An efficient start is to peep into what your market competitors usually do in that field, how they adapt their product presentation to customers from the target markets. The basic thing is to make the product or service interesting and easy to understand for potential clients. So the more useful information they will be able to find on the site, the better.
This will spare time for customer support. Even though you can easily translate the queries with translation tools to get the idea, never send machine-translated replies. So, expect questions from new countries and hire a professional to translate the answers.
Make sure that your website content won’t sound confusing, perplexing, or rude in the target language. Therefore use the service of human translators with proficient language skills and seek a native speaker’s advice whenever possible.
Logos require particular attention in this regard. Examples of inappropriate ambiguity and misuse include Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux by the renowned Scandinavian brand in the U.S. market or the failure of Blue Water in Ukraine since it sounds very similar to ‘puke’. Another unsuccessful instance was the attempt of General Motors to expand in Latin America with their Chevrolet Nova while ‘no va’ means ‘can’t move’ in Spanish.
The best solution for this situation is to test the translation and rebrand or paraphrase the slogan if necessary. Thus, the Coca Cola Company could not use their exact brand name in China as it translates to ‘bite a wax tadpole’ in Chinese. They checked several thousand variants, finally excelling with Kekoukele representing their trademark and sounding perfect for a Chinese ear. It means ‘happiness in the mouth, tasty fun’.
When it comes to logos and website localization, it is brilliant to use:
- pun (a play on words).