When you start to create your business, you will quickly notice how many things you need to keep in mind to create a consistent brand. Your business brand image should be inextricably connected to your mission and core values. That, on another hand, is something that is strictly tied to what you want your business to become in the future and who is your audience.
So you brainstorm with your marketing team, creative writing experts and graphic designers to create what you think will conquer the world – your brand. It’s already a lot to work on and the bad news is that it’s just the beginning. When everything goes as planned and your business grows to be a global one, you have to make efforts to localize your brand as well.
But… how do you localize a brand? Today, we will focus exactly on that – creating a consistent brand whose message is fully localization-proof. Are you ready?
There’s something weird about colors – they are never immediately noticed, but they immediately evoke feelings among your audience. Since evoking emotions is something that your brand should definitely master, it sounds like the absolute first thing to do is picking the colors you want to use, and why.
Of course, this is just a simplified explanation, but it’s good to remember that for example, red catches the attention of the eye and symbolizes energy but the excess of red will make your audience overwhelmed, green is usually associated with nature and while dark blue stands for professionalism, it may be also perceived as gloomy and over-conservative.
The tricky part is localization. Depending on the target market, you may want to change the colors used on your website, as the colors may have different cultural meanings in your new target market. While purple might be considered mysterious and royal in the Western cultures, it’s not the best to make it your color of choice when targeting Thailand or Brazil, where it evokes the feelings of sadness and is strongly associated with death.
Any type of pastel color, on the other hand, is considered aesthetically pleasing and generally safe for your brand. Check out the color tables here and get inspired!
If you are not aware of that yet – the imagery is everything! Your product may be a game-changer, your content may be great – but if your website is full of images that don’t fit the branding, or even worse – bad quality images or images that don’t load, you just made a so-called ABC mistake. Your potential customer is a visual being that has just chosen your competitor, whose graphic design is coherent and most importantly – doesn’t break anybody’s sight.
That’s why one of the most important steps, when you want to build a consistent brand, is choosing the images you will use on your website. The images also need to be in line with the color scheme you chose for your website. The easy way is to choose images which support what your brand and website stand for – for example, it will be relatively easy to pick images for ‘green companies’, related to nature.
Localizing images for other markets may be a bit more tricky. While a happy couple holding hands and kissing might be appropriate for Western markets, it will most likely spark outrage on the Arabic version of your website. The best thing to do is to ask for feedback from experts on the matter or to go completely neutral. Read more about choosing images for your localized website here.
The best advice for those who just start to build their brand would be to create content that is very yours, having a certain style and feel to it, but to have the localization in mind when writing it. Like this, you will create a perfect balance between the branded message and an easy-to-understand language.
Remember that the more plain and simple your content is, the easier it is to localize it. However, it’s worth remembering that at the same time, a message that is less personal has less power to get to your audience. If you want to have a consistent brand that’s localization-proof, you have to be somewhere in the middle.
If you already have a fully-branded website that you want to localize, there’s a process that you need to follow. From choosing the content you actually need to translate (like dropping your blog for now), to translating important things, such as your metadata to ensure successful SEO, there is a lot you need to do to make sure that your message and company values are presented properly to the new markets you are entering.
Many of you will need help for these individual steps, or at least advice on how to get started. Feel free to reach out to us, and we will explain what you should do, and when!
Remember that good planning and a clear idea of what you need to do in terms of the website layout and the content itself is a necessary first step. Once you have made the first step, everything becomes easier!