Transcreation & Translation: Mastering Marketing Across Borders

As consumers, we don’t usually stop to think about how our favorite global brands are able to communicate the same message to people all over the world. And yet, time and time again, they deliver cohesive advertising across borders, considering hundreds of placements, languages, cultural nuances, and more.

But as marketers, we know all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make that happen. We know that subtle mistakes or inconsistencies can distract from our goals and disconnect us from our audiences.

At Assemble, we’ve helped countless brands maintain consistent messaging and identities across all of their campaigns, while resonating with their audiences in the ways they understand more personally. That means translating copy into different languages, ensuring visuals are culturally appropriate, representing locations accurately, and more.

Recently, we’ve helped an agency translate their US-based client’s 36-page sustainability report for their teams in Mexico. Here’s what that process looked like:

The Challenge

A long-time agency client came to Assemble with a special request out of their realm of capabilities. They recently helped their client, one of the world’s largest privately held suppliers of post-patent crop protection products, create an annual sustainability report covering all of the company’s efforts and achievements in 2022. But with a large majority of their team based in Mexico, they needed that report seamlessly translated into Spanish, ensuring all copy and imagery was understandable and appropriate for this new readership.

Not only was it extremely important for internal stakeholders to have all this information at their disposal, but it was also important to the company that their Mexico-based teams felt equally connected and represented as their US counterparts.

The Approach

Assemble assigned a designated project manager to spearhead all communications and collaboration with the agency, who held a kickoff meeting to ensure all their project goals were understood.

“We wanted to make sure we knew exactly what was needed from us, as well as any specific punctuation or grammatical rules needed to be applied,” Karem Moreno, Digital Production Project Manager at Assemble, explained. “Being a formal document that is crucial to company funding and partnerships, we had to make sure every translation was refined and precise, avoiding language gaps or informalities that would distract from the overall message. In this project, there were several titles or brand names that involved acronyms, so even understanding which cases wouldn’t be converted to Spanish was an important element to help us minimize rounds of reviews and approvals later on.”

Assemble collaborated with a professional translation resource from our close network, conveying all the client directions and working through any additional questions that came up after his additional review. We established timelines for the translation and feedback, as well as an internal Quality Assurance (QA) inspection.

The Results

Once in the Assemble QA team’s hands, a final review was conducted. Given the thoroughness of this process, the team was able to identify a few inconsistencies in grammatical accents and design orientation that needed adjustment based on the new copy they contained. The edits were reviewed with the translator and adjusted accordingly, so the report was ready for final production.

Through expert translation and several thorough reviews internally, the Assemble was able to provide the agency with complete accuracy and reassurance that their client’s message would remain consistent, yet critically relatable to all of their internal teams and stakeholders across the globe.

The Importance of Transcreation / Translation & Helpful Tips

If you want to reach audiences more meaningfully, brands have to communicate with each individual in a way they understand. That seems simple enough — but it’s not just about getting your message across clearly. Translation and transcreation are invaluable to connecting with people on a deeper level. Failing to understand important nuances or missing the mark on tone and style are sure ways for them to lose the comfort and trust they need. It shows a lack of understanding in what they need and what they expect from a brand that cares.

Consumers are looking to you to be the expert and want to know they can rely on you to provide the information and clarity they need. Whether it’s on your website, through ads or email, or in a social media conversation, your content matters. And if you can’t deliver flawlessly, they’re going to find someone else who can.

Here are some tips to help make the transcreation / translation process more seamless:

  • Have clear expectations on what your client wants from the translation/transcreation. What are the technical requirements or limitations? Who is it meant to serve? How will the content be used? Every global market has different nuances that lead them to interpret things differently, so make sure you know what the project needs to achieve, so you know what to do to get it there.

  • Come prepared with the right questions. From the tone of voice, the level of formality, the brand personality — all of this needs to shine through, but in a way that makes sense with the new demographic. Brand consistency is important regardless of the market.

  • For translators, read everything out loud. It’s much easier to hear the mistakes and understand them when you allow yourself to slow down to say each word.

How Assemble Can Help

Along with our growing needs and expectations of our global clients, Assemble is eager to evolve our transcreation and translation capabilities using their direct feedback as our foundation. We are growing our translator network across multiple languages throughout European and South American countries, with plans to expand into Asian demographics to help our clients create successful campaigns and interactions with all of their audiences across every market they serve.

To learn more about how Assemble can help you communicate your message seamlessly across borders, contact us today.