Textappeal | Textappeal
1
archive,author,author-admin,author-1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-3.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.1,vc_responsive
 

Author: Textappeal

japanese entertainment and how the xbox failed to localise in japan

How the Xbox Failed to Capture Japan

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Following the much anticipated reveal of their latest console, codenamed project Scorpio, Microsoft chose the E3 conference to unveil the Xbox One X. Given that this new, formidable spec will easily make this the most powerful console on the market, being 4k and VR enabled, it is unsurprising that there is global excitement in the gaming communities to give this baby a whirl. However, there is one place that the Xbox brand has never been able to gain a solid foothold: Japan.

Since the release of the original Xbox in Japan sales have lagged, with cheaper and weaker consoles taking up the market share. As the Japanese gaming market was estimated at being worth $12.4 billion in 2016, making it the 3rd largest in the world, it would be hugely detrimental for Microsoft to continue to allow this disconnect to stand. The question to ask is, what chance will the Xbox One X have of gaining cut-through if Microsoft are unable to address the fundamental issues they have with engaging the Japanese gaming communities?

 

Are Japanese loyal to local products?

The most commonly cited excuse is that Japanese consumers are typically hostile to foreign products, with their intense brand loyalty to the ‘home-grown’ giving Playstation the significant edge. This doesn’t ring true however, in that there are several examples of foreign companies dominating the market in Japan. Amongst these is in fact Microsoft, as their PC Windows platform is being employed on more than half the computers in Japan and by almost double the number of users of their nearest competitor, Apple.

Apple themselves have also seen huge success in the Japanese smartphone market. With smartphone use at almost 94% in the country, the iPhone has an amazing 51.7% of market share. As hard as it might be for Xbox marketers to admit, they cannot hide behind excuses, but have clearly failed to present their product in a way that engages with the Japanese market. One problem Xbox are still struggling with, and where the Microsoft OS and Apple smartphone have excelled, is the assurance of exceptional product quality which is integral to attracting the Japanese consumer.

 

Xbox vs Playstation: quality vs variety

The Xbox brand suffered a cataclysmic blow with the Xbox 360 ‘Red Ring of Death’ saga. The severe overheating issue which cost Microsoft around £1.15 billion and resulted in consoles needing to be replaced became an international news story, tarnishing the consumer trust in the Xbox brand. With Playstations lasting for 10 years without problems, the comparison would have only confirmed Japanese consumer’s beliefs that their money would be more wisely invested in Playstation.

Microsoft’s next launch, the Xbox One, would have been a huge opportunity to regain consumer trust, but sadly this too failed to capture the hearts of the Japanese consumers. Despite quality trumping localisation, when given the choice between two quality consoles, the general consensus indicates that the Japanese market has been swayed by the much larger library of games, both Western and Japanese, from Sony. By refusing to localise their offering, Microsoft are already alienating this market and losing their share of a vast gaming industry.

 

Did Xbox do right with localisation?

Stylistically, the Japanese game designers take a very different approach to storytelling than Western creators, meaning Western games are not necessarily going to connect as well with the Japanese audience. Deviating from the Western market’s love for the first-person shooter genre, the Japanese games industry skews heavily towards the JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) and slower paced, narrative driven Japanese video games. As is true of all consumer groups, Japanese audiences value feeling like brands are directly addressing their needs and values, but by excluding these from their catalogue, Microsoft show they are not strategising with the Japanese gamer in mind but maintaining a Western-centric approach within their local market.

 

Cultural factors are paramount

To gain a deeper understanding of what other cultural factors might inhibit this brand’s appeal translating into the Japanese market, we asked one of our expert Japanese transcreators for their opinion on what’s stopping the Xbox brand from connecting with their market:

“Firstly, Microsoft made a huge blunder by bundling the Xbox One with the Kinect, a motion detector that could also be activated through voice commands. For this technology to be successful it must always be left on. This fails to understand fundamental Japanese cultural factors such as the importance of privacy. An always on system is unappealing to most Japanese households because it’s a constant surveillance which naturally is incredibly intrusive.

