Marketing to an international market is a very crucial step when you are entering a new country with different culture. Localization to that new market should be done carefully otherwise you might offend the target market. We learned from Disneyland Hong Kong how their lack of localization and the inability to understand the Chinese consumer offended the people which lead to a lot of people outside the park on the Chinese new year’s day with a valid tickets.
A study done on Fortune 500 companies found that those who do localization such as translation to the target international market are twice as likely to see increased profits and 1.25 times more likely to generate increased earnings per share.
Here are some of the failed attempts company did in international markets:
- KFC introduced their “Finger-Lickin Good” in China which was a failed marketing attempt because people did not understand it and it was translated in a funny way “Eat Your Fingers off”.
- When Coca-Cola entered the China Market, they named their product something that when pronounced, sounded like, “Coca-Cola”. But the problem was that when they wrote it with the chinese charcters it meant “Bite the Wax Tadpole” which they change after they found out to “Happiness in the Mouth”
- In Italy, a campaign for Schwepps Tonic Water translated the name into “Schwepped Toilet Water”
- In Spain, Coors Brewing Company translated their slogan “Turn it loose” to “Suffer from diarrhea”
- Fiat released an ad in Italy with actor Richard Gere driving one of Fiat new cars, Richard Gere is hated in China because he support the Dalai Lama. People reacted to this commercial in China.
- Garber, the baby food company, when they started selling food in Africa, they used the same label with the cute baby as the one in the US. In Africa companies usually put pictures of whats inside the package since not everyone can read which people was confused on what it is.
- When Pepsi introduce their drinks in China, they launched a slogan that says “Pepsi brings you back to life” but they found out that it translates into ” Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.