Consumer Language Research©: The Key to Successful Creative Translation

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What is Consumer Language Research©? How does it work? Applying market research to the translation process can help many businesses overcome challenges when implementing Consumer or Content Marketing strategies in international markets. Join Thao & Co. to learn more about this Consumer Language Research service, what benefits it can bring businesses, and how it works in this article.

With the ever-accelerating pace of the international market, many businesses struggle to keep up with global trends. Particularly in the field of Content Marketing in foreign markets, the unique distinctions and constant changes in language and culture pose enormous challenges for multinational companies when developing localization strategies.

Few realize that in Content Marketing, creativity is only a sufficient condition and efficiency is the necessary one to achieve business goals. Hence, we need to ensure efficiency before adding the creative elements to make the content more appealing. Based on this principle, Consumer Language Research is a powerful tool that helps businesses control localization quality and, more importantly, evaluate the appeal of creative content.

What is Consumer Language Research?

Every product needs to undergo market research and careful testing before it can be launched in a market. Similarly, a translation aimed at a large group of audience needs to be meticulously polished and checked for its compatibility with the consumer language.

Consumer language involves the way native people communicate and the language preferences of the target customer group. These may include dialects, slang, and other colloquial words.

Consumer Language ResearchⒸ - Thao & Co.

Consumer Language Research refers to the process of collecting and analyzing consumer language, as well as evaluating the efficiency of certain content for a target customer group. It is also a method applied in Transcreation to manage and enhance the translation quality of slogans, taglines, product names, and more. This research plays a vital role in the localization process, enabling businesses to expand into foreign markets.

As a professional translation agency, Thao & Co. makes translation quality our first priority. Our tailored Consumer Language Research© service offers a comprehensive solution for businesses. With expertise in Marketing Translation and market research, we are committed to delivering compelling transcreations that faithfully reflect your brand identity and leave a strong impression on your target customers.

When is it necessary to conduct Consumer Language Research?

Consumer Language Research is essential in creative translation projects for marketing content that represents the brand or artistic works that need to resonate with the target market. These include:

  1. ● Television Commercials (TVC): Advertisements reaching thousands of viewers on television require the dialogues, voice overs, and any other on-screen content to be carefully localized and have rigorous quality control processes in place. 
  2. ● Slogans and Taglines: These elements represent the business and help evoke the brand in the minds of audiences. Slogan and tagline translation need to ensure an emotional connection with the audience and precisely convey the original message.
  3. ● Brand and product names: Some countries require businesses to translate or transliterate brand and product names into the local language. The translation should be easy to remember and not cause misunderstandings among locals.
  4. ● Interface content: Translating apps, websites, and software includes testing the localization of all user interface elements like navigation menus, buttons, date and time formats, headers, footers, heading tags, landing pages, blog posts, and more.
  5. ● Game Localization: Translations of character dialogues, story narrations, gameplay instructions, rules, character names, and other functions should ensure familiarity, clarity, and engagement for players.
  6. ● Product Packaging: Product information, user manuals, maintenance guidelines, properties, expiration dates, and other information on the packaging, also need proper localization.
  7. ● Brochures and Catalogs: These are essential marketing documents that help persuade consumers to choose products/services. Translations of these elements should ensure professionalism and appeal to readers.
  8. ● Marketing Emails: Marketing email translations should come with catchy subject titles. More importantly, the email content should foster a connection while maintaining a certain degree of formality in the target language – all of which contribute to high conversion rates for email marketing campaigns.
  9. ● User Guides: For products with complex assembly or usage procedures, consumer language research helps ensure effective and easy-to-follow translations.
  10. ● Books, Stories, Films: The titles, posters, books, novels, and film subtitles need thorough localization to align with local culture and convey the essence of the original work.
  11. ● Other content: Any content that aims to reach, attract, and build trust with audiences needs to undergo Consumer Language Research©.

The impact of language and culture on consumer behavior

Is there any difference in consumer behavior in different countries? If you are bilingual or multilingual, you’ll easily notice that each language bears significant differences influenced by culture and lifestyle. Even with the same language, consumers in different regions and countries may exhibit different tastes and behaviors.

A study by Columbia University in the United States demonstrated differences in consumer perception when using languages that have classifiers, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and languages without this system, such as English, Spanish, and French. Classifiers are words or affixes that help classify objects with similar characteristics. For example, in Chinese, the word “ba” is used to refer to objects that can be held, like “ba yusan” which means an umbrella. However, in English, the equivalent “umbrella” doesn’t come with any classifiers.

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In an interview with two groups of respondents, one speaking Chinese and the other English, regarding their opinions on an advertisement featuring an umbrella with and without a hand holding it, the results showed that the Chinese-speaking group found the umbrella with the hand more impressive than the English-speaking group did. 

Other similar experiments between these two language groups consistently demonstrated that users of languages with classifiers were more attracted to advertisements using images related to classifiers. This suggests language factors likely have a significant influence on consumer perception, behavior, and interests.

Cultural factors also have a substantial impact on consumer behavior. Some studies have shown that Chinese-language user manuals tend to be indirect, emphasizing politeness and formality, while English-language user manuals prioritize a communicative and direct style.

Language and culture should not be underestimated when approaching new markets. So, how can you overcome this barrier and connect with consumers in foreign markets? Consumer Language Research© can help you achieve this objective.

Benefits for creative translation projects

As mentioned earlier, research shows that language and culture directly impact consumer behavior and preferences. Internationalization is an essential process for any business looking to expand globally. But at the same time, the importance of localization to attract international customers should not be underestimated. Consumer Language Research offers exceptional benefits to the localization process, helping brands make a strong and lasting impression in the minds of customers.

