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How a Localized Product Label Can Maximize Profits

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.

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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.

How Health Care Professionals Can Better Serve LEP Patients and Families

First impressions are key with all patients. And ensuring adequate language access for your Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients can make a huge difference for your practice, both in patient safety and satisfaction. Your patients are more likely to receive improved quality in health care with fewer medical errors if they have access to the information they need in the language of their choice. This leads to a higher rate of patient satisfaction, and the individual is more likely to return to your practice/facility, if necessary, as long as they feel confident in the quality of care they received the first time.

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Outside of just having access to the translated versions of key documents and medical interpreters for your patients, here are a few ways to better serve your LEP community and patients.

Make sure your LEP community knows language access is available

Many LEP individuals may not even realize that they can receive care in their own language at your practice. This can result in a lack of preventative care, increasing their reliance on emergency room visits when issues become more serious. This actually increases costs to the health care system, which could be alleviated by helping to inform your local LEP community that they can receive more basic or preventative care, even if they do not speak English. You can work with your public relations or marketing team to find ways to communicate this information to local groups. Social media channels, television appearances, direct mailers, or newspaper advertisements may be good places to start.

Translate discharge and prescription instructions

Part of the reason that LEP patients have a greater chance of admission (or readmission) to the hospital after seeking care is that they do not fully understand their discharge instructions or how to properly take their medications. Having a professional interpreter present during admission and discharge, as well as having any at-home instructions translated into the patient’s preferred language, can result in a lower chance of patient confusion when they return home, lessening the need for the patient to return to your office or visit the ER later if their condition is not improving. It is also important not to assume that a pharmacy has instructions for all prescriptions in various languages.  If you are in doubt of a patient’s understanding, you can always use the “teach back” method to have the patient confirm what is expected of them when they leave. 

Provide training for your physicians and staff to improve language access for LEP patients

You do not need a multilingual staff to be able to interact with your LEP patients. If your staff is trained to recognize cultural sensitivities and differences, as well as key indicators that your patients may need a professional medical interpreter, you can better serve your patients well when they come in for their appointments. Some patients will not request an interpreter, either because they do not know they can do so at no cost, or because they overestimate their English competency. Having a professional interpreter present or an over-the-phone interpreter available can help eliminate any language-specific issues that may arise during the visit.

If your practice has put anything in place that has helped deliver better care for your LEP patients, we’d love to hear more about it! Please let us know by leaving a comment!

How to Personalize Marketing Content While Remaining Ethical in How You Collect Your Data

Personalized multilingual marketing can be extremely beneficial for your company. When you know enough about your customers to deliver content that targets them directly, it can help ensure your customers regularly receive relevant information and look forward to receiving your content. However, it’s important to make sure the personalization in these targeted campaigns feels genuine and helpful, and to avoid being intrusive or unpleasant.

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Consumers care more and more about how their data is being collected and utilized, as showcased in recent updates to laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU - which took effect in May 2018 - and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will go into effect in January 2020. Both laws focus on the consumer’s right to privacy and control over what data is collected and stored. Not only is it important to keep these ideals in mind for all of your customers, but your multilingual marketing content should reflect these same ideals.

Here are a few ways you can interact with your multilingual audience in a personalized way without fretting about violating their privacy:

Interact with them on social media... in their own language!

Social media is perfect for personalized engagement! If you have social media posts written in your customer’s primary language, you’ll find it that much easier to communicate and engage with them! Reply to their comments and messages whenever possible. This helps foster genuine rapport, and it reminds your customers that there are humans behind your brand who want to build an actual relationship with them (not just sell them something).

Personalize email campaigns.

Email campaigns are a great way to reach those customers who have already shown enough interest in your brand to provide you with an email address. When you contact these customers, make sure the material they receive is relevant to their current relationship with your company. Localize these emails by translating the content for your multilingual customers and choosing images and content that will be relevant for your audience. If your customers reside in another country, know what it takes to remain compliant with any regulations that may be in place in their country as well.

Personalize these emails further by including their name in the email. Make sure to address them by the name that is deemed culturally appropriate. Research email etiquette for whatever language group you are targeting so that you do not risk offending a demographic group who may prefer to be addressed by their last name instead of by their first name.

Respect privacy and be transparent in your data collection practices.

While personalized content can be truly appreciated by many, there is also a fine line between your customers feeling engaged with your materials as opposed to feeling spied on using questionable data collection practices. Make sure you respect your customers’ privacy by sending them only the types of communication they have signed up to receive. Just because they included their phone number in a contact form does not mean they wish to receive text messages with offers and updates, for example. Allow them to easily opt out at any time and have full access to and control over the information you collect about them and how it is used. For a foreign-language audience, this data collection and privacy information needs to be available in their primary language.

