtual reception desk.

Logos, taglines and slogans all form a crucial part of your global brand identity as well, and should receive careful consideration. You have a little more control over sales and marketing content like advertising campaigns since you can choose when to send those to customers.

Expect a possibly different approach for each locale

Every country is going to prefer something slightly different, in line with cultural preferences. Marketing linguists and copywriters who are native to the target country will work with you to create the best targeted message for a given region.

Consider an advertisement that uses something like “You’ve got a zest for life” with a picture of a lime. It might make perfect sense in the originating country, but if the target language has no equivalent word for “zest,” you may need a different campaign for that language and region altogether.

The linguists that work on your projects understand the local culture well enough to know if any aspect of your source content, from a witty tagline to a color scheme to a provocative graphic, could be objectionable or otherwise not impactful to each local market.

More nuggets of transcreation wisdom

  • Determine how much leeway the marketing linguists have with your message; do you want them to analyze local markets? Review your source content?
  • Remember that your source content is included in your translation memory, but never the tweaked versions following transcreation—in other words, transcreation happens apart from your translation memory
  • Be sure you know your source content well enough to pinpoint what you want to get across, and communicate this to the marketing linguist team

Orchestrating your global rebranding initiative works best when you think about adapting your message to your worldwide customers up front—rather than unintentionally treating transcreation as an afterthought.

Hopefully these tips on transcreation have given you some added confidence as you embark on country-specific targeted marketing content. Keep in mind that they’re relevant in all of your marketing localization projects, whether you’re rebranding or simply building up your brand as it exists today.

Do you have any questions on marketing translation or transcreation? Seeking specific advice on your global brand’s situation? Let us know how we can help.