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Global business trends increasingly need language services to help them improve how they communicate. More than just a direct translation, however, global businesses need language services that understand the social significance of words, phrases and sentences in a culture. In other words, they need to be aware of a culture’s perception of the ideas behind words.
Their business motto is “think global, act local,” and they have become a paradigm company with respect to generating success using an understanding of target market cultures. For instance, understanding the culture of a market allows Toyota to satisfy its customers and, in turn, allow them to ask satisfied customers to promote and advocate their products.
In addition to exemplifying the tenets of contemporary marketing, Toyota began using the cars they sell as mobile advertising mechanisms with the permission of satisfied customers. In a simple but ingenious campaign, Toyota transcreates stickers and includes one with every sale that Toyota owners can put on their rear window or bumper.
More important than the stickers, though, is the message. Toyota slogans vary around the world because they are transcreated, so each will trend in their respective international market.
In Japan, for instance, the advocacy slogan is “genchi genbutsu,” which can be translated as go and see. In Central America, the slogan is “el que tiene un Toyota sabe,” which means a Toyota owner understands. In Bangladesh, the slogan is “The Amazing,” while in Japan it is “Fun to Drive, Again,” a reference to Toyota’s heyday in Japan during the mid-80s and early 90s when the slogan was simply, “Fun to Drive.”
While the different slogans of each target market may not translate into English as something moving or inspirational, Toyota uses language services to ensure that the words in the language of a given culture do more than deliver a message, and instead help capture and market the ideas that influence cultures.
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