Localizing your slogan – is it the way to global success?
How can businesses expanding into new markets benefit from the translation
and localization of their slogan?
A slogan is one of the main differentiating points for businesses- it’s a chance to communicate your brand’s message to the world
with one single phrase. Businesses operating internationally, however, need to think about how their slogan will resonate with
customersfrom different cultural, linguistic and historical backgrounds. Therefore, localizing your slogan is the best approach for
creating afavourable association with your brand within global markets. Not sure how to do so? Here are a few recommendations
on how a slogan localization can be an effective marketing tool:
Avoid word-for-word translation
The key to a successful slogan is for it to be witty, creative and to evoke a certain feeling within the customers. However, this makes
it trickier to translate in a foreign language without losing the essence of your message. Direct translation is therefore not a favourite
when localizing your slogan. What matters most is having a good understanding of your international customers’ culture and the
waythey react to different words and messages. Localizing content, including slogans, goes further than the straightforward language
translation – it involves a deeper engagement between translators and the company’s marketing experts, to achieve the desirable
Reach out to local language experts
Depending on your chosen target market, you should consider working with in-country language experts. Being immersed within the
local culture, they can provide valuable insight into how the target customers think and react. Consulting them on your slogan will
help you establish a cohesive concept in multiple languages that goes over well with different audiences.
Transcreation is a relatively new term within the translation industry. In general it combines ‘translation’ and ‘creation’. It refers
to identifying a brand’s core message and efficiently communicats it to international customers. This process is especially relevant
when it comes to slogan localization. It is concerns mainly evoking particular associations with the company, rather than with
An excellent example of transcreation is McDonalds’ slogan localization for the Japanese market. In the 70s and 80s, the brand
was still new to the Japanese customer, so the slogans aimed to establish the fast-food chain as an integral part of the Japanese’s
eating habits. Through its slogans and advertising campaigns, McDonalds have positioned themselves as one of the main providers
of beef on the market, turning this into a distinct feature for the company. Once your audience assimilates your slogan and its
message has made a positive impact, scaling your business’ future operations within that market will be an easier task.
Localizing the colour and imagery
When localizing your slogan, you should pay attention not only to the text itself, but also to the colour and imagery, that goes along
with it.Oftentimes, different cultures and countries have different associations with particular colours and images, which can make
a seemingly harmful message appear as insensitive and inappropriate. Take the colour blue, for example – while in China it is
considered as a symbol of femininity, in North America and Europe it is related to masculinity, trust and serenity. Being unaware
of such cultural differences can cost you your brand’s reputation, which can be difficult to rebuild afterwards.
Whether or not you should localize your slogan depends on the market you are looking to for expansion as well as the target audience.
Localizing might not be necessary if the new market shares the same cultural values and language as your local one. That being said,
localizing can help in establishing strong relations with foreign customers who don’t share your culture and who are encountering your
brand for the first time. Whether you are looking to change only the colour and image accompanying your slogan or to transform it
completely for a new audience, localization gives the best results when done by professional language service providers. That is why
1-StopAsia’s in-house translators focus not only on providing superior language services, but on integrating their cultural knowledge
into helping our customers achieve global success.