Local offices:
essential for company knowledge

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Brand and product names… what do you do with them when moving into new markets? Do you leave them as is? Or do you adjust, translate or come up with a new name altogether?
This is a big question with big consequences. Get it right, and you can see big returns. Get it wrong, and you get a big fail.

Your localization partner, with local knowledge and expertise, can help identify what would work, what not and why.

At the same time don’t underestimate the role your own local offices can play. After all, they know their target audience and sales channels best.

Get the best of both worlds

Not only does your localization partner have the insights and inroads for helping you set up a system for locally validating your brand and product names with your local colleagues, together they can also combine all linguistic and commercial information needed to make the right decision.

Below are a few examples of how a little bit of localization could have gone a long way…

When Audi released the high-end electric car e-tron, they unfortunately didn’t do their research on the name in all markets and were receiving all kinds of strange comments on social media about the name in France. Why? The French weren’t too keen being seen driving around town in a car with the French word for ‘excrement’ on the back. The name ‘e-tron’ is very similar to the word ‘étron’, the not so luxurious word for that particular bodily function.

There are also quite a number of fails of Western companies launching brands and campaigns in China.

Here are two well-known examples:

Mercedes-Benz launched in the Chinese market using the brand name ‘Bensi’. This was bad advice as it translates to ‘rush to die’.

They eventually decided to call themselves ‘Bēnchí’ or 奔驰 which means ‘dashing speed’. Lots better!

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Unfortunately, it was off to a rough start in China. They translated their name to 蝌蝌啃蜡 which roughly means ‘tadpole chewing wax’. Not a good taste.

Want to make sure your message hits your target – in any language? Yet not sure where to start exactly with localization?
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts that you need to know.

Localization:
More than just language

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When moving your brand to new international markets, researching not only linguistic differences but also colours is a big ‘Do’.

Below you’ll find a few examples of the difference in symbolism in different countries and the importance of good localization techniques.

A subtle colour used mostly for accents in branding. It represents purity and cleanliness in many countries.

In some countries, like Japan and Indonesia, it is the colour of mourning and sadness.

Most used colour for international brands. Why? It has broad appeal by conveying positive attributes like trust, professionalism and security.

On the flip side, in some countries it represents sadness or depression.

In the West, orange represents energy, excitement and adventure and is generally a positive colour in many lands.

However, in the Middle East, orange is the colour of mourning and loss, and in Northern Ireland it has negative political connotations (see example).

Do your research when using red in some countries. In China, it’s good luck, so used for weddings and celebrations.

It symbolizes mourning and bloodshed in wars in South Africa. Western countries see it as excitement, passion and danger.

Localization Fail: Orange

Telecomm giant Orange ran a campaign in 1994 in Northern Ireland using the slogan: ‘The future’s bright… the future’s Orange.’ Sounds innocent enough, right? However, the campaign wasn’t performing as well as Orange had hoped until they researched the association the Northern Irish have for orange. It wasn’t the colour or the company but a protestant-operated organization called Orange Order. The campaign was inadvertently suggesting the future lies in protestant Britain. For the pro-separatist Catholic region of Northern Ireland, this brought up strong emotions and an aversion to this brand.

Not doing research on their brand in this specific market led to distrust and a major loss of revenue.

Localization Success: McDonald’s

When McDonald’s, the fast-food franchise, wanted to start opening across Europe, they took a look at how the colours in their logo would be perceived. In the US, the brand used red and yellow. To appeal to the European market, they substituted the iconic red for green.

What was the reasoning behind this decision? From their research, it showed that Europeans in general are more concerned with health and environment. Green was a better representation of this. Today, McDonald’s generates the most revenue of all the fast-food chains in Europe and is the most recognizable.

Easy conclusion: getting to know and studying new markets before they entered majorly paid off.

Want to make sure your message hits your target – in any language? Yet not sure where to start exactly with localization?
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts that you need to know.

5 Localization Do’s and Don’ts

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Want to make sure your message hits your target – in any language? Yet not sure where to start exactly with localization?
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts that you need to know. We’ll be expanding each one weekly with more details and examples to get you on your way.
Stay tuned!

Localization: an intrinsic part of your communication strategy

Leave translation and localization until the end of your content creation process.

Include localization as a critical part of your internationalization strategy. This allows time to foresee opportunities and bottlenecks in an early stage.

Localization: more than just language

Focus only on the linguistic differences.