Secondly, most Japanese apartments are so small there is almost no room to utilise the motion reactivity which is a key selling point of the Xbox One. There’s certainly no room to sufficiently move around for games such as Dance Central.

The design sensibilities of the Xbox series are clearly based on a western lifestyle and consistently fail to take into account an average Japanese person’s living conditions and environment. If Microsoft are unable to target the Japanese market with a more nuanced approach, I would have sincere doubts about the new console seeing any more success than its predecessors.”

 

How to connect with the Japanese market?

At the very least, Xbox are trying to address the issue of ignoring the Japanese viewpoint on their consoles. Xbox division head Phil Spencer’s recent trip to Japan has been publicised as a way that they are trying to connect with and gain credibility within the Japanese market. By getting Japanese game developers on board and discussing their anticipation of the latest console launch, Spencer seems to be attempting to quell the consistent fear that Xbox will continue to neglect the Japanese games market. Unfortunately, this also comes with the news that a number of games, including Nier, will not be available on Xbox.

The question that remains is can Xbox overcome the many blunders it has had in Japan since the first Xbox and regain its reputation? Even if they do manage to do that they will still have to prove that the Xbox One X is worth buying over the Playstation, which still appears to be far more in tune with its home audience.

 

Read More
Advertising facts from all over the world - a textappeal Infographic

Advertising Facts From All Over The World

  |   CultureShocks Blog

For advertising to really hit home in its respective markets, its vital to have the subtlety and depth of understanding of the culture behind the words. Some brands navigate this beautifully, bringing their voice and message into the hearts and minds of consumers around the world, whilst others fall woefully short of the mark with comical blunders. By not considering the idiosyncrasies of the markets they want to tap into, brands can find the message they have worked hard to tailor to their audience becomes disastrously lost in translation.

 

Some brands have really struggled to ensure their advertising campaigns navigate the cultural differences across target markets. Messaging, imagery and ideas which work in their central market might not have the same resonance or associations with consumers in say Argentina or South Korea. If you’re looking to connect with your global consumer base, these cross-cultural barriers need to be addressed and overcome, and who better to help with that than local transcreation talent. This infographic presents just a few of the interesting and funny advertising facts from around the world which showcase the individuality of specific markets.

 

(Click infographic to enlarge.)

Advertising facts from all over the world - textappeal infographic

Share this image on your site

Read More

10 reasons you should translate your website

10 Reasons Why You Should Translate Your Website

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Content production takes tremendous strategy, effort, and analysis. Crafting blogs, infographics, image quotes, and related materials that garner attention, educates, and convinces consumers takes serious finesse. You also have to ensure that articles and social posts are more effective than the competition and still adhere to SEO best practices. Tackling all these nuances feels like a herculean task.

Considering content creation is an increasingly challenging undertaking, shouldn’t you try to get the most out of your materials?

Then consider translating your content into other languages to reach new audiences. There’s no reason why everything you create can’t go global.

English, despite being spoken by roughly 1.5 billion people (or about 20% of the global population), accounts for more than 51% of all content online.

This divide presents massive opportunities for brands who are willing to go the extra mile to capitalise on underserved markets.

While many opt for translation plugins to try to fill this void, these are not the best ways to translate a website or its content. This is because such automated tools do not understand the nuances of many languages, often creating nonsensical translations; this could actually damage your reputation and alienate audiences.

Here are 10 compelling reasons to get started transcribing your website content right away.

 

1: Increase Your Customer Base

 

In the global economy, effective website transcreation is necessary for a variety of reasons.

In order for brands to capture overseas consumers, webpages must be served in their native tongue.

Various studies have indicated that roughly 72% of consumers spent the majority of their time online visiting websites in their first language. The same number of people also state that they are more inclined to make a purchase if the product info is in a familiar dialect.

