With the rise of digitalization and greater access to a wide range of tech-driven tools, more businesses are inclined to expand their operations internationally. Reaching new audiences and facing new competition both come with unique challenges, one of which is the necessity to craft a locally-relevant web presence to resonate with the new audience and stand out in the local crowd. However, simple, one-dimensional translation services are no longer enough to satisfy the needs of the growing global market. Enter: transcreation specialists. 

A rising star in the realm of marketing and branding, the notion of transcreation is slowly becoming the go-to solution that combines cultural research with translation to deliver local relevance and preserve your brand’s existing identity as well as reputation. Here’s what a transcreation specialist needs to do in order to craft a unique solution for each expanding business out there, and what it means to put transcreation to work. 


Transcending Translation with Writing

Some still confuse the idea of transcreation with the traditional idea of translation, but the practice is so much more than that. Let’s debunk this common myth by calling transcreation what it is: the process of creative writing with in-depth cultural research as its basis. Although it happens in a language different from the original, it doesn’t work as a “one for one” delivery of the same kind of content in the target language. On the contrary, transcreation relies on completely revamping the brand’s voice, design, and the entire look and feel, and it all begins with writing.

While the same concept has one manifestation in one language, it takes on a completely new form when put into a different cultural context of another language. That is precisely why transcreation specialists are primarily writers and marketers, and not translators, even though translation is indeed a part of their service.  

Crafting Market-Specific Content

The primary purpose of a transcreation specialist lies in conveying the same brand messages to an entirely new target audience. That involves significant market research and intimate knowledge of the local culture, customs, traditions, and preferences. With that in mind, comprehensive transcreation services begin with thorough research, data-analysis, and content creation that includes all those cultural finesses and local expectations. 

Unlike translation, transcreation keeps SEO in mind, as well as locally-relevant storytelling techniques that allow a new brand to “fit in” while at the same time standing out with its unique identity. A native linguist will typically look at the original content, and upon collecting enough data, they will transform it to convey the key messages to the new target demographic while relying on culturally-relevant information.

Simplifying Localized Marketing and Advertising

The resulting copy on any brand’s website is not just a translation in a new language, but also an immeasurably valuable resource for implementing marketing tactics to skyrocket the brand’s presence. If you start out with a translation only, you will typically find yourself in a mess of issues to find the kind of ad copy, social media posts, and campaign-worthy material to use. With transcreation, the trouble is significantly reduced since you’ll have access to the information you need to understand the local mindset.

This lets you market and advertise more effectively and more suitably for the local audience, to make them more receptive to your brand. When there are many competitors in the local market, you need to go above and beyond to give the local people a reason to try your brand instead, and transcreation specialists help you find that local edge.

Designing the Look, Not Just the Voice

While the voice of a brand does indeed rely predominantly on the target language, an expert in transcreation doesn’t wrap up their work with the copy alone. They delve deeper into your content by optimizing the visual aspects of your brand, its website layout, and its entire structure to accommodate the local needs. 

So, if the new market prefers the metric system over the imperial, a different currency, and imagery, your transcreation process will also alter your brand look and feel to include all of those and many other details. If, for example, your target audience consumes content from right to left, which is the opposite of how most people in the west read from left to right, they will also consider the layout.

Creating a Culturally-Driven Brand Presence

A good translation can be correct and appealing, but it can still fail to communicate in a way that is culturally relevant. Idioms are a great example, since the metaphors and imagery used in such colorful expressions vary from one country to another, created by the cultural atmosphere in that region. 

Transcreation doesn’t fail to take such idiosyncrasies into account, which enables the brand to rely on the kind of content that will portray the right image of the brand while at the same time preserving its integrity. 


In conclusion

Although AI-based translation solutions, machine learning, as well as local translators are still used in many situations by many brands, transcreation is slowly picking up as the leading approach for improving brand communication. Above all, it helps businesses gain a competitive foothold in new target markets without compromising their authentic identity and without creating a presence that the local audience cannot relate to – it’s a creative solution that is slowly transforming business expansion as we know it. 


**The views & opinions expressed in this guest post are of the guest author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Design Roast community as a whole.**


Guest Author:

Lauren is a regular Bizzmark Blog author that has many articles published with the main focus on clients who want their brands to grow in the fast-changing and demanding market. Her personal favorites are successes of small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. She goes through life with one strong moto – Kindness, always.


About the author

Lexie Lu

Hello! My name is Lexie and I have a fervor for design, writing, and coffee. I graduated with a dual major in Creative Writing and Commercial Design, and through those grueling study hours (facilitated by coffee, of course) I always found time to write for myself.

My posts feature design trends throughout all industries and show how the field is always changing. There’s never a dull moment in the design world!

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