By Emma Clarke
Gü’s website www.gupuds.com states that every 2 seconds one of their desserts is being eaten somewhere in the world. I definitely contribute to that statistic. Do you? Along with beauty products, another market which is immune to the recession is sweets and desserts. But where does translation/transcreation fit in? Surely everyone enjoys desserts in the same way? Does a website for sugary treats really need to be localised?
Front Pages / Shop Windows
The front page is the most important part of your website. For food companies, it is their shop window enticing web users to gobble up their products. So how do Gü’s various front pages for all their different markets differ?
U.K. Let’s start with the U.K. After all, Gü is a British company. The British website includes many pictures of the delicious puds with captions encouraging indulgence. Gü is aware that their products are delicious but calorific so they turn that to their advantage, implying that eating a Gü dessert is rebellious. Vive la reveller… so to speak.
America One of the images bears the caption: ‘This could be the start of a beautiful relationship,’ referencing the ‘special relationship’ between the U.K. and the U.S. They have a different competition for the U.S. audience. In America, customers can win a ‘Kitchenaid Prize Pack’. It’s important to consider the fact that localisation does not only apply to telephone numbers but prizes too.
Germany Gü’s website for Germany fits with the no-nonsense image that the world has of the Germans. It is simpler than the other pages, containing a list of shops in Germany where you can buy the products. In Germany, the saying “a photo is worth a thousand words” rings true, because they use the same promotional photos, but there are no captions.
France Gü’s website in French is different from the British version. Instead of inspiring mottos they prefer rhymes like “décadence de l’alliance framboise & ganache”. The font is emboldened in French, perhaps referring to the famous bold Gallic charm. You see, fonts can be passionate.
All the front pages use social media to promote their product in different countries. Gü adapts each social media page for its different markets, changing not only the language but also the content. With the prevalence of social media, translation and transcreation does not only apply to the homepage.
How they Push the Puds
Title A tantalising title is the icing on the cake and how you differentiate your product from the competition. Gü’s titles differ for each language and are never translated literally. A translation company can advise you on how to choose an appropriate title which will whet your customers’ appetite.
In Gü’s case the original title is Lemon Cheesecakes whereas the German title describes the cheesecake as ‘wunderbar’ and makes reference to the fact that it is served in a glass ramekin. Certain aspects of your brand may need to be spelt out to new consumers.
Description The original description for the Lemon Cheesecake is sharp, concise and employs alluring alliterations like “buttery, biscuit base” to draw the customer in.
The French-speaking market may not always approve of British cooking, but London will always be synonymous with style and therefore Gü’s French description says that the products are “made in London”. Similarly to the front page, the description includes the rhyme “ontueux, crémeux”. Unlike the other websites, the picture on the French website of the cheesecake has smoky, dreamy edges. Even pictures need to be adapted for each market.
Unlike the minimalist front page, the German description is detailed and seductive, encouraging customers to indulge in 1, 2, 3 cheesecakes. The English and German descriptions include the list of ingredients whereas the French page does not… intriguing, n’est-ce pas? Different countries have a different sense of humour and this has to be taken into account when you localise your page.
English eccentricity doesn’t always translate. The cheesecakes on the British webpage say “don’t freeze me” whereas on the German page the desserts stay silent. Slang clearly needs to be localised; Gü puds transforms into Gü desserts for the American market.
The American site chooses to feature other desserts, including the American favourite: Key Lime Pie. This is a rather tasty example of how different countries have different preferences.
Which marketing campaign would entice you? Let us know in the comments below.
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