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 favorable association with your 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. A direct translation is therefore not a favorite 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 desired 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.

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Utilize Transcreation

Localizing your slogan - is it the way to global successTranscreation 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, McDonald’s 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 color and imagery

When localizing your slogan, you should pay attention to not only the text itself but also to the color and imagery, that accompanies it. Oftentimes, different cultures and countries have different associations with particular colors and images, which can make a seemingly harmful message appear as insensitive and inappropriate. Take the color 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 afterward.

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