Being aware of your audience is one of the key aspects to successful branding. And, in today’s ever-changing market base, which has become so diverse, we can no longer expect that a one-tier cultural brand marketing approach will effectively connect throughout. In fact, without even realizing it, you may be ignoring an entire group of clients.
In 1969, leading car manufacturer Chevrolet came out with a new car, the Chevy Nova. There was one tiny problem: “no va,” in Spanish, literally translates to “it doesn’t work.” No surprise here, for many Spanish communities this came across as a joke and stopped people from considering buying it.
Obviously, it’s not just about having a cute brand name or slogan but you need to check how a more diverse population is going to react to it. This is where an inclusive approach to branding comes in. Brands have an opportunity to create meaningful connections with clients, and make clients feel welcome.
As we’ve said in one of our earlier blogs, “branding is an essential part of a marketing strategy, which is where it should all begin.” (I Have a Website, Why do I Need Branding?). If you have a business that caters to a multilingual demographic then inclusive branding should be fully considered from the start.
What can happen when your company makes additional efforts to relate to a specific community? Let’s take Starbucks as an example. Starbucks coffee shops across the country have recently started to teach their employees basic American Sign Language and some stores have even enabled drive-through webcam software so that deaf people can place an order. Using an inclusive approach with language, Starbucks’ unique branding approach has managed to successfully win over an entire community.
Including specific audiences opens more doors
No matter what language you speak or how well established your business is, you will benefit by focusing your efforts and expanding your customer base. Fostering a multilingual inclusive approach to your branding and appealing to a new audience has great advantages.
It is critical to know your audience and to choose which area of brand marketing you want to focus on. Using language correctly attracts your market and engages them so they are ready to listen and will actually hear your message. Going further, once you have their ear use the language effectively to convey your messages in a way that they will understand. Avoid any mistakes or pitfalls that could actually cause rejection or harm your brand.
Poorly constructed brand names, slogans and badly written text slam the door on the business of some clients
So, you have a chosen a brand name that expresses the value of your organization, your client base trusts your brand and believes in what you stand for. Pay close attention to the language you use, this will reinforce and maintain your brand positioning. Firstly, if your brand has a negative image you may consider changing your company name and look, if you do, check the spelling and pronunciation in the languages of your target audience. And secondly, make sure that it does not have any silly or negative connotations.
Here’s a prime example, when Coca-Cola introduced their brand to China, it was at first pronounced “ke-kou-ke-la,” which means “bite the wax tadpole.” Even coming from a huge conglomerate that sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it?
When you have an established brand name, slogans/taglines are good way to market your brand to diverse groups. Be sure to adapt your slogan rather than straight translation. It may, at first, seem smart to hire a translator, yes and make sure that your translator knows your target cultures and market goals. That is why your best approach may be to pick a combination team with translators and marketers. A good marketing team shows respect to the client by having a knack for languages, target cultures, and is aware of today’s diverse market. Whatever you do, do not simply use translation software. This seems obvious, but many prospective clients have been lost that way.
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