Furthermore, from a psychological standpoint, we know that global shoppers are less likely to purchase an item from a site that is not in their native language and the vast majority always visit websites that feature their preferred language. It makes sense that people want a shopping experience in their native tongue wherever possible.

 

2: Your Company Ships Internationally

 

Many websites and ecommerce stores cater to foreign crowds with international shipping and various currency payment options. Despite this, many of these sites house English-only content.

By providing customers with product information in native languages, you greatly increase the chances of making a sale.

 

3: Your Competition has a Multilingual Website

 

If your competition is serving a variety of audiences around the world through a multilingual site, they are likely capturing more eyeballs and revenue online.

The longer you go without a translated version of your site, the stronger your competition grows across global communities.

 

4: Be a Global Powerhouse

 

On the other hand, if your rivals don’t boast a multilingual website, you are presented with a fabulous opportunity to capitalise on this fact and create custom content for foreign consumers. Many of these folks will no doubt be your loyal customers even if your competition steps up its game.

 

5: Data Indicates Translation is Logical

 

When digging through your site’s traffic data, you might find that your visitors’ geographic data is more diverse than expected.

If you are gaining sizeable volumes of foreign traffic, determine what languages these folks speak and seize the opportunity to capture this business.

 

6: Enhance International SEO

 

Global SEO is one of the most effective strategies for developing an international presence as this will ultimately drive traffic to your site, generate leads, and boost other supporting factors. Most importantly, keeping an international SEO strategy can skyrocket your conversions, which is the heart of any successful online business.

The best way to translate a website and optimise it for multilingual SEO purposes is to hire a transcreation agency with search engine expertise.

 

7: Increase Time on Site

 

Most translated websites receive the added SEO benefits of lower bounce rates, greater user interaction and time on the site.

This will not only help your international SEO efforts but it will also increase the chances of making a sale.

 

8: Cost Efficiency

 

In addition to website translation services, contributing to a site’s bolstered international presence is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching foreign audiences.

By providing your website’s content in a variety of languages and showing users how to change languages on pages, you can effectively capture new users, build confidence with shoppers, and reap a multitude of other benefits.

 

9: Build Trust Worldwide

 

Online consumers typically only shop with websites that they deem trustworthy.

When a site is in a language that people don’t understand, they are more likely not to trust it.

A site that is thoughtfully and accurately presented in a variety of languages, however, gives an air of polish, authority, and global credibility that helps to form significant consumer confidence. A multilingual site gives consumers the impression that the brand cares deeply about their experience.

 

10: Build a Stronger Brand

 

Whenever a brand is able to establish a foothold in foreign markets, it reaps the benefits of strengthening its brand on a global scale.

Nike, Pepsi and Amazon did not become the household names they are today by providing audiences with English-only content.

While these reasons for website translation are informative, you may still be at a loss in deciding which languages to focus on for your translation efforts.

 

Choosing Languages

The first step in figuring out how to build a multilingual website is to establish which languages will be supported.

The more options you choose, the more costly the project will be. It is important to note, however, that not all languages cost the same.

Considering this, it is vital that you account for the size of your budget when studying the countries that are already visiting your site and which languages those people speak.

There are certain languages that are likely to be more fruitful in your translation efforts, but this will probably vary from brand to brand.

Translating your website brings a multitude of benefits; increased sales, stronger brand image, higher international SEO rankings, and many more business perks. The best way to translate a website that converts and boosts your brand is by hiring an agency that intimately understands a language’s intricacies so as to not develop content that appears foolish and turns off the demographic you were looking to convert.

Your site’s success may very well depend on how much you cater to an international audience. Don’t limit your reach to just one language; intelligent localisation can be the single most powerful choice you make for digital business dominace.

 

 

Read More
junior translation project manager in London

New Job Offer: Junior Transcreation Project Manager

  |   News

*Update 4/09/2017: this job offer do not accept more applications. The position has already been filled.

