This may sound strange coming from a translation services company, but international brands can no longer rely exclusively on translation to communicate with markets around the world.
Increasingly, localisation is seen as an essential step when building a marketing strategy and producing content that will be distributed around the world. Localisation allows businesses and brands to translate not just the wording of their campaigns or their websites, but also their entire marketing message – including images, content, offers, transaction interfaces and policies. Which is why we’ve got native-speaking, market and category-specific experts to help with the translation challenge.
Deliveroo is a food delivery service founded in the UK, which has expanded to over 14 international markets. It partners with restaurants and operates networks of ‘riders’ in over 200 cities in the UK, Europe and in destinations as far-flung as Hong Kong, the UAE and Australia.
Having launched in 2013, Deliveroo has succeeded in rapid international expansion and using translation services and localisation expertise has helped it to achieve this success. The business’s marketing people have been forthcoming about sharing their approach to international expansion and localisation. Here, we take a closer look at Deliveroo’s localisation strategy.
Different approaches for different content
Deliveroo starts by examining its content and deciding which approach to translation the particular content requires. It breaks down the significance of the content into three categories:
- Key content
- Important content
- Low-risk content
The key content tends to go through the most rigorous process of translation and localisation, whereas there could be low-risk content, such as internal documents, that only need direct word-for-word translation to be effective.
The content created for Deliveroo is created in English, but the creators bear in mind the fact that the material will need to appeal globally and will often need to be translated and localised – they, therefore, avoid using colloquial or location-specific language, jokes or cultural references.
Designers also have an important role to play. They have to ensure that images and colours, as well as general layout, can be easily localised. This is particularly relevant to images of food, as users in Singapore, for example, may not respond particularly well to an image of fish and chips taken in Brighton.
How does Deliveroo localise its content?
Localisation means different things to different businesses. For a food delivery business like Deliveroo, much of the localisation work the in-house team carries out is working towards ensuring that cultural differences, with regards to how people view food, are appreciated and understood. In addition, practical localisation jobs also have to be taken care of, such as adapting currency information, units of measurements and addresses. Then there are more general localisation jobs to do, such as ensuring the right language is used to address readers, local references and localising images.
Deliveroo explains that the role of its localisation service experts is to make customers all over the world feel like the content they are coming in contact with was created just for them. The website, promotion material, apps and other content needs to speak to various markets in their own language, both literally and figuratively.
Deliveroo says it does sometimes work with external localisation and translation services providers, and it makes this work by providing as much detail as possible to these third parties. It will provide information about context, audience, messages they want to convey, specific practical details that need to be included and, of course, as much information as possible about the location the content is heading for.
Does Deliveroo use transcreation?
Yes. Deliveroo’s linguists will sometimes create content specifically for a local market, rather than localising English content for that market. This is called transcreation and is a much longer and more involving process.
In order to effectively transcreate content for global markets, Deliveroo explains that its linguists try not to even use the English version of the content, apart from for reference, so that they can translate an ‘idea’ from scratch.
They will work to the creative brief that was the starting point for a campaign or a piece of content in order to translate the brief without interference and without tone-of-voice getting in the way of the creative process.
Deliveroo has set out the workflow for its transcreation projects, and it goes something like this:
- It all begins with a call to talk through the project and explain the thinking behind the English copy written for it.
- Each market is then defined and the teams of reviewers are put in place.
- Briefs are then sent to the transcreation teams.
- The linguists then create three options in the market’s language together with a back translation into English so it can be reviewed by English speakers. There are then several rounds of back and forth between linguists and local teams in situ.
- Final sign-off of the copy is sent to the designers.
Having a team locally helps to ensure messages are on-brand but also culturally appropriate. Deliveroo has product specialists who check each project’s messages in terms of how well they convey brand values, for example. Research teams are also used to check localised copy and design to ensure it is relevant to that market.
And the future?
Deliveroo is committed to its global appeal and expanding further could be on the cards. In order to ensure it continues to create on-brand and culturally aware local campaigns and content it says it will use localisation experts that are well trained and knowledgeable.
It says it now hopes to create a style guide for each language to promote consistency throughout its translation and localisation projects. The guide will include everything from key terms to tone of voice and will help external translation services providers to deliver high-quality assets to the business.
Although Deliveroo is just one business, it’s an inspirational example of how a business should and can respond to rapid global expansion with the help of top-quality translation services, together with high regard for the importance of localisation.
Speak to the Bubbles team of language translation experts today to find out how our local linguistic experts can help you take your brand to new markets and audiences around the world.