If you are looking to engage global audiences, then providing content in the native language of your target market is crucial. In the research series ‘Can’t Read, Won’t Buy’, 65% of global consumers preferred content in their own language, and 40% would not buy in other languages.
However, word-for-word translation is not enough.
It will not deliver the same effect in another language, particularly when translating marketing copy, and can leave readers confused. Instead, opt for a process known as transcreation to engage global audiences successfully. Read on to discover precisely what this term means and why it is essential for your business when targeting international markets.
What exactly is transcreation?
Transcreation is the process of creatively translating marketing copy so that it is appropriate for a new target market while retaining its original brand style and intent. To effectively achieve this goal, the linguists working on the content need to be not only high-quality translators but also skilled copywriters.
To retain brand consistency, the process of transcreation considers elements such as:
- Brand values
- Campaign objectives
- The tone of voice and style
- Brand terminology
It also takes into account the locale and adjusts for elements such as:
- Optimum localised word choice
- Cultural sensitivity to tone, style or phrasing
- Country-specific jokes and idioms
- Rhymes and rhythms that are not transferable between languages
- Appropriate use of colours, images and format
If you work in marketing, you’ll appreciate the time and skill required to create copy. Every word and nuance are evaluated to aim to gain a connection with your audience and ultimately drive action. All this effort could be wasted if the same consideration is not applied when conveying your content in another language.
An example of successful transcreation
Remember the third-generation Apple iPod Shuffle? At the time, it was the smallest model in the iPod range and was the first music player that ‘talked to you.’ Its slogan, “Small talk,” posed a transcreation challenge, as it used a British idiom with which other markets would not be familiar.
However, with expert transcreators, the slogan was rejigged for other global markets, conveying the same idea – a tiny device with impressive capabilities – but using more market-familiar phrases:
- Latin American Spanish: Mira quién habla, or “Look who’s talking.”
- European Spanish: Ya sabe hablar, “already knows how to talk,” something a proud parent might say.
- French: Donnez-liu de la voix, or “Let him speak.”
- Canadian French (Québécois): Petit parleur, grand faiseur, or “Says little, does much.”
When not opting for transcreation has been the best option
There are times when transcreation or even translation is not employed. Usually, these instances are when brands are so iconic or have such an ingrained cultural heritage that they are recognised and understood across language barriers.
- Volkswagen and “Das Auto”
- Nike and “Just do it.”
The benefits of transcreation
Transcreating your marketing content so that it is understood and appreciated by other markets brings a range of benefits. These include:
- Improved audience engagement
- Growth in new markets with increased sales and market share
- Strengthened brand loyalty
- Optimised ROI
Successful marketing strategies connect with their audience’s interests, expectations, and wishes. Transcreation ensures this approach is carried over when communicating in other languages and to different locales, using appropriate and thoughtful messaging to develop trust and confidence with them. Feeling valued by the brand, the consumer is then more likely to make a purchase.
With so much at stake, transcreation should not just be an add-on to a global market campaign. Instead, it should be viewed as a crucial step that, if missed, can hinder all other efforts and prevent the return on investment (ROI) from being maximised.
Mission Translate only works with native transcreators with proven linguistic, in-market knowledge and creativity to ensure your copy is successfully conveyed to other markets. Please visit our marketing sector page to learn more about our specialist transcreation services or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements in more detail.