Global Software Branding Adapted Locally:
Feeling the Pulse of the Brand Across Key Local Markets

The Background

The fastest-growing HR software provider in the Nordics, this brand is a family-owned business that has grown from strength to strength by successfully building business partnerships all over Europe and is widely recognized as a complete, end-to-end solution for the employment cycle, targeting forward-looking HR Directors keen to make their organizations leaner. In continuing to expand internationally, the brand realized it needed to start rethinking the way its marketing content was adapted for different markets. Following the development of a new content strategy, it began revamping its corporate website which lies at the heart of every one of its marketing activities. In the beginning, the client centrally-created, adapted and produced all websites for markets including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland in-house, but realized that there was room for improvement in terms of quality of the localized content.

The Challenge

As people are central to everything this HR software brand does, its marketing content’s tone of voice must be people-friendly. The copy should always be squarely focused on customer benefits, and be presented in a confident and professional style. The language used must also reflect the brand’s personality and create a positive attitude. An optimal ‘casual, yet professional’ balance was ultimately identified as being the key to distinguishing the brand from its competitors.

The Solution

Led by our Global Creative Services team, we began talking to the brand’s global marketing staff early on. The ultimate aim was to ensure we better understood the brand’s specific messaging and overall project requirements.

Creative Process

Scope Analysis. We closely evaluated the brand website’s master content, as well as key language assets including style guides, brand voice guidelines, and keywords, etc.

Choosing the Right Team. Having quickly realized that restricting ourselves to translation would not achieve the brand’s desired quality, we proposed a two-step approach combining the best of specialized translation and transcreation. We commissioned translators specialized in HR-related technical content to undertake initial translations. These drafts were then reviewed and re-written by expert in-market copywriters who also served as the brand’s brand tone of voice guardians when adapting translations into compelling marketing content.

Terminology Extraction and Style Check. For a highly specialized brand, content terminology needs to be articulated very clearly and compellingly. As a first step, we extracted keywords and phrases from the brand’s master content and then localized it for individual markets. As writing styles are very subjective, we conducted a style check by adapting a key section of the website, and using it to harvest local client feedback. Such thoroughness enabled us to clarify and confirm the brand’s desired tone of voice before we commenced formal translation. To ensure successful outcomes through to completion, key insights were then built into the client’s brand style guide for future reference.

Managing Agency Partners and Local Client Feedback. Working closely with the brand’s central digital agency, our project team integrated themselves seamlessly into the process, collaborating with everyone at every step. By engaging with their local counterparts, our people were ultimately able to ensure complete local buy-in of all content. Our project managers also talked to individual local marketing teams at every stage from individual job initiation to completion, providing detailed feedback throughout.

In-Context Review. Once approved content had been integrated into the staging site, our copywriters performed detailed in-context reviews, checking for everything from line breaks to logo placement.

The Result

The value of our work can be gauged from local market teams’ appreciation of the thorough way their input had been carefully evaluated throughout the detailed pre-translation process. Our efforts on behalf of the brand ultimately not only scored high on quality but also received overwhelmingly positive feedback in all languages.

What They Say…

“The process works excellently. I very much appreciate the thorough approach and process to ensure the best results and the impeccable local language and tone of the brand.”

– Chief Marketing Director