How To Manage A Brand In A Multilingual Environment?

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Research has shown that consumers respond more favourably to messages that they receive in their native language. However, brands – both large and small – need to invest in making sure their multilingual campaigns go beyond translation.

In South Africa, which boasts 11 official languages, only 8% of South Africans actually speak English at home. Native English speakers make up just 25% of global Internet users. When brands limit their marketing strategies to just one language, both in domestic and foreign markets, they could be losing out on a great opportunity to connect with potential customers.

However, a direct translation of a marketing campaign from one language to another isn’t sufficient. Brands must listen – as well as speak – authentically to their consumers if they would like them to engage with the brand’s message.

Why Brands Don’t Connect With Consumers

When brands don’t connect with consumers whose first language is not English, it’s because of cutting corners in areas where more in-depth work is needed. When budgets are tight and everyone is busy, translation becomes an afterthought.

People could say, ‘Well, these individuals speak English [well] enough, so we’ll just keep [our content] in English.’ … You could still get a good outcome out of that, however, you’re very likely not going to. If you would like your user to understand your message, you need to talk to them in the language that’s theirs.

Understanding The Principle Of Transcreation

The Need To Understand Transcreation

It is vital to understand what transcreation is.

The term ‘transcreation’ is the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while still keeping its intent, style, tone and context.

Through viewing language through a lens of transcreation — as opposed to only basic translation —marketers can be sure that their audiences can read a message and understand the meaning behind it. Humour stays humorous and professional messages stay professional.

If you’re a marketer, you definitely don’t want to lose the relevance or immediacy of something just by going with a translation in which people will understand the words but not the feeling. Sports metaphors are as an example of a language device which can easily become lost in a direct translation: They’re widespread in the English language, but a culture which doesn’t play baseball, for example, won’t understand the reference in the context of your message.

If your company was a person, your brand would be its personality. It’d be how you

  • Present yourself to new customers, as well as
  • Develop a trusting relationship with them.

Your brand is a living, breathing entity. This means that it’s your job to help it grow as well as improve.

This is what we call brand management.

Creating a brand – especially over many multilingual environments – is thrilling, but it’s not sufficient. As your business scales, grows, changes, and succeeds, your brand needs to follow suit.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you want to learn more about brand management – and if you’re a business owner, you really do – then you should do our Brand Management Course. Find out more here.!

DSM Digital School of Marketing brand management course registration