It’s a good idea to include global marketing in your business strategy if it makes sense for your products and services. With online shopping growing in popularity around the world and increasing every year there are many opportunities for brands to develop their paths to global success. Part of this development includes marketing and communicating in other languages by using the native language of new potential clients.
As a Translation Company, localization and translation of marketing content is a regular part of our work- a strong indication that companies are waking up to the opportunities that can be gained from reaching a global market. Localization is the critical step that ensures the translated content resonates with the intended audience within their culture and as it is written in their language.
There are several iconic global brands that have reached their status due not only to providing a product or service that people like, but also successful localization of their brand. We’ve found some interesting tidbits about the localization process for two of these brands- Netflix and Coca-Cola.
8 years ago, Netflix was an English-only product. Today, the media services provider supports 26 languages with plans for more. In the third quarter of 2017, Netflix experienced a first- its international subscribers exceeded its US subscriber base! Out of the 5.3 million new subscribers, 3.65 million were from overseas.
As Netflix continues to add more languages for subscribers in 190 different countries, its Internationalization team has been actively pursuing solutions that will allow them to achieve “globalization at scale”. One of the problems identified was the issue of text expansion. The team found that translations from English to other languages including Hebrew, Polish and Portuguese, resulted in text expansion of up to 40%. This impacts the layout of websites and applications. The internationalization team is currently working on a localization solution called “Pseudo Localization” to solve this issue.
We have mentioned the importance of handling the issue of text expansion in translation in the blog Text Expansion in Translation Services. It is great to see Netflix’s care for detail when it comes to localization and translation of websites and apps. Netflix’s attention to detail in their marketing translation and localization process has no doubt played a part in growing their global audience and number of people around the world using their platform.
They sell happiness in a bottle. Coca-Cola’s message of optimism and happiness is already universal and translates well to any culture. The Share-a-Coke campaign emerged in an effort to connect with young adults in Australia by swapping out the Coke branding on the bottles for over 100 of the most popular names in Australia. Suddenly, people were able to identify on a personal level with the brand, and social media photos spread around of cheery people posing with their name-bottles.
Coca-cola built upon this success by extending this campaign to more than 70 countries. In order for this campaign to work, Coca-cola would need to do more than include names on bottles. The brand needed to customize its offerings to the culture and language of each country they reached.
Coca-cola found a way to connect with China’s young consumers by using nicknames on its packaging and bottles rather than actual names. Research into China’s market of young consumers revealed that they commonly used nicknames to refer to their friends. Hence, the offering of Coke “nickname bottles” became a hit. Coke bottles with buzzwords have also been extremely popular due to its prevalent use by young people on Chinese websites. Buzzwords include 吃货 or chi huo, meaning
foodie; 粉丝 or fen si, meaning fans; 文艺青年 or wen yi qing nian, meaning artistic youth.
As a professional translation services agency, we devote ourselves to not only producing marketing translations that get a brand’s message across effectively, but we also make sure that the translated content is presentable and ready to be shared with your global audience when it comes to the multilingual design, display of specific fonts and mindfulness of cultures and preferences. Netflix and Coca-Cola show how attention to details as small as names and formatting during the localization process can really pay off and create loyal audiences around the world.