5 Companies that Mastered Transcreation

Dynamic Language | January 17, 2017

companies that mastered transcreationEmerging markets are an attractive prize for companies in every industry, no matter which country they call home. However, engaging international consumers isn’t always easy. Some businesses seem to catch on quickly, while others never make inroads. The difference lies in transcreation of marketing methods.

Transcreation goes far beyond simply translating existing marketing materials into the local language. Transcreation involves creating appropriate marketing for the target audience, taking cultural details and local customs into consideration. Below, are five companies that mastered transcreation, and as a result, they enjoy strong sales in countries around the globe. Here are five companies that mastered transcreation:

1. Red Bull Energy Drink

By all measures, Red Bull shouldn’t be successful. It doesn’t appeal to consumers in blind taste tests, and the formula is not patented, making it possible for major soft drink corporations to copy the beverage. Nonetheless, this tiny Austrian company has cornered the global energy drink market through a very clever strategy that strongly appeals to local consumers in a variety of locales. Red Bull sponsors the world’s most popular extreme sports athletes, connecting its name with local heroes in countries around the world. New content is created to forge a relationship between Red Bull and its local audience, making it an international success.

2. Dunkin’ Donuts

It took US-based Dunkin’ Donuts several tries to find international success. At first, the company simply translated existing marketing materials to the local language and then tried to sell the same flavors in every country. It wasn’t until the company got creative, gearing products and associated marketing strategies to local tastes and customs, that Dunkin’ Donuts became popular in new countries. For example, you won’t find a Boston Cream donut in a Chinese Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant. Instead, you can enjoy a dried pork and seaweed confection that keeps local patrons coming back for more.

3. Domino’s Pizza

Pizza is a staple in the United States, but many countries were unfamiliar with these savory pies until recently. After careful market research, Dominos realized that if the company could build a following, there would be almost no competition for pizza consumers in many cultures. Dominos reworked its menu and marketing for individual audiences, ensuring that its options blended seamlessly with local culture. In China, pizza is heavily focused on fish and seafood, while Indian pizza includes a significant amount of curry. This attention to transcreation has made Dominos the top pizza restaurant in more than 70 countries.

4. McDonalds Hamburgers

This all-American burger restaurant made its fortune on beef, so success in a country that excludes cow products from its diet seems like a non-starter. However, McDonald’s carefully researched the eating habits of various populations in India and created marketing and menus to match. You can still enjoy a Filet-O-Fish that is quite similar to its American counterpart. However, you won’t find two all-beef patties on your Big Mac. Instead, you have a choice between the Veg Maharaja Mac and the Chicken Maharaja Mac.

5. Coca-Cola Soft Drinks

There is a reason Coca-Cola is the international leader in soft drinks: decades of dedication to their local markets. The company pays close attention to local customers, creating detailed strategies for transcreation. Coca-Cola celebrates local holidays and partners with local charities to give back to the communities it serves. For example, during Ramadan, families in Malaysia break their fast with a communal Iftar meal. Coca-Cola sponsors Iftar meals for orphans and the elderly, and advertising is carefully designed to honor the importance of Ramadan traditions.

Coca-Cola’s main competition, Pepsi, has adopted this strategy as well. In 2016, Pepsi’s Ramadan commercial for Indian audiences featured the talents of legendary singer Abida Praveen.

International success requires more than simple translation and narration. Experienced transcreation services offer content specifically designed for the local audience.


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