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food localisation strategy

A Primer on Food Localisation Strategy

The history of advertising is full of translation fails. Some of them are not completely true however, “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” is often touted as a failed slogan translation. Legend has it that the Swedish vacuum manufacturer used it for a campaign in the US when in fact, the target was the UK market only. The agency that created it was from the UK, and the pun was intended.

However, real translation horror stories do exist. Like the one involving a Ford model named Pinto. After launching it in Brazil, Ford realised that Pinto in Portuguese is a slang term for penis.

When talking about food products in particular, getting your translations right will be the first step towards a successful launch into a new market, but it won’t stop there. To attract local consumers, there is a good chance you will have to adapt other elements of your brand, such as the logo, packaging design, product formulation and (if you have a bricks-and-mortar business) even store layout. This holistic approach is called localisation. Read more

Agnieszka-Animucka-World-Retail-Congress

Translating The World Retail Congress

One of the biggest retail events of the year takes place in Paris on the 29th September – 01 October 2014, it is the World Retail Congress. This year the theme is “Retailing in a disrupted world”. As retail faces new challenges with new technology “disrupting” the old ways of shopping and consumers behave differently, business models and strategies need to reflect this. This is especially true in my world of internationalisation and translation.

As some of you know K international works with some large retailers (like Tesco and M&S), helping them to put their products on shelves all over the world by providing a language translation service specifically tailored to the retail sector. If you are an emerging retailer and look to expand into new markets, we have the experience and knowledge to assist you in your journey. If you are already established in new markets we can work with you to improve the translation and artwork processes to smoothly run your linguistic operations. We supply a quality retail translation service starting with product specification and description and finishing on translation of your technology solutions. At all times we work along side our clients and in line with their brand message. Read more

15 Translation Resources for Retail Organisations

15 Translation Resources for Retail Businesses

Thanks to the close relationships we have developed with commercial brands, we have engineered a set of proven localisation services specifically for the retail sector. Over the years we have gained an in-depth knowledge of the retail sector and their translation requirements when it comes to getting products on the shelf abroad.  While translation may only be a small part of the global sales process when viewed in isolation, its overall importance to the success of an international retail project cannot be underestimated. Here you can find 15 of our most popular retail translation focused resources, guides and articles that have been produced over the past few years. They will help to give you an understanding of the process of localisation and the role it plays in developing an international commercial business. Read more

Buy the World a Coke

Coca-Cola may have gotten its start in America, but it’s clearly an international brand. As such, it markets to people in many different languages. On Facebook, Coca-Cola uses the social media site’s “geotagging” feature to localize the content it presents to viewers around the world. So, viewers logging in from America are presented content in English, while viewers logging in from Mexico see content in Spanish.

Unfortunately, back in August, something went amiss with the geotagging filters, and posts intended for the page’s Brazilian and Romanian-speaking fans were shown to American fans as well, according to Ad Age.

The result, especially for the post written in Portuguese (which many American readers confused with Spanish), was basically an eruption of online idiocy. Many American readers were apparently unhappy about being made to read a language other than English, and they used varying degrees of incivility to express their displeasure. Read more

Translating Brand Names for International Success

Should you translate your brand name or business name when you enter a foreign language market? What about product names?  There’s not one right answer, but the following questions can help in the decision.

Is your brand name already a word in the target language?

When it comes to translating company names and product names, one of the first considerations is whether or not the name is the same as or similar to an existing word in the target language. Words that are spelled or pronounced the same as your brand name in the target language bring their own meanings and connotations. These can either work for your brand or against it.

For example, consider the famous case of Clairol’s “Mist Stick” curling iron. It sold quite well in the United States but fell flat in the German market, where “mist” means “manure.

Canadian Mist and Irish Mist whiskeys were also hard to sell in Germany. Nobody wants their whiskey to taste like crap.

Obviously, if your brand name means something offensive or unsavory in the target language, you’ll need to consider renaming it. Read more

Translated fast food

Fast Food, Localised

Food, even fast food, is a uniquely cultural experience. To be successful in a new country, all businesses need a localisation strategy to appeal to the people who live there, and that’s especially true in the food industry. Let’s take a trip around the world with four popular fast food chains and see how it’s done! Read more

BELFRIT Supplement Industry

Why the BELFRIT Project Is a Step Forward for the European Food Supplements Industry

You’ve probably heard of the Bendy Banana Law before: it’s an EU regulation that bans bananas that have a curvature beyond a certain standard. EU detractors have often used it as an example of how intrusive the European Commission can be in the lives of its member citizens.

Although this claim has been exaggerated (there is no ban for overly bendy bananas), there is indeed a regulation that sets specific quality standards for green bananas (colour, measurements, etc.) and restricts circulation of those with an “abnormal curvature.” The Bendy Banana Law is intended to replace national classification and grading systems by a common set of rules, resulting in a complex law for what you would think is a straightforward fruit!

Certain botanicals can be cures or poisons, too, which makes classification and application beyond colour, curvature or measurement more controversial. The law should protect consumers from ingesting harmful biotoxins – stating the obvious! – so how can we make clear rules for operators that want to inform consumers of the benefits that popular botanicals such as Aloe veraGinko biloba or Panax ginseng may have?

The clarity and vagueness of the EU law on food supplements

Foods are categorised by the role they play in our diets. Some countries classify foods with medicinal properties as food supplements, whereas others consider them medicines. According to Directive 2002/46/EC, the EU states that food supplements are “concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect”, whose purpose is to “supplement the normal diet.” Read more

The Secret to International Retail

The eCommerce Futures Conference recently brought together speakers from the likes of fashion retailers Coast and Hobbs and pure-plays such as sex toy specialist Lovehoney to discuss their latest endeavours in international expansion.

Matt Curry, head of eCommerce at Lovehoney, said that for eCommerce operations to work successfully in new territories it is important to “do the stuff a start-up would do”. Established retailers, he said, should not be afraid of looking at the basics of retailing when entering foreign markets such as are you communicating with your customers in their language.

Before you commit yourself to expanding into a foreign country, you must test the market. Travel to the country, hire a local expert and visit similar businesses and companies, try and get a feel for the tacit knowledge. Make sure that your business model will survive and even thrive in this new place and be certain that you are fully aware of any cultural differences between your way of life and your chosen country. Read more

retail compliance

The A to Z of Retail Compliance: A Checklist 

Compliance is one of the most intimidating parts of international retail.  Around the world, retailers are coming under increased regulatory pressure from both governments and consumers. The more regions your business operates in,  the more difficult it is to comply with all of the different regulations. That’s especially true if your business involves potentially hazardous products like food, electronics or products intended for children.

The exact steps to retail compliance will vary depending on what your organisation sells and where you’re selling it.  That said, this checklist provides a generalised set of best practices that can help your retail organisation stay in compliance wherever you do business.

retail compliance checklist

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Translating for luxury brands

Localizing Luxury Brands

China is now the world’s second largest consumer of luxury goods (USA is first, Japan is 3rd). As the world economy grows the centre of gravity of the global middle class shifts eastwards, with this shift your customers are changing, managing a luxury brand is not what it used to be.

The key to marketing a luxury brand is the considered and precise use of language to ensure that the target market is reached. Translating existing content with a full appreciation of the colloquial and cultural implications of the text is therefore vital to an effective expansion strategy.

The style and register is always paramount – never more so than when seeking to influence the purchasing intent of foreign markets. After all, if it was as simple as running the words through Google Translate there would be little need for a strategic multi-market plan. Irrespective of the product, service or demographic, in order to effectively promote on a multinational platform, it is therefore vital that the textual content is translated with a complete linguistic understanding of each specific market. Read more