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              You’ve probably invested a lot of time into creating an image when it comes to your business. Social media, branding, and everything you do publicly as a business contributes to this. Having a brand or creating an image is useful because it helps your company generate an emotional response in customers who interact with you.

These interactions help customers determine whether a brand is family-oriented, trustworthy, strong, etc., and will lead to them being more invested in you as a brand. At Metafraze our goal is to help customers become invested in your brand across different cultures and markets. In an ideal world, your packaging or materials only need translating and then shipped anywhere. Sadly though, this is not the case.

Cultures around the world have been in development for centuries. This means that their way of doing things is unlikely to change and that your business will need to conform. This conforming isn’t bad, it just means you will have to convey the same message in a new way. A good example of this would be the Electrolux vacuum.

In the 1960s, Swedish vacuum maker Electrolux wanted to bring its vacuums to U.S. markets. To do this they created the catchy slogan “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. Unaware of slang in the United States, this translation seemed to be perfect for what they planned to do. Sadly, shoppers became confused by the slogan and their efforts were unsuccessful. That’s where localization should have stepped in to help.

Just because something can be easily translated does not mean that it will be well received in another culture. “Suck” is a slang word that does derive from “suck” and “suction”, but now means to do poorly. Electrolux telling its customers their product would do poorly was not their intention, but that became the message they conveyed. Similarly, your product and packaging may look great in their current state, but upon translation, you will need experienced localization help.

In new markets, slang, colors, and phrases may carry different meanings than where your product originates from. For your business to succeed in maintaining its identity across the globe, localization is the key. You may need to make minor adjustments to how your business portrays itself in different countries. This does not mean sacrificing your image. What it does require is understanding that to create meaningful interactions with your customers, you will not just need to speak their language, but their culture.

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