In every transcreation project, brand identity overshadows everything else. We have to make sure that the global brand identity is honored in all languages of the transcreation and that the campaign messages are implemented as consistently and congruently as possible. Why do end customers or advertising agencies decide to hire a central service provider to localize their global campaign instead of developing individual local campaigns or letting the local agency branches make their own adjustments? For one, the global head office is looking for more efficiency and transparency when it comes to local cost and content. And second of all, the importance a cohesive, cross-market look and feel and a unified brand presence holds true all across the globe. The more cohesive the campaign that a brand presents, the greater the probability that it consistently resonates with consumers.
All in all, transcreation is a very complex and comprehensive localization process with a central point of contact – represented by the LSP – that ensures that all essential information is received and is communicated among and heeded by everyone involved in the project. A prerequisite for this is an equal measure of creativity and cultural affinity as well as project-management and procedural abilities. This is a skill set that can’t be taught in a classroom.
At this point, we should also mention that transcreation should be part of a family of services that covers the additional needs of the marketing localization. That is the only way to position ourselves as a consultant and to support customers in all linguistic and cultural questions. Furthermore, the translation provider offers an extremely important added value by recognizing potential localization issues in advance and, if necessary, circumnavigating them. Associated added-value services include, for example, cross-cultural checks, cultural insight and name checks.
So, every company that wants to include transcreation in its portfolio needs to encourage a culture in which the product of the translation is not decoupled from the big picture in a sole attempt to get it linguistically right. Instead, the culture should encourage services that focus on the end product and meet the needs of all involved parties. This demands a strong talent network, a huge capacity for communication on the part of the project head and a splash of good instinct. After all, managing a transcreation process requires asking a lot of questions, which some customers are not used to getting from their translation provider.
Transcreation has to be a narrowly defined product that falls in line with the internal company processes and product lines. Workflow and product specifications must be staked out precisely and methodically. This is the only way to ensure that the customer receives a distinct product distinguishable from other services. The customer has to understand what final result to expect, in terms of form and content.
Transcreation is not a cure-all for the standard differences in taste when it comes to text, but it isn’t a fleeting trend, either. Transcreation is the answer to the demand for a product that will help bring customers success in their markets without taking a detour to local marketing agencies or having to readjust or even completely throw out large portions of a global campaign. In transcreation, complex processes are centrally managed, branding and key messages are communicated in a unified manner, and everything unfolds with transparent costs and content. As a service provider, we go to bat for the customer with our internal team and form a natural bridge to global markets with an external talent network.
* In software development, localization refers to the adaptation of content to a certain geographically or ethnically divergent target group. (Source: Wikipedia)