localizing your slogan

Localizing your slogan – is it the way to global success?


How can businesses expanding into new markets benefit from the translation and localization of their slogan?

A slogan is one of  the  main differentiating points for businesses – it’s a chance to communicate  your  brand’s message to  the world  with

one  single  phrase. Businesses  operating  internationally,  however,  need  to  think  about how their  slogan  will  resonate with customers

from different cultural, linguistic and historical backgrounds. Therefore, localizing your slogan is the best approach for creating a favourable

association with you brand  within global  markets. Not  sure  how to do so? Here are a few  recommendations on how a slogan localization

can be an  effective marketing tool leading to success:


Avoid word-for-word translation

The  key  to  a  successful  slogan  is  for  it to be witty, creative and to evoke a certain feeling within the customers. However, this makes

it trickier  to  translate  in a foreign language without losing the essence of your message. Direct  translation  is  therefore not a favourite

when  localizing  your  slogan.  What  matters  most  is  having  a  good  understanding of  your international customers’ culture and the

way they react to different words and messages.  Localizing  content,  including  slogans, goes  further  than the  straightforward language

translation – it involves a deeper engagement between translators and the company’s marketing experts, to achieve the desirable results.


Reach out to local language experts

Depending  on  your  chosen target market, you should consider working with in-country language experts.  Being  immersed within the

local culture, they can provide valuable insight into how the target customers think and react. Consulting them on your slogan will help

you establish a cohesive concept in multiple languages that goes over well with different audiences.



Utilise Transcreation

Transcreation is a relatively new term  within the  translation industry. Combining ‘translation’ and ‘creation’, it  refers  to  identifying  a

brand’s core  message  and  efficiently communicating  it  to  international customers. This process is especially relevant when it comes to

slogan localization, since it is more concerned with evoking particular associations with the company, rather than with simple translation.


An excellent example of  transcreation is McDonalds’ slogan  localization for  the Japanese market. In the 70s and 80s, the brand was still

new to the Japanese customer, so the slogans aimed to establish the fast-food chain as an integral part of the Japanese’s eating habits.

Through its slogans and advertising campaigns, McDonalds have positioned themselves as one of the main providers of beef on the market,

turning this into a distinct feature for the company.  Once your audience assimilates your slogan and its message has made a positive impact,

scaling your business’ future operations within that market will be an easier task.


Localizing the colour and imagery

When localizing your slogan, you should pay attention to not only the text itself, but also to the colour and imagery, that accompanies it.

Oftentimes, different cultures and countries have different associations with particular colours and images, which can make a seemingly

harmful message appear as insensitive and inappropriate. Take the colour blue, for example- while in China it is considered  as a  symbol

of femininity, in  North America and Europe  it  is related  to  masculinity, trust and serenity. Being unaware of such cultural differences

can cost you your brand’s reputation, which can be difficult to rebuild afterwards.



Whether or not you should localize your slogan depends on the market you are looking to expand into and  on  the target  audiences. Loca-

lizing might not be necessary if the new market shares the same cultural values and language as your local one. That being said, localizing

can help in establishing  strong  relations  with  foreign customers  who don’t share your culture and who are encountering your brand  for

the first time. Whether you are looking to change  only the  colour and image accompanying your slogan or to transform it  completely for

new audiences, localization gives the best results when done by professional language service providers. That is why 1-StopAsia’s in-house

translators  focus  not  only  on providing  superior  language  services, but  also on  integrating  their  cultural knowledge into helping our

customers achieve global success.



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