If you are managing global communications for your organization, you have to consider how your brand identity and translations of your global content impact each other. The centralization of brand messaging is the first step in creating a consistent brand identity. When it comes to multilingual communications however, some organizations rely on local experts to market and sell their products. These types of organizations must find a balance between ownership of their messaging at the corporate level to protect their brand identity and allowing for customization of their communications by local experts such as their in-country distributors. If the distributors have full control of creating the messaging used to market this company’s products, the company may have no way of knowing whether the distributors always adhered to the guidelines and messaging on their U.S. packaging/product/communication. This is a classic case of an organization risking brand dilution with no way to evaluate which claims were being made or how their brand appeared to buyers.
Brand identity and translations with marketing claims
A company’s competitive advantage may be driven by the claims that are made to entice buyers to purchase their products. A marketing strategy centered around a specific claim may work in one market while it would not be effective – or even legally acceptable – to make such a claim in another country. If the organization wants to establish control over their global content, they need to ensure that each country’s legal requirements are being met by taking ownership of the messaging and ownership of the distributor relationship in regards to their control over the messaging. These distributor experts can provide insight into the target market and how best to approach buyers. The distributors sell the product and should be involved in choosing terminology used in the brand identity and translations. Terminology management could become the central focus of this strategy to strengthen the brand, engage the distributors and “hear” their voice and provide linguistic evaluation for the organization to “own their messaging.”
A key objective for organizations and one of the 6 metrics we have identified in the area of Strategic Readiness for Localization Maturity is to “Establish control and ownership of messaging to protect brand reputation and identity.” We offer an online assessment in our global communication audit for you to find out the gaps in your organization.
In the Balanced Scorecard framework, this metric falls under Quality.
Mitigation of risks with this objective include:
- Brand management
- Legal requirements
This metric in the LSI Client Mentor Program™ provides an action plan of 6 steps that an organization must evaluate and act upon for this objective. The organization is then measured not only on a number of quantitative issues but also on their change of perception in their commitment to the objective. A score of “ingrained” with this metric is one more measurable way to move this company efficiently along the path of the Global Communication Maturity Model™. The benefits of having a centralized approach with well-defined roles and responsibilities can lead to an efficient and repeatable process for the management of your global communications. It can be applied to each new market as an organization expands.
We work with organization to increase global competency and to build their Localization Maturity. Don’t dilute your brand! Work with a language service provider that understands strategic objectives and has built a process management system for the localization industry to identify key metrics and provide guidance to organizations as they grow with management of global content. Could we be the right fit for your organization?