Take account of all differences between target groups. This includes not only the tone of voice, salutation, form of address, local dialects and information density, but also design elements such as visuals, colours, symbols and even numbers.

Differentiation: more ways than one to approach your language portfolio

Adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to your language strategy.

For all your content channels, opt for a differentiated approach to localization. Consider elements like visibility, duration of use, degree of creativity, planning and budget to determine the best type of localization, such as translation, transcreation or copywriting.

Pseudo-translation: an ideal way to prevent obstacles from popping up before it’s too late

Second guess character count in design elements.

Include pseudo-translation in the design phase to check if the translation will actually fit. This ensures that translations with languages that are longer still look nice in the channel used.

Local offices: essential for local company knowledge

Underestimate the importance of determining which content should be validated locally and which centrally.

Consult closely with your language specialist, so that they offer workflows with a review step in targeted local markets to combine the best of your company’s central and local expertise.

It’s Lindsay, eh!

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Lindsay Coghill

We have happily added a Canuck to our ranks. Our newest Localization Project Manager, Lindsay Coghill from Canada, joined us in January, acclimating remotely and meeting most of the team through video calls.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Lindsay decided to make a change and move from her native land to the Netherlands. With no concrete plans and what was supposed to be a post-university gap year, the Lowlands turned into her new home.

Lindsay

“I’m very excited to be a part of such a creative and enthusiastic team!” Lindsay says.

“One of the great things about working with Attached is that even when working remotely, there’s always someone there to offer help.”

At an early age Lindsay developed a love of reading fiction and its power to create such immense imagery using language. This inspired her to specialize in English literature and history in university and ultimately to join our team as a Localization Project Manager.

Being able to begin this new adventure and combine it with her passion for language and culture makes Attached the perfect fit. She also provides extra insight about Canadian markets that correspond with our office in Toronto.
A huge bonus!

Letter from Toronto Pt II Anticipating clear skies

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After 2 weeks of quarantine – they actually flew by because it was just like working from home with the added bonus of learning how to cross-country ski – I finally arrived in Toronto last Sunday.

My first impression was that I found it more bustling than I expected during a ‘stay at home’ order, but maybe that was because it was a Sunday. Still, many of the eateries and restaurants were open for takeout and delivery and there were lines in front of stores for curbside pick-ups.

But during this week I saw that the lockdown especially affects the small shopowners that are depending on commuters and travellers for their business. Because of the dramatic decline of people being ‘out and about’, suddenly a business model that has existed for literally ages seems out of touch with our current reality. And although I admire the perseverance of these SMEs enormously, some of them really have to adapt in order to survive.

That’s what I also discuss during my meetings with clients and business relations here in Canada. Covid-19 has propelled a massive change in consumer behaviour resulting in a strong demand for online accessibility. Companies have come to rely on their online presence, appearance and credibility like never before. And if they want to attract or retain consumers from other markets, the localization of their content should be in tip-top order.

I’ve also finished preparing our Attached office, so hopefully within the foreseeable future we will be able to have more in-person conversations while having coffee in one of the nicely decorated communal spaces at Spaces Queen West – where our office is located.

Matthijs Kooijman in Toronto

As any snowstorm in Toronto will be followed by clear-blue skies, let’s trust that this COVID-19 storm will end soon and the future will be a very clear sky for everybody.

Letter from Toronto
Quarantining in Attached style

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Although this is titled ‘Letter from Toronto’, it isn’t from Toronto. Yet.

Matthijs Kooijman Canada 2021

I write this while staying at a very nice location in the hamlet of Saint Agatha where I’m quarantining for 14 days to be able to travel on to Toronto. It’s important to me to strictly adhere to the rules and conduct all my business activities in a covid-proof manner.

Recently the Ontario government proclaimed new restrictions to try to keep COVID-19 from spreading further. This probably won’t affect me personally, but the business activity in downtown Toronto will surely slow down further.

Of course we have thought long and hard before we finally decided I would travel here. Especially with all the ever‑changing guidelines and possibilities, this wasn’t always an easy process. Yet now, it feels so good to be here!
I prefer experiencing with my own senses what’s happening in Canada instead of relying on second-hand input from people who relay the information through their own mental filters and assessments. Since we can now conceive strategies based on our own information, our planning becomes much easier, and we can make better-informed decisions about our investments and responsibilities here.

