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.



Utilise Transcreation

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

simple translation.

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.



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