 

A fantastic opportunity for enthusiastic graduates seeking to develop a career in transcreation.

Starting date: early September.

Salary: 18k

 

Key responsibilities include:

 

  • Offering support, including project coordination, to our worldwide network of copywriters, writers, editors and strategists as well as project quality checking
  • Expanding our worldwide network of copywriters, writers, editors and strategists

 

Essential skills required:

 

  • Transcreation or linguistic education background
  • Interest and understanding of the fashion industry (any level of previous experience in fashion and retail is advantageous)
  • Copywriting skills (fashion blogging would be ideal)
  • Fluent in written and spoken English.

 

Desired skills:

 

  • Organisational/project management skills – we handle an intense request flow from our clients so candidates will need to be good at workflow and time management in a very dynamic project environment
  • Passion for language, culture and advertising
  • An understanding of different cultures
  • Team worker
  • Native speaker of any of these languages: Czech, Latvian, Turkish, Romanian, Polish or Dutch.

 

Qualifications:

 

  • University degree in language or transcreation.

 

To apply send a covering letter and CV to: sergio.arboledas@textappeal.com

Read More

Global Brand Advertising Campaign by Barings

  |   News

LGA trust our transcreation expertise to help deliver the international advertising campaign for Barings, the world leading asset management company. For their latest campaign ‘Adaptability – the new look of partnership’, we helped to spread their message across markets throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

 

After having successfully supported Barings in their previous campaign to showcase the merger of four MassMutual companies into one of the world’s largest global investment management firms, we transcreated their latest campaign into 10 different languages for international markets. This included an initial focus on digital assets, including rich media banners, the print advertising in world leading financial news outlets to be released in the coming months and localising the VO on their Barings – Adapt video content.

 

Read More
japanese culture facts - traditions in japan-min

Japanese Culture Facts: 6 Traditions Every Traveller Should Know

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Facts about Japanese culture that tourists and businessmen might not know but really should before travelling or doing business.

Japan is famous for having one of the richest and most interesting cultures in the world. Many of the country’s ancient practices and traditions are still intact today, helping to shape Japan’s unique lifestyle and global perception.

While most Westerners conjure thoughts of sushi, samurai and sumo wrestlers when they think about Japanese culture (and they wouldn’t be wrong), these notions barely scratch the surface of the Japanese people and their multi-faceted culture.

If you are getting ready to take a holiday to the Land of the Rising Sun, heading there for business purposes, or just looking to be aware and respectful to people from this country, here are six traditions and rituals that you need to know in order to blend in with the locals and not succumb to an acute case of culture shock.

 

Traditional Tea Ceremonies

Japanese Culture Facts - traditional tea ceremonies in Japan

Tea ceremonies are a common part of Japanese culture. This formal yet stylised custom is taken quite seriously. These ceremonies have been greatly influenced by Buddhist practices and the event can be likened to a meditative experience. Japanese tea ceremonies possess deep meaning to the country and those who are invited should feel quite honoured.

If you find yourself invited to such an occasion, be aware that each guest plays a role in the ceremony and will be seated in accordance with their ranking.

Guests should be keenly aware of Japanese tea ceremony etiquette as it can be a fairly complex ritual.

 

The Sacred Practice of Giving Gifts

Japanese Culture Facts - gift giving in japan

Another Japanese tradition that is extremely prevalent throughout the culture is gift giving.

When meeting with business associates or arriving at someone’s home you have been invited to, it is particularly important to show respect and gratitude by presenting your hosts with a gift.

There are a variety of gifts that are acceptable; these largely depend on the occasion and your current relationship to the recipient.

Additionally, how the gift is wrapped is essential; be sure that it is packaged very nicely. If wrapping is not an option, present it in a bag from the shop it was purchased from.

Whatever you do, do not give someone gifts in a set of four as this is considered unlucky since the Japanese word for “four” is pronounced in the same way as “death”.