Being here physically also gives me some time to finally set up our office and arrange some practicalities, so we can hit the ground running when the travel restrictions are lifted.

Home » Archives for Attached BV

Although this is titled ‘Letter from Toronto’, it isn’t from Toronto. Yet.

I write this while staying at a very nice location in the hamlet of Saint Agatha where I’m quarantining for 14 days to be able to travel on to Toronto. It’s important to me to strictly adhere to the rules and conduct all my business activities in a covid-proof manner.

Matthijs Kooijman Canada 2021

Recently the Ontario government proclaimed new restrictions to try to keep COVID-19 from spreading further. This probably won’t affect me personally, but the business activity in downtown Toronto will surely slow down further.

Of course we have thought long and hard before we finally decided I would travel here. Especially with all the ever‑changing guidelines and possibilities, this wasn’t always an easy process. Yet now, it feels so good to be here!
I prefer experiencing with my own senses what’s happening in Canada instead of relying on second-hand input from people who relay the information through their own mental filters and assessments. Since we can now conceive strategies based on our own information, our planning becomes much easier, and we can make better-informed decisions about our investments and responsibilities here.

Being here physically also gives me some time to finally set up our office and arrange some practicalities, so we can hit the ground running when the travel restrictions are lifted.

Opening our Attached office in Toronto extends our working times by 6 hours per day. That’s a lot of added flexibility, and we want to ensure it’s as seamless as possible for the team and our clients. In this aspect, being here is very useful to give us an idea what it will be like when we officially start operating in two different time zones and incorporating this into our daily workflow.

Reactions to my being here vary across the board from ‘So cool that you’re doing this’ and ‘I’m so jealous you are actually travelling’ to ‘That makes no sense. You know everything is closed?’

I appreciate all these reactions, because they confirm one other goal: create food for discussion, for opinions, for ideas. Give serendipity a little nudge. For me, doing nothing is not an option. You can guarantee that nothing will happen then. And for us as a company, that is not an option either. After all, even if the road we take is different from what we originally planned, we always need to keep moving forward.

Which is what I did by coming here.

A localization thriller

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The American film director Stanley Kubrick still receives praise for his incredible attention to detail. His movies are noted for their unique cinematography, extensive set designs and evocative use of music. Kubrick’s 1980 screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining contains one memorable scene that is fascinating from a localization point of view as well.

That scene is when Wendy finds page after page filled with the phrase All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and she realises that her husband Jack lost his mind. Kubrick made sure to film five versions of this typewriter scene – with English, German, French, Italian and Spanish copy.

Interestingly, Kubrick didn’t opt for translating this phrase. Instead, he used well-known sayings of the respective target audiences to induce spine-chilling impact in the context of the scene:

German:

Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen
Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today

French:

Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras
What you have is worth much more than what you will have

Italian:

Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca
The morning has gold in its mouth

Spanish:

No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano
No matter how early you get up, you can’t make the sun rise any sooner

Why all this effort to type these sentences out hundreds of times, restage, direct, film and edit this one image when it is only visible a few seconds? Well, Kubrick reasoned that it would take away from the shock value if the audience had to read the translation in a subtitle at the bottom of the screen instead. Hence the choice to localize.

Be like Stanley

Key to Stanley Kubrick’s localization approach is that he managed his audiences’ expectations and kept them forefront in his mind when designing his movie’s experience. This wasn’t done at the end of the process or as an afterthought but planned from the very outset. This attention to detail is what has made The Shining legendary worldwide.

Why do we relate this story to you? It’s because this is something that you can also do when creating your own stories and marketing strategy. The level of localization your target audience expects and how that matches your expectations in terms of gains can be built into your approach. In other words, what impact do you want to make on your audience? What’s your “shock value”? For the best results, don’t make localization the tailpiece of your communication strategy.

Do you want to optimize your localization strategy, but you don’t know where to start?
Contact us! Localization is in our DNA and we’d love to help you out.

Localization – what, why and how

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In September and October this year, we were honoured to write 3 guest blogposts for the women’s entrepreneurs network GroYourBiz. Our focus was on the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of localization. For some, this is new territory so we were happy to share insights, information and tips about how localization – a very important element to effectively grow your business across the globe – can increase customer loyalty.

Below we’ve compiled the links to our 3 posts so you can also easily access them.

We’ve tried to keep them short and sweet, but as you can see, we could go on and on about localization.
If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, don’t hesitate to contact us. One of our experts would be happy to help.

