Bi-linguals: have you ever tried watching the TV show FRIENDS in your second language?
For those of you who have attempted this, you may have noticed that jokes that don’t translate are cut out entirely from the series.
The reason this is done?
Because if you truly want to create something that is specific to an audience, the words you use, the humour, and the references will take on a completely new dynamic as they translate across cultures, customs, and linguistic boundaries.
Sometimes, there’s a mismatch between the original content and what’s created for the target market.
And when it comes to growing your global presence without relinquishing those all-important cultural nuances: transcreation is the way forward.
So, what is transcreation?
Transcreation (a combination of both ‘creative’ and ‘translation’) is translation with a side of creativity.
It’s the process of creating highly specific content which will appeal to your target audience, whilst being well positioned against local brands so that when you’re ready to penetrate a new market you know your product will be well represented.
How can transcreation help my business reach out to the Russian-speaking audience?
The process of creative translation is highly specialised, and often involves a great deal of research and tweaking to ensure that your message is just right for your target audience. With the Russian market being surrounded with confusion and misinformation, this task is crucial for your business success.
1) Research your target market and address their needs
Every transcreation project starts with research. I always first ensure that I understand your style guide and brand book at a very granular level, as well as your target audience and their behaviours.
I need to know this because your target niche may already be addressed by local competitors, and it is important to know how these interactions have taken place in order to better inform your launch strategy and the messaging around your product.
This heavy focus around understanding your target consumer behaviours is why the process of transcreation is far more complex and comprehensive than translation: the focus is on reaching your audience in a way that maximises conversions and ROI for your expansion campaigns.
2) Position yourself against local competitors
Transcreation also involves a great deal of localised research around similar brands to yours. This is to better understand how they are currently positioning themselves in the Russian market, and how they describe the look and FEEL of their product to a Russian speaking audience.
This information will help me to craft a compelling narrative for your product as it is launched in the Russian market, without leaving any possible competitors unaddressed.
It will also give you the localised insight to inform your adoption strategy – perhaps even inspiring competitor plays or localised awareness campaigns.
3) Make jokes that don’t fall flat!
Nobody likes a poorly translated joke…
Transcreation will help you stay on the good side of your new audience and build a positive image of your brand within the Russian market.
If you’re keen to make a good impression and build long-term rapport amongst a growing market (and eager customers!), transcreation for the Russian market is certainly something to consider in your upcoming campaigns.
I’d like to hear from you: have you ever felt that a piece of content or branding was a particularly poor fit for your country? How did that make you feel?