Welcome to the second installment of Medialocate’s new “Quick Tips” series. “Quick Tips” answers questions we often hear from our customers.
If you’ve had these same questions about translating your website, marketing materials, product labeling, software interfaces, or just about anything you need in other languages, we hope you’ll find these tips useful and come back for more.
By the way, the following answers are from “Building Bridges To Global Success”. Get your free guide here!
Quick Tip #2 – Identifying potential cultural issues before you localize your website
Question: “How do I know if there are cultural issues with my website content?”
Answers: It is not enough to just translate your marketing messages — the messages themselves must be tailored to your individual markets.
Otherwise, you just might make the same types of mistakes that Rolls Royce, Nike and Pee Cola have made – see below.
If you use graphs, be aware that the colors we use in Western culture (in the red, in the black, and green for a “go”), may be unsuitable in other cultures.
Also, though head-to-head comparisons are routinely used in the U.S., in Germany and Japan for example, comparative advertising is prohibited. Privacy Statements and TOU statements have different legal requirements in other cultures.
Even product names can occasionally be an issue, to put it mildly. Website MentalFloss.com once pointed out that product names can often be tragic, even hilarious—and don’t always mean what their manufacturers intended.
Example? Pee Cola. This extremely popular soda, which is bottled in Ghana, means “very good Cola,” but that’s not, suffice to say, most tourists’ first impression.
Rolls Royce was planning on adding a new vehicle to their successful Silver Cloud line, tentatively named the “Silver Mist”. Things were fine until someone pointed out that in German, “mist” means “manure.”
Nike offended many Muslims when the “flaming air” logo for its Nike Air sneakers looked too similar to the Arabic form of God’s name, “Allah”. Nike pulled more than 38,000 pairs of sneakers from the market.
Here at Medialocate, we can find these potential problems in your marketing messages, and provide solutions before your visitors find them.
PS: These “Quick Tips” are just a few you’ll find in our new guide, “Building Bridges To Global Success”. Download the full PDF guide here!
Have more questions about localizing your website for new global audiences?
Call us at 1-800-776-0857.