For a brand to succeed, it needs to localize for each market but avoid brand fragmentation. To achieve this, it’s important to find your voice, define your terms, and ensure brand consistency.
1. FIND YOUR BRAND VOICE
Your brand voice should be consistent, but your tone will change depending on the audience. Therefore, it’s essential that you build a clear tone of voice guide for each market, making sure the adaptation stays close to the core brand. Accuracy is important, but you also want to message your content in a tone that is on brand, culturally appropriate and suitably engaging.
WHAT IS A TOV GUIDE?
A ToV guide includes guidance on common grammatical, spelling and editorial queries. It also contains examples of what to say, how to say it and what to avoid across a multitude of formats and channels.
WHY USE A TOV GUIDE?
To ensure consistency, it’s good to get your tone of voice down in writing, especially when the content should be localized in an increasing number of languages and varying target cultures.
2. DEFINE YOUR TERMS
It’s also recommended that you create and maintain a glossary in each language, or at the very least for your priority markets.
WHAT IS A GLOSSARY?
A glossary is a database that allows you to define specific terms relevant to your company, brand or industry. These terms will ensure consistency across all communication channels. A multilingual glossary contains the master language glossary along with an approved translation or localization of these terms.
WHY USE A GLOSSARY?
The more content you create, the greater the need for consistency. Every time you add more languages, locations, products or acquisitions, the data volume increases. As a result, inconsistencies become more likely, and terminology can spiral out of control. Clarifying terminology upfront will save you frustration, time and money later on.
3. ENSURE BRAND CONSISTENCY
If you’re localizing large volumes of similar content into the same languages, a Translation Memory (TM) is an effective way to ensure consistency and save time/money.
WHAT IS A TRANSLATION MEMORY?
A Translation Memory is a translation database that automatically stores text.
WHY USE A TM?
A TM is effective when the content for translation contains a lot of repetition. Any duplicate segments will be translated consistently, using the previously approved, accurate translations.
SECURING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
In your people selection process, you should recruit copywriters and linguists who match your brand personality and can effectively capture and communicate it accurately.
Quarterly content audits can also help ensure copy is consistently on brand across all markets.
By keeping these three considerations in mind, you can avoid losing your brand voice when you expand into other markets.