Tag: Branding

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How experiential marketing is gaining momentum

Marketing, Multimedia Translation

Experiential marketing is a tactic that goes beyond promoting a brand’s products or services. In this form of marketing, the consumer doesn’t sit passively and listen to the marketer’s message like in the case of traditional TV, radio and newspaper ads. This kind of marketing involves engaging the target customers thoroughly and exciting their five senses. It is a highly personalized marketing tactic brands use to create a relationship with their customers. That means customers can see, touch, smell, listen to, and where appropriate, taste the product before making a purchasing decision.

However, with experiential marketing, brands need to study their audience. For example, a brand that wishes to sell the product in the US and in China needs to target both audiences differently. Something that is humorous in the US is not funny in China. That’s why experimental marketing goes hand-in-hand with localization strategies.

Experiential marketing may also be given other names such as engagement marketing, live marketing, participation marketing and event marketing. The term is relatively new in most economies and has become particularly popular with the growth of social media. Also, the strategy is attracting more sales by pushing the right buttons in the modern consumer. It helps marketers to break the resistance that consumers have against new brands by allowing the consumer to holistically interact with a product.

For example, to generate buzz regarding the long-awaited TV show “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” Netflix created a campaign with 200 pop-up Luke’s Diners around the United States to serve refreshments. For those who have not seen the TV show, Luke’s Diner is an iconic place in the show where most of the scenes are recorded. The campaign was very successful, as long lines were created at each location. The event’s Snapchat filter was viewed 880,000 times.

In Asia, the chip company Lay’s created a pop-up claw crane machine for Japan, which allowed people to physically climb in the machine and grab things. It was a huge success as people relived their childhood memories with crane machines and were waiting in lines to give it a go.

Why should you consider experiential marketing?

It encourages consumers to share visual content online
When consumers take pictures and videos during experiential marketing events, they help brands to expand their marketing reach. After all, most of that content ends up in social media. Experiential marketing, to some extent, leverages grassroots marketing by appealing to people’s love for visual online content. And because we are living in the era of smartphones and the internet, this form of marketing will only keep gaining more and more momentum. One thing to keep in mind though is that if brands create online campaigns that go viral worldwide, they should bear in mind that they would have a wider reach if the content that they share would be translated and adjusted based on country location. There are companies that offer professional translation services for all types of content and who could be of great help.

TV and radio ads are irritating
Marketers have overused TV, radio, and print ads for so long that consumers now find them irritating. It is not uncommon these days to find people recording TV or radio programs so that they can watch them later and skip all the ads in between. How many times have you skipped YouTube ads when watching your favorite videos? Clearly, ads are unnecessarily irritating. Experiential marketing, on the other hand, has tailor-made messages that speak to the soul and mind of every consumer. The consumer is an active participant and not a passive observer, so he will rarely get bored or irritated.

It helps brands establish deep connections with their target customers
When people interact with your brand and have fun, positive connotations regarding your brand are developed. And because these experiences are memorable, people really enjoy being part of experiential marketing. It makes them feel valued, and that breeds unbeatable brand loyalty. Also, customers identify with your brand as a whole, not just the products they tasted or touched. Remember that when people become loyal, they are more emotionally attached to the brand than to the quality of its products. “If you can mix this strategy with localization and target a wider global market, that would generate an even more successful marketing strategy,” say experts from New Horizons Global Partners.

It generates authentic brand awareness
Brand awareness is an important aspect of marketing. People need to understand what your brand is all about and which problems your products seek to address in their lives. But brand awareness isn’t an easy agenda to execute partially because customers tend to be hostile and skeptical towards unknown brands and partially because your competitors offer clients endless options to choose from. But with experiential marketing, customers interact with your brand firsthand and know everything they need to know about it. That is the awareness that will enable them to make a genuine positive opinion about your products.

It can convert participants into unpaid brand ambassadors
Participants in an experiential marketing campaign are initially inspired to become loyal customers, and they may also become your brand ambassadors. They may share the memorable experiences they had with your brand, encouraging their friends and family to try your products. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a very powerful form of marketing according to McKinsey, which notes that they drive about 50% to 80% of new leads.

 

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Christian A. Kruse is a marketing and business expansion expert for Asian markets. Based in China, he has helped many companies expand in China, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere. He has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion, and product development. Currently, he is also serving as an expert at GlobalizationPedia and provides technical advice for its China EOR solutions targeting US-based international businesses.