When you create a marketing piece, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Does it feel genuine and helpful? Great! Keep using that piece. If it feels intrusive, however, consider what makes you feel that way. Chances are, if you feel content might be obtrusive, your customers will, too.  

Genuine Engagement in Automated Marketing: How to Connect Authentically with Your Multilingual Audience

Marketing automation tools help businesses save time, money, and reach people quickly and easily. These tools can be extremely effective, as long as the automation does not come at the expense of the relationships you’ve built with your current and potential customers. Your consumers don’t like to feel like they’re just a number. And your multilingual audience is no exception.

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Here are 5 ways to make sure you are connecting authentically with your multilingual audience when using automated marketing tools.

  1. Send personalized content tailored to each individual when possible. Use your automated tools to your advantage on an individual level! If you have customers’ birthdays on file, send them a personalized message (email, direct mail, or both!) wishing them a happy birthday. You can also do this for subscriber or loyalty member anniversaries if your business offers this. You can offer a special limited-time discount to entice customers to reconnect with you for any occasion, but even a simple message lets your customers know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate that you took the time to reach out, bonus discount or not.

  2. Target your ads specifically based on where you are in the business-consumer relationship. Your relationship with your customers (both potential and existing) varies from person to person. While you don’t have to send out individualized ads for each person every time you begin a marketing campaign in order to continue building that relationship, you will at least want to make sure your message is tailored to how much of a relationship you’ve already built with them. Just as you speak differently to friends you’ve known for 20 years as opposed to someone you’ve just met at an event, the content you deliver to someone who has made multiple purchases will be quite different than how you market to those who are unfamiliar with your brand. It is essential to build real relationships with your automated campaigns.

  3. Localize your marketing content with your multilingual consumers in mind; don’t just reuse your English ads. The personalized content you create won’t be effective if your consumers don’t understand or engage with it! Content should be translated into the appropriate language for your audience, and the design and layout of your materials must be relevant.

  4. Ask engaging questions and connect with your audience when they reply. The beauty of automation tools is that you can schedule content like email campaigns, ads, and social media posts in advance. Create content that is engaging; ask questions that prompt people to respond. Since you were able to schedule these items in advance, this frees up time for your team to respond when a customer takes action. If someone leaves a comment on a social media post, tag them and reply -- in their language! This shows customers that your brand genuinely cares about responding and providing them with value.

  5. Offer support in the languages your customers speak. Nothing can be more disheartening for a consumer than having questions about a product or service, and being unable to get the information they need. If you include a phone number or email address in your marketing materials, have sufficient support available in those mediums in the language(s) your customers speak. If a customer clicks a link in your online ad, the page where it directs them should also be translated and localized. Taking these steps helps ensure there are no interruptions between the marketing campaign and the purchase your customer intends to make.

What to Do When You Have to Pick a Dialect for Your Translation

Translating content into multiple languages can be beneficial for your marketing efforts and business ventures. However, language translations cannot always utilize a one-size-fits-all approach. Just as there are a variety of English dialects depending on where you are located (think of English in the U.S. compared with English in the U.K.), many of the languages you choose for the translation of your content will have their own distinct dialects. That’s why it’s important to know who your audience is before beginning the translation process.

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Here are three common scenarios as it pertains to choosing a dialect for your translation needs.

Scenario 1: The audience is from a very distinct region. Some countries may speak the same language by name (French, for example), but the geographic location of your target audience could make a huge difference in the translation provider you choose. French spoken in Canada is quite different than French spoken in France, and French-Creole (common in Louisiana) is even more different still. Tell your translation provider ahead of time where your target market is located so that they can be sure to assemble the right team for your project.

Note: If you are creating content for audiences in both France and Canada, look for a provider than can provide you with the different translations to ensure each version is accurate for the intended audiences. Not only will there be differences in the terminology used for these audiences, but differences in punctuation will also come into play.

Scenario 2: You want to reach an audience that resides in multiple countries that share a common language, but you don’t have the budget to localize the content for each individual country. An example of this would be if you are looking to target customers within multiple countries in Latin America. In this case, you will likely want to use a more neutral Spanish that will be understood by those in each country. Even if some of the terms differ from one country to another, a more neutral or standard translation could still be quite effective, depending on your content.

Scenario 3: Your audience is from a specific area in the U.S. Sometimes, you only need to reach a group of people within a certain geographic region. If you are targeting a group of Punjabi speakers in New York, for example, they may speak the Punjabi dialect of India, as opposed to the Punjabi dialect of Pakistan. Research the people who live in the area you’re targeting so you can be sure you are requesting the correct dialect.

