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The Secret to Ensuring Your Company’s Place Globally: A Style Guide

May 12, 2023
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If you ever wonder how big companies succeed worldwide with all those language barriers, you are in the right place to discover.

These big companies, such as Starbucks, Airbnb, and Netflix, have a strong brand identity that they communicate successfully across the world. And establishing such a strong identity requires consistency.

There is a little but feasible secret to ensuring this consistency that every company should know: having a brand style guide. In this blog post, we will walk you through the reality of how important it is to have a style guide. Are you ready to join us on this little journey?

Delving into the description of style guide

Think about your company’s brand voice, writing style, textual elements, translation tone, and other elements. What kind of brand image do you want to project to your audience? Is your company more of a casual and funny one or a more formal and professional one? These assets constitute your company’s overall style, and having a consistent style always puts you at an advantage. After all, your clients will remember you by the impression you leave on them, and they will treat your company accordingly.

By now, you might have realized the significance of localization and translation for growing your business globally. Why not preserve your brand style while getting a translation service when having a consistent brand style is so important? A brand style guide comes to the rescue at this point.

A style guide ensures that all the content of your brand is presented in the same fashion, ranging from product names to blog posts on your website. Having a style guide guarantees that your brand’s message is conveyed consistently and clearly, leading to enhanced recognition and trust with your clients. It allows your content to be aligned with your brand’s values across channels. And we guess this is what you are seeking for your brand. 

Bringing pieces together to create an extensive style guide

Your style guide should cover all the details related to how your brand is expressed. Let’s uncover what components it should include for translation purposes:

Give general information about your company

Whether you are working with a translation agency or hiring an art director, the first thing they should know is what your company does. In order to give a general idea of the translation project, provide the translation agency with a brief description of your company and the project. You can include the following information:

-an overview of the translation project

-which products and services you provide

-the purpose of the content that needs to be translated (blog post, legal documents, marketing campaign, website, etc.)

Specify your tone of voice

Every brand has a unique tone. Yours can be authoritative, romantic, friendly, sarcastic, informative, and many more. The translation agency needs to have an idea about which tone you prefer to convey your message consistently in the translated content.

Define your target audience

Catering content to your target audience’s needs and preferences plays a key role in connecting with them. Ensuring this connection is possible through informing the translation agency about your audience. This way, they can translate your content with your audience’s profile in mind and communicate your message based on your target audience’s demographic details, fears, concerns, and lifestyle indicators.

Convey your linguistic preferences

Your company’s unique writing style should be reflected in the translated content as well. You may communicate your preferences on spelling, abbreviations, acronyms, punctuation, names, addresses, numbers, and measurements.

Specify the items that shouldn’t be translated

There may be some content that you don’t need translated and localized, such as your company’s or product names. You may want these elements to remain unchanged due to several factors. For instance, when Coca-Cola entered the Chinese market, they phonetically translated into Chinese, and the translated phrase meant “bite the wax tadpole." This totally tarnished the brand’s image. In the end, Coca-Cola picked a different term to market its products, which sounded less like Coca-Cola but carried a better meaning: “can mouth, can happy.” To avoid instances such as Coca-Cola’s, some elements should remain untouched.

Wouldn’t it be great to collect all this information on a single platform? The good news is that Hareword offers a style guide interface that is pretty easy to use. Thanks to this interface, you can increase client engagement. 

How can a style guide make or break your brand?

Remember the previous example of Coca-Cola? It was a great representation of how to break a brand by not having a style guide that ensures the consistency of your brand identity.

To put it simply, a style guide is a must-have for any brand that wants to have translated content that resonates with its target audience. This is the first and foremost attribute of a style guide. By creating a consistent and unique brand style guide, you can shape the way your clients remember you and develop trust and loyalty.

Additionally, a well-defined style guide will guarantee the differentiation of your brand from your competitors. Beyond doubt, your unique style will help you stand out in the crowd and create a strong brand identity. And ultimately, a strong brand identity means an enhanced client experience.

Besides, you should regularly review and update your style guide in order to guarantee consistency and clarity throughout all of your company's content. We live in a fast-paced world where your company develops and evolves over time. So does everything. Trends come and go; communication styles change; languages change; cultures evolve… So how can you maintain a stable brand identity? By updating your style guide at least once a year. If you change your logo, visuals, writing style, or any other component that is part of your brand identity, make sure that you change your style guide along with them. Otherwise, your clients will feel like the bond between you and your company is broken.

Which side do you want to be on?

Now it’s time to digest and reconsider all the information above. A brand style guide is essential for any company that wants to establish a strong bond with their clients by creating a consistent and unique identity. You can also make sure that your translated content reflects your company’s values across channels by providing the translation agency with your style guide and communicating your expectations. This way, you will leave a lasting impression on your clients from all over the world and be a step ahead of your competitors. Hareword is ready to ensure that all your translated content aligns with your company thanks to our brand style guide interface.

Which one do you prefer: to make or to break?

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