Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to marketing your products and services to foreign markets. When you decide to go global you must make sure that somebody is fine tuning your marketing strategy for each specific market. Every country is different and all cultures are different. Don’t assume that things translate properly. Business Courses Online that revolve around marketing to a specific country can really help you avoid these issues.
When it comes to marketing in China specifically business courses online might have helped stop these major marketing fails.
- When Coca-Cola first marketed itself in China the company’s name was translated as, “Bite The Wax Tadpole”. Not very tasty sounding eh?
- The iconic slogan from KFC in America has always been “Finger lickin’ good.” but marketers thought it would be a good idea to translate it literally or directly into Chinese Mandarin and that was a big mistake with consumers thinking they’d end up maimed if they ate at KFC. The famous slogan was translated as, “Bite your fingers off.” Uh oh.
- One of Pepsi’s newer slogans “Pepsi Brings you Back to Life” was also debuted in China unsuccessfully when it was translated as, “Pepsi Brings you Back From the Grave.” — Creepy.
Another important thing to consider when going into any new market is what is considered offensive in that area. All cultures are different and you can get away with certain marketing techniques in some places that wouldn’t fly in others. You want to be edgy, but you also want to err on the side of caution.
It’s important to be conservative in your marketing approach early on, lest one of your great attempts at copywrite send you to the ash heap of history as a marketer.
Please don’t be arrogant and assume that all things in an Asian language translate properly phonetically. Countries that still use Chinese characters (mainly China and Japan) will notice your mistake quickly because the characters all have meaning that you might not have considered and as you compound your phonetics together you might create a slogan that comes off awful to native Mandarin, Cantonese or Japanese speakers.
At the end of the day if you want to be able to successfully navigate foreign markets you should learn from a professional and get tutored in the subtle nuances of the market you intend on expanding into and take some time to learn a bit of the language, it can really go a long way to helping you close great deals.