Present your gift towards the end of your encounter, and do so with both hands no matter if you are giving or receiving.

Additionally, if you are ever offered a gift, strongly object acceptance at first as this is polite; afterward, accept the gift as anything less would be rude.

 

Festive and Celebratory Bonenkai Parties

Japanese Culture Facts - kampai celebration in japan

Each December, Japan is swarming with Bonenkai parties.

Bonenkai party means “forget the year party” and is a way for the Japanese people to leave behind their troubles from the current year and look optimistically towards a new one.

Pretty much every company will throw one of these parties, but there will also be private ones among friends and family.

This Japanese tradition is typically structured with various games and speeches.

If you are fortunate enough to be invited to one of these events, be sure to keep your etiquette intact (which we will go over in a moment) as there is often a second party (and possibly a third) afterward; these can get pretty rowdy.

 

Kampai: A Reverent Social Convention

Japanese Culture Facts - festive bonenkai parties in japan

Whenever you are out drinking with Japanese people, you’re going to hear the word “Kampai” quite a few times. This is akin to “Cheers” in English-speaking countries and translates to “dry glass” or “bottoms up”.

Be mindful when partaking in alcoholic beverages, however, as it is considered rude to pour yourself a drink; another guest should take care of this for you and you should do the same for others.

Additionally, it is also boorish to start drinking before everyone has a beverage and has the chance to Kampai.

Finally, if you want to appear reverent to your newfound friends, during the first round of drink, order the same thing as everyone else to show comradery.

 

Not Tipping: A Custom Rooted in Respect

Japanese Culture Facts - tips in japan

Among all the festivities and drinks, your natural instincts might kick in and convince you to leave a tip on your way out of the bonenkai party or business meeting.

Under no circumstances should you leave a tip in any situation while visiting Japan. In fact, leaving a tip is not only unacceptable, it is considered insulting.

Leaving a tip conveys a message that the business must not be well off and needs extra money.

In the Japanese culture, all of the services you have requested are included in the final price, so leave it at that.

 

Public Sleeping

Japanese Culture Facts - public sleeping in japan

While in Japan, foreigners might find it odd to see people sleeping in public places like on trains, park benches, and similar locations.

Pay no attention to this, however, as it is quite common. It is called inemuri, which translates to “sleep while being present.”

This is not only a common cultural Japanese practice, it is respected as a sign of a person who is working incredibly long hours to contribute to a company’s success and therefore just can’t keep their eyes open.

Finding workers asleep at their desk is an everyday occurrence in Japan and is honored by managers and other higher-ups in a company.

This doesn’t mean that employees can just curl up under their desks and take a nap; staff should appear as if they have dozed off while working. As inemuri is an unintentional nap, unlike hirune – a planned siesta – a person’s posture must reflect that they were trying to work and just couldn’t stay awake a moment longer.

These are just a handful of Japanese traditions that foreigners would be wise to understand. Travelling to a new country for work or pleasure can be a disorienting experience, but by honouring these customs and rituals, you are far more likely to develop prosperous and long-lasting relationships with many Japanese people.

Read More

Textappeal’s New Business Win: Sea Life

  |   News

Textappeal are to support the SEA LIFE brand in helping to promote their ethos and enabling it to resonate with an audience across 13 markets in 13 languages

SEA LIFE Aquariums is the world’s largest and most engaging conservation based aquarium brand, with more than 50 attractions around the world.

SEA LIFE create a breathtaking experience for the whole family and want to share their passion for sea life – its welfare and conservation are paramount in all they do.

Textappeal are proud to support the SEA LIFE brand in helping to promote the SEA LIFE ethos and enabling it to resonate with an audience across 13 European and Asian markets in 13 languages among which are Finnish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Swedish.

SEA LIFE were looking for a partner to support the global unveiling of their website; a partner who shares the same passion for excellence in all they do and a partner who could further the SEA LIFE brand to audiences in markets where the brand is present.

