Your product packaging can be a great marketing tool when a consumer is looking to make a purchase in-store. A label should not only be on-brand, but it must stand out from those of your competitors. This includes complete accuracy with regard to the information provided on it. If you sell products abroad, you will need to localize product labels to meet certain requirements in each country. In doing so, you will help your company maximize your profits (and avoid potential losses), to help guarantee your brand’s success abroad.
How does investing in label localization help maximize profits?
Getting your product label ready for distribution in other countries is more than just updating the words on the label. It is about making sure your product connects with a new audience as they shop.
A properly localized product label should not appear as though you’ve just adapted the original label so you can sell to a new audience. It should appear as though the label was created with these consumers in mind. Color choices, imagery and the correct use of cultural nuances can be just as important as the text itself.
Consumers who not only understand the text on your label, but who also connect with what they see, will be more likely to trust your company and willing to try your product. This boosts sales, increase word-of-mouth marketing, brand recognition and your expansion into the international market.
On the other hand, if your label is not properly localized for the market where your product is being sold, the consumer may be confused as to how your product can serve them, and may, therefore, not make the purchase. If the translation is not professionally done, you risk offending the consumer or providing incorrect or misleading information as well.
What should you consider when localizing your product label?
Each country where you plan to sell your products will have its own set of regulations in order for your products to be sold there. If you want to enter the Canadian market, for example, your product label will almost certainly need to be listed in both English and French, not just one or the other. You will also have to take into consideration potential cultural differences. For example, while it may not be necessary to include in the U.S., some countries will require you to include whether or not a consumable product is Halal, or if it includes any alcohol.
It is also important to make sure your label contains the correct format for dates and measurements that may be listed on your label. In the U.S., our dates are usually listed in a month/day/year format. However, in most countries within the E.U., that format changes to day/month/year. If your product has an expiration or sell-by date, abiding by the appropriate date format is crucial to ensuring that customers do not consume items past the expiration date. You should also use the metric system for most labels for products sold outside of the U.S..
What are the risks if your product label is not properly localized?
If your product label is not properly localized, you not only run the risk of not connecting with your target audience, but you could also run some potentially large financial risks. If the label has inaccurate information listed or if allergens are not listed correctly due to an inaccurate translation, for example, there could be a great risk of injuries, illnesses or even fatalities. Not only would your company take a hit in legal fees up front, but you will also likely need to recall the product, spend the time and money to correct the label, experience decreased sales, or even be put out of business altogether, depending on the severity of the issue.
To help circumvent this type of risk, avoid using automatic or machine translation, and hire a professional team of translators, editors and localizers to get it right the first time.
Looking to enter a new market? Feel free to reach out and set up a free consultation.