Don’t let your first impression get lost in translation

When launching a new product or moving into a new market, first impressions can be crucial. You need to present yourself in a way your target demographic will understand, which can vary significantly from market to market.

More than just the obvious problems

You’ve almost certainly heard the stories about products named in ways that cut off markets for them.

Many of these are urban legends, but some are not and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Stories like these are repeated because they’re so extreme or so obvious that they’re funny (if your company isn’t responsible). There are countless more products and even companies which have failed because of mistakes that were no less damaging just because they were harder to predict.

The first impression starts before launch

When preparing your groundwork market research is vital and that too requires high quality translations by mother-tongue translators. Steeped in the target culture, they will be able to avoid both ‘typical’ mistranslations and issues that arise from the culture’s own slang.

Your market research will highlight the pitfalls to avoid and paint an outline of how best to move forward with your launch. From there, developing your business plan is relatively simple. Then it’s on to branding and marketing.

Branding and marketing

When creating the branding for your product, it’s vital to consider how it will be perceived in the culture you’re targeting. Using different branding for the same product in multiple markets isn’t off the table; that’s been very successful for companies as diverse as Mars Inc. and Nintendo.

Next it’s time to build your marketing campaign around the brand. In both of these fields, marketing translators are essential when attempting to launch a brand across cultural and language barriers and in producing ongoing marketing after the launch has completed.

When it’s time to make a first impression, translation alone cannot win your target market’s hearts. It can, though, definitely save you from offending your target market, ensuring you have every chance of success, and it’s the best support you can possibly give your marketing department when launching a new product abroad.

If you’d like to find out more about how translation can help you in all aspects of your business life, you can contact us right here on the site, email us directly at or call +44 1727 862 722.


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