If you are ever unsure which dialect of a language your audience speaks, try not to guess. You can always work directly with your translation provider to determine the best fit for your language needs. Knowing where your target market is from or located not only saves you time, but this information also helps to avoid potential language issues stemming from a translation created for the wrong audience. After all, who wants to translate the same content twice if it can be avoided, right?

How to Improve Internal Communication for Your Multinational Company

Multinational corporations have a lot to juggle—everything from opening new offices and making new hires to considering time zones when it comes to logistics and communications, and even to simply how to communicate between the main headquarters or office and those overseas. Just like in any company, clear and proper communication is a key to success. Here are our top tips to maintain excellent internal communication with your company’s offices/locations abroad.

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· Identify current barriers. First and foremost, it is important to determine the types of communication issues you may currently have with your international locations so that you know the right game plan to move forward. In what areas do these locations excel? Where do they struggle, and could internal communication be part of the cause? Do employees understand the corporate vision? Once you can pinpoint the areas to improve, it is easier to move forward.

· Translate content to local languages. If the foreign office is located in a country where English is not the primary language, it is highly beneficial to have human resources documents and communications translated. These include employee handbooks, job training materials, and even announcements and memos that will have an impact on how these employees perform their jobs. This way everyone can be on the same playing field and interpret the information as it was intended. It also helps to eliminate the “gray area” that could otherwise be caused by language barriers.

· Consider an interpreter for conference calls and site visits. If leadership at your international locations do not have a high level of fluency in English, it can be extremely beneficial to use a telephonic interpreting service for important conference calls or an on-site interpreter for site visits. These services ensure the information exchanged at your meetings is rendered and understood correctly among everyone present.

· Promote relationship building to encourage communication. When your company’s offices are dispersed across different countries, it can feel nearly impossible to have a strong connection or company culture among employees or managers who work in the various locations. This could result in issues where managers and employees abroad do not feel that they can ask questions when something is unclear. Certain projects can become delayed or neglected. To avoid these pitfalls, try to carry out regular videoconferences, or use an intranet team page for project collaboration. You could even have a “virtual coffee room” for employees to chat while on a break so that team members can get to know each other better.

Although internal communication among multinational sites can sometimes feel complicated, there are lots of ways to make these interactions run more smoothly. If you’ve got best practices for how you communicate with your international locations, let us know! We’d love to hear what works for you.

How Translation and Localization Can Save Your Brand Overseas

Creating a clever and successful marketing campaign can be challenging enough to do effectually in English. After all, marketing materials are often catchy and clever, using plays on words to get your message out in a way that effectively resonates and reaches your target audience. So, how can you make sure to overcome the challenges of translating your message to maintain these nuances of language?

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It is not enough to simply translate your materials word-for-word into another language. The translated content should have the same effect on your target audience as the original text has your English-speaking audience. Here are a couple of challenges companies may face when translating marketing materials.

· Keeping creativity in your slogan, tagline and advertising copy. Your slogan is important; it is likely one of the first things a customer sees and remembers about your company! A good slogan is catchy and easy to remember. And your translated slogan should be just as catchy or clever in the target language in order to captivate this audience in the same way.

The same can be said for all of your advertising copy, really. Marketing content often utilizes plays on words, metaphors, humor, idioms, and puns. A great translation will not be a word-for-word copy of your content. Instead, it should be an equivalent and acceptable rendition of the same humor and/or clever copy into the target language employing that language’s idioms and word plays. It should come across as naturally as possible to your target audience.

· Adapting your brand. Your brand is what makes you you. It makes you stand out from your competitors, and having a solid brand is key to winning over your audience. Your logo and imagery should be consistent in look and feel. However, there may be instances when you need to adapt some of your branding depending on the culture of the area where your marketing content will be received. This is handled via a process called localization. If your company uses a lot of red in its imagery, which can often signify passion and excitement in Western cultures, you may want to consider changing these hues when marketing in the Middle East, where red often evokes feelings of danger and caution.

You should also consider the target culture when choosing images for marketing campaigns and advertisements. You’ll want to consider what people in the target country or region find appealing (or offensive!) and make sure your content reflects that as well.

Although the process of translating your marketing materials can seem daunting, thankfully there are expert linguists who specialize in doing just that. Using a professional to handle your marketing translations will ensure you avoid potential blunders and snafus with translated content. A professional is available for every step of the process, including translating the materials in a way that renders your message clearly and naturally, and assisting you with localizing your content appropriately so that you can rest assured that your message is reaching the audience you desire in the way you originally intended. After all, your brand is on the line.