Toyota Transcreates Stickers for Worldwide Brand Ambassadors

Dynamic Language | January 16, 2017

toyota transcreatesGlobal 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.

One example of a company in the automobile retail industry that has successfully created new international business opportunities as a direct result of localizing content is Toyota.

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.

It is Toyota’s unique promotion and advocacy approach that allows the company to increase awareness, interest, desire and action. But, without an understanding of the cultural nuances of the languages in target markets, even satisfied customers would refrain from promoting the Toyota brand.

Toyota’s Definition of International Marketing and Addition to AIDA

Toyota defines international marketing as “the multi-national process of planning and executing the conception, prices, promotion and distribution of ideal goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy the individual and organizational objectives,” according to a study titled “International Marketing of Toyota” by Hitech Rohra. Simply put, international marketing has two objectives: customer satisfaction and manufacturer profit.
Customer satisfaction requires the delivery of any promises made during promotion, as well as the ability to meet and/or exceed customer’s expectations with respect to the sum paid for a product. However, prior to the sale of a product — long before a manufacturer can evaluate customer satisfaction — promotional marketing must accomplish four things: create awareness of the product, generate interest in the product, manufacture a desire for a product that leads to an action: AIDA.
Toyota took marketing one step further. Toyota’s marketing not only created awareness, interest and a desire that led to action (i.e., the international sale of their vehicles). Toyota also began using satisfied customers as advocates.

Cultural Significance of Marketing Content Prerequisite of Toyota’s Consumer Advocacy Campaign

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.”

Toyota Uses Language Services to Capture Pulse

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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