More and more companies from around the globe are considering the potential of international expansion thanks, in part, to the increasingly multicultural nature of our modern society. When entering a new market, some businesses choose to stick to their native language, hoping their brand reputation alone will be enough to secure a loyal customer base in a new country. Others will embark upon full translations of their service or product into the native language of their new target audience in a bid to make a real connection.
Both of these methods of selling abroad have their merits, but a blanket approach to marketing campaigns isn’t always the best way to sell products. In many cases, a project-by-project strategy can offer a greater chance of success, and this is particularly true when it comes to selling to bilingual consumers.
Symbolic or Generic?
Cultural understanding is as much a part of translation as the words themselves, and developing an appropriate strategy will be key to succeeding in a new market. For some products, a strong link to a particular culture can be a draw for customers of any language, bridging a gap between cultures and offering a symbolic representation of the brand or product. In cases like this, bilingual translation could have the negative effect of highlighting disparities between cultures, which may discourage bilingual customers from purchasing products that they feel represent dissociation.
When it comes to products that are culturally generic, the opposite approach can be more beneficial. Rather than delivering single-language marketing campaigns, brands can create bilingual content that increases the appeal of culturally generic products to multicultural consumers. With the help of translators, brands can encourage bilingual audiences to consider products that they may otherwise feel are detached from their culture.
Translating Your Marketing Campaign
Whether your marketing campaign needs to be translated into one language or many, professional translators can ensure the content is both grammatically and culturally accurate. Language experts deliver more than just direct translation, offering insight into the cultural differences within target audiences and identifying any aspects of a marketing campaign that should be adapted to suit a new market.
Whichever approach you choose, selling to bilingual customers requires knowledge and expertise to adapt a brand voice to suit new cultures, while maintaining a stable brand style to prevent mixed messages. Market research and adherence to cultural values will help businesses target bilingual customers with a consistent and compelling voice.