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Umlauts and circumflexes and tildes, oh my

Localization, Technology

In localization circles, we frequently talk about the need to include fonts in what gets internationalized: localization works beyond translation in making sure a source message is correctly conveyed in the new, target market, so of course the work includes any visual element with meaning. Fonts have their own subliminal expressions — in the United States, for example, Times New Roman is considered a little stodgy, Courier New ironically old. But more pragmatically, certain fonts simply don’t work in other languages. Take Traditional Chinese: use a typography too thick or bolded and the actual character could change. Anything below 10.5 point and even unbolded copy becomes impossible to read.

If managing the typeface a client’s message is in sounds hard, try localizing the font itself. That’s the concern our company faced when it created Lionbridge Sans, the company’s new corporate font. Used for marketing, sales and internal communications, it turns one year old September 5.

If 2018 was the year of the dog in China, in the United States it was the year of bespoke fonts, with The Verge reporting that no tech company makes it big until after it’s developed one. The article focused on Netflix launching Netflix Sans, mentioning the font followed Apple’s release of San Francisco, Samsung’s SamsungOne and Google’s Product Sans. And, yes, in case those “sans” made you wonder: Lionbridge, Samsung and Google’s typefaces all find their roots in Comic Sans.

If fonts have cultural meaning, then in American design circles, Comic Sans comes with a smile. Its childlike simplicity makes it the font typophiles love to hate, but this simplicity is precisely what makes derivatives perfect for localization. Microsoft actually invented Comic Sans in 1994 with the express design of developing something less stodgy and more user-friendly than the Times New Roman it used at the time. Comic Sans’ thin strokes made it ideal for software user interfaces and had the helpful side effect of looking good in pictorial languages. “It’s a special font,” said Jaime Punishill, Lionbridge’s chief marketing officer. “It’s universal across mediums, universal across languages.”

A tagline localized into Lionbridge Sans in French.

That’s not to say localizing Lionbridge Sans was easy. Five internal departments partnered with design agency Vivaldi on every umlaut, circumflex and tilde. Not only was there stroke width to consider, but non-Roman languages understandably have their own writing systems, many Roman languages have letters that don’t appear in English and then there’s the whole issue of diacritics — a particular concern to Lionbridge’s Polish translator working on the font team. Getting the o-acute (ó) right was particularly tricky: written correctly, the tail of the accent must hit square in the letter’s middle. In early, pre-release drafts, a Lionbridge engineer noticed the capital Ñ was taller than entry settings in Excel allowed — something the company clearly needed to resolve for Spanish language spreadsheets.

A tagline localized into Lionbridge Sans in Korean.

Letter by letter, language by language, the details had to be worked through with in-country linguistic and design experts to get everything right.

“In today’s marketplace, branding and experience are more important than ever — and increasingly difficult to achieve,” Punishill said. “It’s one thing to say you’re brand internationalization experts.” But it’s another, trickier prospect to actually globalize your own brand.

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Terena Bell is an independent journalist who writes for The Atlantic, Washington Post, Fast Company and others. She is former CEO of In Every Language.

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Things Are Looking Black For Boring Fridays Worldwide

Language in Business, Localization Culture

“Sir, – Does Ireland have to still mimic everything the Americans do? We now have tiresome “Black Friday” retail promotions everywhere in Ireland.”

A letter in the Irish Times of Friday, 25-November-2016 caught my eye.

The correspondent explained what this “Black Friday” is, by way of her frustration: “The Black Friday retail tradition is, of course, the big day of sale activity on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States of America, a holiday not recognised in the Republic of Ireland.”

(If you need more information on “Black Friday” then Wikipedia can oblige, alluding to the fact that the term may have religious connotations that might resonate with some Irish Roman Catholics, though at a different time of the year. However, that is news to me.)

It is completely true that “Black Friday” is everywhere in Ireland now, whereas even a couple of years ago it was unheard of.

Trash talking languages everywhere: "Black Friday" in Dün Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. Image: Ultan O'Broin

Trash talking languages everywhere: “Black Friday” in Dün Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. Image: Ultan O’Broin

“Black Friday” in Ireland has nothing to do with religious observance.