Another crucial point for the brand was to retain consistency across SEA LIFE’s global estate of aquariums and deliver a brand message that would be fun, engaging and family-friendly across the markets SEA LIFE currently operate in.

SEA LIFE were impressed with Textappeal’s approach, passion and credentials and we are now working on the brand’s global website transcreation.

Our goal is to inform people in each specific market, in a locally relevant manner, of the importance of marine conservation, get them involved and inspire children to fall in love with the sea. To help them better understand the importance of the protection of sea life in an entertaining and culturally relevant manner.

Read More
obama and putin cocacola crimea on how to avoid brand damage

How to Avoid Geopolitical Brand Damage

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Nobody wants to get caught in a fight between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, least of all if you’re the brand guardian of the most popular global carbonated soft drink on the planet. In December 30th a massive outrage erupted in Russia after the publication of a seemingly innocent map designed to celebrate the end of the New Year.

It’s no laughing matter to get caught in the middle of an argument between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, especially if you’re the brand guardian of the most popular carbonated soft drink on the planet. At the end of 2015 Coca-Cola published a seemingly innocent map depicting Crimea as part of Ukraine, sparking outrage amongst VK (Russia’s most popular social network) users.

cocacola without crimea on how to avoid brand damage l textappeal

Russia without Crimea: Russians offended

Russia’s bringing Crimean territory back into the motherland is highly popular with the local population. And while Coca-Cola’s link with Ukraine may please the American administration, it offended Russian nationals.

coca cola santa clause on how to avoid brand damage by textappeal

Is Santa an American provocateur?

VK was instantly saturated with fury against the iconic American brand, suddenly seen as an “Evil Imperialist” out to humiliate the Russian people. Could it be that Santa, the beloved figure popularised by Coca-Cola, was actually an American provocateur in disguise?

Although an innocent faux-pas, the map was all the more damaging as the brand was making a deliberate effort to tap into a local mindset via Russian cultural references.

cocacola with crimea on how to avoid brand damage

Crimea part of Russia: Ukrainians offended

In response to the VK community seething with outrage, Coca-Cola made a somewhat perplexing, 180-degree marketing translation turn. Instead of defusing the situation, Coca-Cola released a new version of the map that included Crimea and several other disputed territories within Russia’s border.

The move angered Ukrainians, who called for a boycott of Coke products. Following a barrage of angry tweets and images of Coca-Cola being flushed down toilets, the soft drink giant apologised and removed the offending map altogether.

This is far from an isolated incident. With frontiers quickly shifting in various parts of the world and cultural sensitivities running high, brands cannot afford to rest on long-held assumptions about national borders.

What to do?

how to avoid geopolitcal brand damage, textappeal

The CIA’s website is a good source for marketers to track geopolitical change

Microsoft has led the way by establishing a division that tracks geopolitical and cultural risk: all marketing executions are vetted by it, and its database of cultural issues to avoid is gradually enriched over time. Unfortunately this resource is not publicly available: the software giant sees it as a strategic asset.

The CIA’s website (www.cia.gov) is probably the best resource to stay up to date with geopolitical change. It provides some of the most accurate intelligence in the world, openly publishes a surprising amount of information, and is free!

Textappeal can help keep marketers and their agencies safe too, by systematically checking brand materials for cultural and geopolitical issues, validating executions for travel, and advising how to deal with cross-border dilemmas that may result in brand damage.

Read More

image of bbdo advertising agency recently appointed the leading transcreation agency, Textappeal

New Business Win: BBDO Worldwide

  |   News

Textappeal are excited to announce our new partnership with BBDO Worldwide, the creative force behind some of the world’s most-loved advertising.

This global and forward-thinking advertising agency took us on board to handle transcreation across seven different markets.

As a leading transcreation agency we not only take language into account, but cultural context too. This allows us to create effective copy for global brand campaigns ensuring a message is never, ever, lost in translation.

Read More