STORES - October 2010 - (Page 54)

WORTH WATCHING / COMMUNICATION Instant Messaging Automated translation ensures seamless global brand communication BY LEN LEWIS I n the light-speed world of e-commerce, getting your message across in a clear, concise way and improving website visibility can be a make-orbreak proposition. The trick is to do it quickly, efficiently, accurately and globally. has developed search engine and content optimization tools that enable global companies with multilingual websites to localize by country, ensuring maximum exposure everywhere from Barcelona to Beijing. It has access to 5,000 professional linguists — experts in adapting websites know, for example, that they can make money by localizing their website into Japanese, but it may not be a high priority with the company,” he says. “We can do it without them having to rely on internal sources.” Language, Coughlin says, “is a subjective thing. One person’s opinion of what stand tone and style in the target market,” he says, and that means “working closely with clients to create local market versions of brand and style guides.” The company also has a division that focuses on concept adaptation. “Often banner ads or brief advertisements are conceptual in nature, and the idiomatic phrases you use to make those messages impactful don’t always work in target markets,” Coughlin says. “We have a method for adapting language like that which is separate from our usual translation process.” Finding the best linguistics resources in each market can be a challenge, Coughlin notes. “All our people are speakers of the target language, but they also have to be subject matter experts. You can’t have just anyone who speaks Japanese, for example, translating medical device technology or retail marketing jargon.” Lost in Translation • A prominent U.S. dairy campaign’s familiar slogan, when initially translated to Spanish, became “Are you lactating?” • An alcohol company concocted a fruity drink with the name “Pavian” to suggest French chic, but “pavian” means “baboon” in German. • A well-known chain restaurant’s famous slogan did not translate well when entering the Chinese market, where it became “Eat your fingers off.” • An American T-shirt maker printed shirts for the Spanish-speaking market in Miami promoting a Papal visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), however, the shirts read “I saw the potato” (la papa). and brand messages to the global market. “As reaching markets becomes a more fragmented effort, making the most of every impression becomes even more essential,” says company vice president Tim Coughlin. “This is where our expertise in adapting marketing to a multicultural audience, regardless of media, can provide immense value in connecting with consumers.” Among the company’s most popular offerings is OneLink, which Coughlin says is the fastest way to publish multilingual sites. The client’s website is monitored and replicated into the language of the client’s choice. “A company may 54 STORES / OCTOBER 2010 constitutes good language can vary widely from another. We try to adapt our clients’ branding to the target market and that means locking down the most critical industry and company vernacular so the message is consistent.” Adapting the message Sometimes language inconsistencies can occur within a single country. Coughlin cites the example of a German cruise ship company whose tagline, in German, was translated differently by three different sources — the company’s own branding department, its ad agency and its travel agency partners. “You have to under- And because search engine optimization is critical in every language, Tran focuses on adapting and validating multilingual keywords and seeding them throughout a client’s online content. The result, according to the company, will be higher search rankings, increased click rates and better ROI for international search engine optimization and marketing initiatives. StORES Len Lewis is a veteran retail industry journalist and columnist for publications in the U.S. and Europe and the editorial director of Lewis Communications, Inc. WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - October 2010

STORES - October 2010
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Customer Experience
Game Changer
Power Players
NRFtech Recap
Concept 2 Watch
Customized Shopping
Consumer Behavior
Software & Analytics
Crowd Control
Payment Fraud
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES - October 2010