Reaching Diverse Audiences Is Key to Branding Success—Start With Translation
Developing creative content, marketing messaging, and communication materials in other languages can be daunting. It’s not just the language, but the many cultural considerations that impact the success of your messaging. Given the challenges, is it worth it? In this article, we examine the value of translation and localization when adapting your brand for multilingual, multicultural audiences.
The Value of a Strong Brand
A brand is a valuable, intangible asset. It conveys who you are, what you do, and why it matters—everything that makes your company stand out in a crowded playing field.
A clear, well-defined brand helps you:
- Increase recognition and stay memorable
- Define your purpose and illustrate your values
- Stand out among the competition
- Develop trust and loyalty within the marketplace
- Build internal cohesion
- Recruit the best candidates
- Support marketing and advertising efforts
- Generate new clients
How Brands Establish Trust and Credibility
People don’t typically develop brand loyalty by looking at the facts. Consumer psychologists have shown that consumers evaluate brands mostly based on emotions rather than hard information. Consider the following studies on buying behavior and brand loyalty. One found that 94% of people say they would be highly likely to recommend a brand with which they are emotionally engaged. In another, 89% of shoppers reported that they are likely to stay loyal to brands that share their values.
These studies show just how important it is for organizations to align their brand with their audiences’ values and identities. Different messages resonate with different audiences. Key facets of identity, such as race, religion, age, social and economic class, gender, and sexual orientation play significant roles in how people experience the world and identify themselves. It’s important to know your audience, because people are simply more likely to respond when they can see themselves in a brand’s messaging.
Include Non-English Speakers in Your Branding Strategy
To relate to multicultural and multilingual audiences, it helps to speak their language. For most companies, this requires investing in the translation and localization of your marketing and communication content. People respond favorably to content in their native language. And the market is certainly there.
More than one in five U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home. Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 25.6 million (41 percent) told the Census Bureau that they speak English less than very well. The U.S. Hispanic market alone is predicted to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020.
These numbers offer compelling reasons to translate the marketing and communication materials that support your brand.
Why Diversity Matters in Branding and Marketing
The need for a brand to reflect diversity is growing, especially when you consider the preferences of future generations. Millennials now comprise the largest living generation in the U.S. They are also the most diverse, and they like to see diversity. Research from Accenture found that if a retailer is not authentically committed to prioritizing inclusion and diversity, millennials are likely to take their money to a competitor who is inclusive. According to the survey, 70% claim they will select one brand over another based on the inclusion and diversity displayed in the brand’s promotions and offers.1
Language Solutions for Creative Content
Everything you produce, in any language, needs to stay true to your brand voice. However, a message that works great in English may flop in another language and culture. To make an authentic connection, you need to create messaging that is mindful of cultural context as well as language differences. Your messaging should sound natural, as though it was created with the needs of your audience in mind.
Translating creative copy may require making significant changes to the original content to adapt the message so it resonates. These changes could require a combination of newly developed, translated, and adapted content. Such work needs to be handled by specialists who can interpret your marketing team’s intent and grasp the emotions you are aiming to evoke. They must then be able to write language that effectively communicates your intent while staying true to your brand. This requires multilingual copywriters who have experience writing creative copy for marketing purposes and who are also experts in the subject matter.
Show Them You Care — Think Locally
To be effective, all content should be customized for the target audience, including text, images, design, and user experience. This customization also entails catching any cultural references that might be taken with offense in the target culture as well as delivering content across your audiences’ preferred communication channels.
Localization is the process of adapting your content to a specific locale or market. Translation is one part of the localization process. In addition to translation, localization may include:
- Revising graphics
- Adapting content to the tastes of your target audiences
- Adjusting the layout and design to the audiences’ preferred means of consuming information
- Converting local currencies and units of measure
- Addressing any local regulations or legal requirements
- Effective localization entails working with a language provider that understands the way language is used locally, and can flag any potentially sensitive issues.
Localizing Your Brand Message
Ultimately, a properly localized, focused brand will help develop stronger relationships with the people you want to reach. Touch the hearts of your audience, be relatable, and build a meaningful relationship that establishes trust and credibility.