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BizReport : Advertising : February 29, 2016

Top 3 challenges facing global brands

When it comes to supplying global content, one expert believes there are three crucial elements: brand control, local market flexibility and operational considerations. Read on for tips to take on these challenges.

by Kristina Knight

First, brand control.

"Brand control really comes down to ensuring a consistent brand identity that builds the way that global audiences see and trust your brand. This means that even though operationally, a company may be dispersed over many different regions, you want to ensure that the quality and consistency of your brand message is the same everywhere," said Peggy Chen, Vice President of Marketing, SDL. "Translation of content is crucial since most international audiences prefer to purchase in their own language. This process alone can be incredibly complex with distributed teams translating content and managing these translations in spreadsheets with multiple in-house and agency translators and copy-pasting translated content into various distribution channels."

Second, local marketing flexibility.

"Global organizations of all sizes and across industries struggle with reconciling linguistic distinctions: when KFC expanded to China, for example, its "Finger-lickin' good" campaign was inadvertently translated to "Eat your fingers off," said Chen. "Local audiences are filled with nuance: preferred products, local audience characteristics, preferred channels, preferred payment methods and preferred devices all add more considerations that must be made to be effective. This means that outside of translations, local marketers also require flexibility to tailor this message and their approach to really be effective.

Third, operation considerations.

"Operationally, once translation occurs, channel distribution and coordination with website delivery teams is paramount. At the end of the day, successfully delivering global content requires successfully delivering it locally in preferred languages, channels and devices but also delivering the right messages for that market. In many respects this is about managing the whole process and it becomes exponentially more complex with each language, region, product, brand, channel and device," said Chen.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: global advertising, global brand marketing, global content, SDL

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  • Chris Robinson

    That KFC story is apocryphal. I knew the Regional Director at the time and he told me it was a joke that came out of a briefing session in Malaysia. It was never a translation error. I would love a dollar for every time that story is told.



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