How to maintain brand consistency during localization

how to maintain brand consistency

Imagine your brand’s message traveling effortlessly across continents, resonating with audiences everywhere. That’s the power of successful localization. But without careful planning, your brand voice can get lost in translation. Learn about brand dilution and how to maintain brand consistency during localization to ensure your brand voice remains distinct no matter the language it’s served in.

About brand dilution

Brand dilution is a potential pitfall during localization, where the process of adapting your brand for a new market weakens the overall brand image. And this can happen for several reasons. For instance, inconsistent translations or adaptations across different regions can confuse audiences and weaken the brand’s core message. Imagine a company’s slogan being witty in one language but sounding awkward in another.

Over-adaptation to local preferences can also stray too far from the core brand elements. Let’s consider a brand known for its premium image, if it were to offer budget-friendly options in a new market, it might dilute its value proposition. This is why it’s important to maintain brand consistency across languages.

How to maintain brand consistency

Here are a few actionable steps you can take to ensure that your brand stays true to itself while speaking the language of every market.

Develop a strong brand foundation

Craft a story about your brand – its core values, personality, and the kind of feeling you want to evoke. This will be your guiding light as you translate your message for new audiences. Think about how your brand “talks.” Is it playful, professional, or something else entirely?

It would be helpful to create a guide that showcases your brand’s visual identity – logos, colors, fonts, and the kind of imagery that best represents you. It helps the localization team understand your brand, and ensures a recognizable brand look and feel no matter where you go.

Embrace localization, but with guidance

Speaking of which, another way to help your localization team and marketing partners understand the cultural landscape of your target market is by providing them with a cheat sheet with key brand terms and their approved translations or adaptations for different languages. This keeps everyone on the same page, thus avoiding any confusing misinterpretations.

Use transcreation

Instead of literal translation, consider transcreation. Short for “creative translation,” this is a localization approach that goes beyond direct translation to adapt content creatively. Transcreators carefully adapt messaging to ensure it resonates with the cultural sensibilities and preferences of the target audience while staying true to the brand’s voice and message.

Leverage technology for consistency

There are software programs that can streamline the localization process, manage your brand assets, and ensure consistency across all your projects and regions. Localization software like POEditor, for example, offer features such as translation memory, which stores previously translated segments, and glossaries, that are especially useful for maintaining consistency in terminology and ensuring that translators use approved and preferred translations for specific terms or phrases.

Collaborate and seek feedback

Assemble a team to review and approve all localized content before it goes live. This dream team will see to it that everything aligns with your brand guidelines and maintains a consistent message. And do keep the conversation flowing with your marketing partners in different regions; try to understand their challenges and provide ongoing guidance on keeping your brand message on point.

Talk to the locals too! Who better to tell you if your message is landing than the people you’re trying to reach? Native speakers in your target market can give you invaluable feedback. Keep an eye on how people in your new markets perceive your brand to identify any inconsistencies or areas for improvement in localization.

Final thoughts

Localization is an ongoing journey, which makes maintaining brand consistency an ongoing effort too. Remember, consistency doesn’t mean uniformity; it’s about creating a cohesive brand experience that resonates with different audiences. With extensive research about the markets you want to conquer and an approach based on feedback, it becomes easier to not lose sight of your core brand identity.

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