Would Your Brand Name Translate Overseas?

by | May 3, 2018 | News | 0 comments

Scaling up a business is always a huge undertaking, but particularly so if you plan to market your products overseas. You should always carry out separate market research if you do want to reach an international audience, as their tastes, likes, dislikes and so on may not entirely tally up with your target market in your home country. And the words you use may well need to be altered slightly as well to cater for this new audience.

Take a look at this quirky little story coming out of Canada at the moment. According to the National Post, a Canadian chocolate company has been making waves right here in the UK thanks to the name of one of its products… SHYTE Protein Chocolate.

Apparently, SHYTE stands for Seriously Helps You To Energise but the acronym is exactly why the brand is currying favour in the UK – as we seem to have something of a wicked sense of humour! But so too does the Canadian master chocolatier behind the protein chocolate bar.

In an interview with the news source, Kevin Richards explained that he’s more than in on the joke and it’s certainly worked wonders for sales and interest across the pond.

“I actually had to turn the ringer off my phone on Thursday night. My phone was ringing every five minutes with everything from orders to inquiries. I got asked to sponsor a soccer team in Northern Scotland. I’ve had people ask me if this is a real product,” he said.

While this was done on purpose and does appear to be enjoying success (how long term this may be remains to be seen), it’s always worth considering how the words you use in your marketing and advertising campaigns would translate if you took your brand to a foreign market.

You should always research your chosen market extensively before launching your product so you can avoid any serious issues when you do finally start selling. It will likely take quite some time and a lot of effort to get your brand ready to make the move overseas but the results will certainly be worth it.

Take a look at this blog post on Hubspot, detailing some big name brands who may have had to make a few tweaks here and there to get ahead in a foreign country. C&C Group, for example, tried to launch their Irish Mist whiskey liqueur in Germany but the word ‘mist’ in that country can be translated to ‘manure’… not quite the message the company was trying to convey, we’re sure.

And in the UK, we’re used to eating lots of Walker’s crisps, but in Australia they’re called Smith’s, in Mexico Sabritas, in Egypt Chipsy and in Israel Tapuchips.

If you’re considering aiming for a global audience and want some help or advice, get in touch with High Wycombe design agency Met One to see how we can help you reach a bigger market this year.