July 20, 2021
Paula Ribeiro

Expanding our business internationally can be exciting, but in order for this expansion to succeed, it is necessary to attract the international consumer and not send the wrong message, which can not only discourage the consumer from buying your product or service but can also lead to major losses for your company.

Many companies have learned the hard way that an ad or a marketing campaign must be carefully designed for a foreign audience. The translation of a brand message or a company motto, for example, is of paramount importance for a global brand as it can affect a marketing campaign even before it starts.

Learning about the culture of the new market is something that should be considered during the strategic marketing planning session. It can be said that ‘ignorance excuses no one' Proctor & Gamble was in hot waters when they introduced Pampers, a brand of diapers, in Japan. The brand’s packaging showed a stork carrying a baby with its beak, supposedly to deliver it. It was commonly used in the United States as a symbol of having a baby soon, popularized by a story of Hans Christian Andersen. But it was not the case for Japanese parents. When the company finally did their research, they found out that the Japanese were hesitant to buy the diapers because the association of a baby with a stork is not part of the folklore of the Japanese. In Japan, babies were delivered to parents by huge peaches floating in the river.

In most cases it is difficult to translate a marketing campaign from one country/language into another, simply because they belong to different cultures. So, what is the solution to avoid this type of flops? Once again, work with professional and competent linguistic is the solution!

Paula Ribeiro
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