The Importance of Effective Translations in Product Packaging


The packaging you use for your products is important when it comes to presenting a great image, not only for the product itself, but also for your business and its brand.
The product itself is the principal point of contact that customers have with your business and is usually the first thing they think about whenever your brand name is mentioned. Therefore, great-looking packaging creates an important positive first impression of the product inside but also the brand and the business. This applies whether the product was bought in a store or ordered online.

Why translate your packaging?

We all know how effective a well-designed logo and package design can be in forging a memorable impression in our minds and how these elements can come to symbolize what the product in question represents. The best logos, especially, can become internationally iconic and are totally synonymous and inseparable from the product or service itself. Whether it is food, drink, clothes or an airline company. In many cases, when such a brand becomes well-established with its prospective clientele, it almost acts as a beacon, drawing in customers of its own accord.
So once all that has been taken care of and you’re looking to get the most out of a product, you will want to expand into new markets and territories. Once you do so, the priority shifts towards individualizing marketing strategies adapting your packaging. This is where effective packaging translation comes in.

Why is it important to maintain the overall look and feel of the packaging?

Of course it is important to maintain the overall look and feel of the packaging, as we will want to keep up a degree of consistency and brand recognition, no matter what country we might be operating in. This is of course especially vital when it comes to the logo representing the brand or to the product itself, which rarely change, except where some particularly cultural clash or misunderstanding rears its head.
So while the look and feel, brand image and so forth, will usually be identical from place to place, the wording on the package certainly will not be. Not only must it be translated into all the languages required by the new markets as they open up, but the packaging translations must represent something of the culture and expectations of each place.

Why should you appeal translation agencies to avoid making mistakes ?

This is where slogans and product descriptions come in. While the basic purpose of the product will not change, the way we go about describing or promoting it very may well do. Of course a large part of this will come down to market surveys to figure out which ‘buttons’ are likely to create interest in each market, and for which the overall marketing and packaging will need to be adjusted. But beyond that, accurate and culturally sensitive translations will also play a vital role.
One way to go about this is to use a professional translation agency which usually have a team of native speakers in the required target language and that can also translate packaging into multiple different languages. It is important that a translation appears to be a piece of original writing and never draws attention to itself as having been translated from some other language. In many cases the wording on the packaging has to act as an advertisement and help the potential client make the decision to buy.

Be aware of the cultural differences

A well-worded slogan with an appropriate choice of words for the language and cultural area might be what makes all the difference at the all important point of sale. Also within the same language there may be different dialects with different nuances.
You have to be aware that each country owns social norms. So before launching a new product, you have to research all the taboos that exist on the market. For example, some religious people won’t accept their religion to be laughed at. Language might be a huge source of misunderstanding. A word might be completely neutral in a certain language but can be offensive for some other culture.
You really have to consider the communication style well. The more the culture is a low-context one, the more the language will have to be direct and explicit. While in other countries, specific customers prefer to be addressed through emotional or more rational channels.
Packaging is a very important element of your advertisement campaign. It’s basically the last communication area between you and your customer, in the buying process. And you do not want to leave a bad impression! Using a translation agency might really help you to avoid making mistakes which could give a bad positioning of your brand.

Image credit : Laura Reen