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  • Foto del escritorMaría Palomares Tarí


Generate high-quality leads, increase revenue or establish industry authority are some of the main things marketing can do for a business. Besides, one of its primary goals is to raise brand awareness of products and communicate their benefits so that people will want to buy them. However, for this purpose, it is essential to speak to the heart of the target customers, just for them to feel your product has been specially created for their local market. And this is when localization takes its part.

Localization is the process of adapting a brand, product, or service for a specific local context. Basically, localization aims to customize. In fact, with personalization being the name of the game now, customers prefer to buy from brands that they can relate to in terms of values, aspirations, and of course, language.This loyal base of local customers, who hold your brand in high regard, may then need less persuasion to place orders with you.

However, it is also very important to check whether your name, logo, or tag line means something different in the regions where you're expanding. For that, it is essential to work with professionals if you are aiming to localize your business or brand. Facts just speak by themselves, and if not, just take a look at five of these top international marketing mistakes and pitfalls:

  • Braniff International translated a slogan touting its finely upholstered seats "Fly in Leather" into Spanish as "Fly Naked.” The ad boasts of Braniff’s leather seats, saying in Spanish fly en cuero, or in leather. But the similar en cueros means naked, and when pronounced on radio or television, the two terms sound identical.

  • Frank Perdue's tag line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," got translated into Spanish as "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate.”

  • When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life" pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”

  • In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.

  • The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem-Feeling Free", was translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”

  • Japan's second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.

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