Guaranteed accuracy

This research is carried out on the target audience who are native speakers to collect common phrases and local industry terms. Transcreation that is customer-centric and evaluated by native speakers can guarantee the highest level of compatibility with local culture and utmost accuracy.

Stronger connections

Localization is often considered as communicating with customers in their language. When the localization resonates with consumer language, it brings customers a sense of familiarity, appeals to their choices, and fosters loyalty to the brand.

Reducing risk

There have been many cases where the transcreations ended up being misleading and, occasionally, even conveyed an entirely different meaning. For example, when Coca-Cola was first translated phonetically into Chinese, the result accidentally sounded like “bite the wax tadpole.” After much deliberation, the brand managed to come up with a much better name “Kekou-kele”, meaning “tasty fun.” The Consumer Language Research process, including content validation with native speakers, helps avoid such risks of miscommunication that could negatively impact the brand’s reputation.

Boosting Marketing Efficiency

The interview process with respondents helps evaluate the efficiency of each creative translation option and select the best translation. Thus, Consumer Language Research not only guarantees translation accuracy and appropriate incorporation of cultural nuances but also assists businesses in choosing creative translations that have the most positive impact on the target audience. This is the key to successful localized marketing campaigns.

The Consumer Language Research process

Consumer Language Research - Thao & Co.

The specific steps of this research process may vary depending on the translation agency. The Consumer Language Research© process at Thao & Co. includes the following steps:

  1. 1. Project information and consultation: After receiving project requests and information, we select the most suitable Project Manager and linguists to discuss with you how to tailor our services to your needs, devise an execution plan, and provide you with a detailed quote.
  2. 2. Project research: Our team of linguists will meticulously research the content to be translated, as well as information about your brand, and take note of any relevant issues to be addressed. At the same time, your Project Manager will establish precise objectives and the target audience for the market research company. This includes selecting suitable respondents, outlining the number of group interview sessions, and preparing a comprehensive discussion guide.
  3. 3. Preliminary Focus Group Discussion(s): During the Focus Group Discussions with selected native respondents, the translation team will pose the prepared questions to understand common phrases, habits, preferences, and perceptions of consumers regarding relevant content. This helps translators gain accurate insights and valuable reference materials for the translation process.
  4. 4. Developing a comprehensive glossary: Based on the insights collected during the discussions, the translation team will develop comprehensive translation guidelines and a precise glossary of specialized terminology, thereby ensuring the highest standards of translation quality. 
  5. 5. Translation and Proofreading: Our linguists meticulously translate content and documents, frequently referring to the glossary to ensure consistency and accuracy. For creative translation content such as brand names, product names, slogans, and taglines, multiple versions will be created along with corresponding back-translations and detailed explanations for each translation. Following this, a dedicated proofreader meticulously reviews both the terminology and content of each translation. While translating, if our linguists identify any details that might be essential for the Translation Guidelines and glossary, they can propose them to the Language Lead.
  6. 6. Targeted Focus Group Discussion(s): After proofreading, the translations will be assessed for compatibility and efficiency in these group interview sessions. Specifically, respondents provide detailed reviews and answer open-ended questions about the translations or various translation options. Their opinions and feedback inform the final translations.
  7. 7. Final Delivery: The translated documents, accompanied by comprehensive reports of the interview sessions, will be promptly delivered to you within the agreed-upon deadline. For creative translation projects, you will receive up to three translation options that have garnered the most positive feedback from the interview results. At your request, we can also provide you with additional services such as transcription or interpretation of the interview sessions.

FAQs about Consumer Language Research service©

As Consumer Language Research is a relatively new concept in the field of translation, you may have some questions related to this service. Here are the most common concerns about this service:

Is this service a worthwhile investment?

For crucial content representing your brand, such as brand names, product names, slogans, taglines, etc., this is a wise investment to ensure appropriate translations and avoid unnecessary risks.

Is this research reliable?

With a strong foundation and extensive experience in market research, Thao & Co. employs professional, efficient, and reliable research methodology. We have strict criteria for selecting credible and high-quality local market research companies for our Consumer Language Research© service.

How is the research sample chosen?

The sample comes from a pool of native speakers in the specific region you are targeting. To ensure that respondents are truly representative of your target customer segment, they will be screened based on criteria such as age, gender, profession, preferences, and other relevant factors. For instance, if the products are baby essentials, the ideal respondents would typically include women with small children. Especially for products created for specific customer groups, such as doctors, engineers, technicians, specialists, and other experts, you can opt for our Industry Terms Research© service.

Why choose Thao & Co.?

Translation Services - Thao & Co.

Working with Thao & Co. Translation Agency, you can feel the dedication and meticulousness in every word we choose. Every translation delivered to our clients is carefully crafted and proofread by our team of seasoned linguists.

We understand that every translated content is important to our clients, so our linguists are committed to providing high-quality creative translation services along with a wide range of professional complementary services to enhance translation quality.

Thao & Co.’s Consumer Language Research© service is built on our solid foundation of expertise in market research. With a flexible and efficient workflow, we’re committed to providing you with compelling translations that transcend language barriers and create a strong presence in the target market.

  1. ● A skilled team of native linguists
  2. ● Transparent process and pricing
  3. ● Strict information privacy policies
  4. ● Our proprietary platform allows for effortless and convenient project tracking

For more detailed information, please visit our Get a Quote page for a free consultation today!

Source: Thao & Company
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