For years, we’ve spoken about how little we know about the Chinese retail market, and how we always try to raise awareness on how different the Chinese are to Europe. Chinese culture is a lot about trust, about the "We", and in a culture that is socially-oriented and social-media-driven, an insult to one turns into an insult to millions within seconds.
We love D&G and, being one of Italy's successful brands, it really hurts to see how they may have just lost the trust of an entire (the biggest) retail market in the world.
When a luxury brand launches a global marketing campaign, it can be tempting to simply hire a translator to create a word-for-word version of its message to expand its reach to other countries. This strategy isn’t enough when it comes to resonating with Chinese consumers.
There’s been a lot of discussion among Chinese marketers that marketing copy in Chinese must be original, not simply translated from English. What does your company think about this strategy and what approach does it take?
We believe that localization is an integral part of any marketing strategy. Therefore, while we do our best to keep the heart of the Marketing copy from its original language, we take into account local customs and user behaviours to best adapt and localize. This requires native speakers to ensure that the user experience is optimised at every level.
Our suggestion to all companies working with China would be to make a concerted effort to understand this fascinating culture and its people. We still learn a lot every day - even after years of daily collaboration.
If you don’t take into account the local culture, you cannot launch a successful marketing campaign. Furthermore, Chinese characters are a wonderful way to advertise in a funny manner because they can have so many different meanings through various combinations, and this diversity is an incredible tool.
Digital marketing campaigns involve many visual components such as video, imagery, and web design, in addition to written copy. How important is language to the overall aims of a company’s campaign?
Language is at the very root of any marketing campaign. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, nothing can quite match a written description of a product or the perfect catch phrase. Slogans such as Nike’s “just do it”, or Disney’s “the happiest place on Earth”, remain with customers much longer than any image or video. We believe that visual components are there to reinforce the written copy, not supplant it.