Attached turns 20!

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Attached turns 20! And we want to celebrate with you!

To show our appreciation to all our clients and partners for making these past 20 years so successful, we are offering 20% off your project ordered between October 1 to October 7, 2020! Check out the conditions below.

Thanks to all who supported us throughout the past 20 years.

Here’s to the next 20!

anniversary Attached

Conditions:

This discount applies to one project using our standard rates with a total project price of minimum €200 and ordered between October 1 to October 7, 2020. Use the code ATTACHED20 in your request.

To submit a request, you can:

Don’t forget to use the special code ATTACHED20 to get your 20% discount.

From localization to
loyalty: straight to the
heart

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Loyalty   ♥   Emotions   ♥   Localization

One thing is certain: the impact of COVID-19 on the economy has underlined and bolded the word loyalty and emphasized that it is even more critical now to create active and dedicated relationships with all your partners. After all, returning customers, suppliers you can rely on and a loyal team are at the core of any business’ continuity.

But is it possible to maintain and/or expand your loyal base in these challenging times with decreased purchasing power and mobility? And if so, how do you do that? Most specifically, how do you retain and engage your loyal and devoted customers in the short term to ensure a more certain outlook in the long term?

In this blog, we are going to give you one solution to boost loyalty that is often overlooked in the customer experience chain. Yet, we think it is one of the most important when building a durable relationship with your client base.

Basics first

Although the circumstances have recently changed, the main benefits of loyalty have not. They are:

  • A loyal client base lowers customer acquisition costs
  • It increases the likeliness to be recommended to friends and family
  • Loyal customers buy more and more frequently
  • They are more forgiving

In this current environment, the last point is probably the most important. Your steadfast customers are now more likely to be forgiving when something goes wrong. And when it does, more likely to return when things are looking up again.

Loyalty   ♥   Emotions     Localization

So how do you create a loyal base? To answer this question, it is good to know the 3 main types of loyalty: rational, behavioral and emotional, with the most effective being the latter (Source: Loyalty Magazine, November 2019). Let’s dive a bit deeper into this one.

With more and more customers demanding an emotional connection to brands, a lot of research has been done on building loyalty on an emotional level and finding the most effective ways to engage to create that bond.

Such research also shows that customers who feel emotionally attached to a brand make exponentially more purchases or use of a service when reached on an emotional level. Or in numbers: 82% of consumers with high emotional engagement will always buy the brand they are loyal to when making purchase decisions versus only 38% of consumers with low emotional engagement (Source: Capgemini).

Since the most effective and lasting engagement with your customers is emotional, how do you best reach them? Simply put, in a language they understand best – their own.

English is great as a standardized option and may work well if you want to transfer basic information. But even individuals with a good level of English miss out on much of what is presented. A missed opportunity, we think, to really connect with existing and potential clients.

Therefore, we suggest adding a 5th building block to the 4 most common that we usually see for new markets’ launch plans:

  1. Creation of a great product/service
  2. Carefully chosen target markets
  3. Substantial investments in a marketing campaign
  4. Construction of a stellar website

PLUS

  1. Inclusion of localization into your strategy – to solidify an emotional reaction, make a bigger impact and closely bind your customers and other partners to you

Loyalty   ♥   Emotions   ♥   Localization

Localization increases the odds in a simple way, and as research shows, the majority of consumers prefer their user experience in their native language. For example, no less than 90% (!!!) of online users prefer to conduct transactions in their own language. They spend more time on websites in their own language and are much more likely to return and make repeat purchases. This is also true of users with a high proficiency in English. Users simply respond more positively if you are speaking their language (Source: CSA, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy).

What’s in it for you?

The above findings mean that if you are moving into new markets with your company while not adapting your content to the local audience, you are at serious risk of alienating potential purchasers or users by missing out on truly connecting them emotionally to your products or services.

Localization should be a given in any loyalty initiative. Yet, too often it is overlooked or an afterthought when planning customer loyalty strategies. This ultimately impacts the turnover.

Of course, we realize that hitting that sweet spot of an emotional reaction to build loyalty can be a challenge already in good times, yet it is even more important in today’s trying times. Let localization do the work for you and watch your customers’ loyalty and audience engagement increase.

Want to know more about how localization can support you? Then keep an eye on our next blogs, in which we get into the details about what localization is and other tools you can use to connect with your clients.

To be continued!