It’s a marketing term.

Furthermore, I was in Italy on the day in question, and in Florence (Firenze) this “Black Friday” business was all over the place too. Not a single translation of the term was needed to entice local shoppers.

Black Friday in Florence. No translation needed. Image: Ultan O'Broin

“Black Friday” in Florence. No translation needed. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Black Friday signs everywhere to be seen in Florence. Image: Ultan O'Broin

“Black Friday” signs were everywhere to be seen in Florence. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Image: Ultan O'Broin

20% “Black Friday” discount for today only on this store in Florence. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Black Friday signs in Florence on both multinational chains and locally owned and operated stores. Black Friday signs everywhere to be seen in Florence. Image: Ultan O'Broin

“Black Friday” signs in Florence on both multinational chains and locally owned and operated stores. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Black Friday signs in English. Making the world a more boring place. Image: Ultan O'Broin

“Black Friday” signs in English. Making the world a more boring, linguistically discounted place. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Thankfully, some sensible translation was sometimes to be seen in Firenze’s Mercato Centrale for example.

On the ground translation in the Mercato Centrale in Firenze. Image: Ultan O'Broin

On the ground translation in the Mercato Centrale in Firenze. Image: Ultan O’Broin

Whatever.

So, how could this “Black Friday” phenomenon in Ireland and Italy (and I bet everywhere else) have come about all of a sudden?

I blame the Internet and online shipping. “Black Friday” deals and sales specials are all over the place on Amazon, for example. How this could work across multiple timezones is anyone’s guess, so small wonder the special offers are available all weekend, or sometimes even for the entire week that follows …

And now the bricks and mortar stores have followed their clickable variants.

Another example of Internet-led globalization, I guess. Certainly, online retail knows no borders and doesn’t always need translation, but here on terra firma its influence is sometimes making the world an increasingly homogeneous, even boring, place for the rest of us and sounding the death knell for originality in local branding.

Don’t start me on “Cyber Monday“.

Amazon Italy Cyber Monday advertisement on the back page of La Repubblica of Monday, 28-November-2016. Image: Ultan Ó Broin

Amazon Italy Cyber Monday advertisement on the back page of la Repubblica of Monday, 28-November-2016. Image: Ultan O’Broin

In Irish folklore a bargain bought on a Monday (Margadh an Luain) was regarded as unlucky.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Global Branding and those “Minority” Languages: Business Benefits

Language in Business

Superb article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper about the business benefits of branding using what are often snottily referred to as “minority” languages: Basque, Cornish, Irish, Welsh, and so on.

Read it here: Let languages shout out your business benefits.

Make no mistake, such languages offer a competitive edge for domestic and global brands. Using Irish (Gaeilge) for example drives a multi-million Euro market. Interestingly, these languages are particularly valuable to business when used in the food industry (the localization angle of which, along with sport, we do not hear about often enough).

Tayto Crisps: Irish Branding Gets Emoji. There's Irish-language Tayto Crisps too.

Ireland’s famous Tayto Crisps go emoji. There are Irish-language Tayto Crisps too. They don’t taste any the worse for Unicode! (Image: Ultan Ó Broin)

Of course, using language to engage consumers does not require sellers or buyers to be even remotely fluent in it, contrary to what Willie Brandt claimed.

Not that claims of minority language usage don’t come without their own problems.

 

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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The Art of Global Brand Localization: Ain't No McJob*

Language in Business

The McDonalds McMór (mór means big or great in Gaeilge [Irish]) burger’s introduction in Ireland has fallen foul of the local Food Safety Authority. It just wasn’t artisan enough for us Irish.

It’s a good example of how global branding decisions need to “go local” but also include all of the stakeholders concerned. Notwithstanding, other elements of the introduction featured a local, eh, flavor.

I spotted some localized examples on ads for the local burger when out on a run in Dublin. Whether these “So Irish,…” tag lines do it for you or not is another question.

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it claps when the plane landsane lands

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it claps when the plane lands

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it's even got freckles

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it’s even got freckles

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it knows it's pronounced Siobhán and not Cyo-ban

McDonalds McMór: So Irish, it knows it’s pronounced Siobhán and not Cyo-ban

Siobhán explained.

Damned if you localize. Damned if you don’t. It ain’t easy.

* McJob. No offense intended.

 

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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