As a creative blend of cultural and artistic expression, fashion has always been an international industry. For years, companies and designers have drawn on their own cultural heritage and taken inspiration from others. Just as inspiration is essential for the industry, each company needs an international marketing strategy for fashion in order to maximise its potential. But how is this done?
There are several different approaches to consider when devising an international marketing strategy for your fashion company. These include technical aspects, such as website translation for those that have an eCommerce option, as well as the process of ‘transcreating’ (translation and recreation) marketing copy to ensure that your brand remains consistent yet powerful across borders.
We have gathered three of the most important ideas to consider when constructing an international marketing strategy for fashion to help you reach as far as you can.
Translate Your Website
Firstly, one of the most important considerations is to translate your website.
As the Internet continues to grow, reaching over one billion websites in 2014 and increasing every second, making an impression is difficult. With everyone fighting for a place, Internet users have become accustomed to its frenetic style – Statista reports that the average attention span of an online user dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2016.
Given only a matter of seconds, first impressions are everything. A user’s average attention span drops again to just one second when information is not available in their native language. Can you afford to lose out on them?
Don’t Forget to be Found
Website translation without SEO is a trouserless suit. Not only are you competing with over 1.1 billion other websites to retain users’ attention, you are competing in the search engine – the modern directory that can make or break you.
By taking multilingual SEO services into account alongside translation, you can ensure that your marketing copy stays as powerful and as technically effective, leading to an influx in people on the site and, hopefully, more sales!
Brand awareness is vital for survival in a market that is predominantly focused on labels. Brand awareness can be achieved in a myriad of ways, offline and online.
Offline may involve re-marketing billboards and re-focusing marketing campaigns for the local area, for example by avoiding certain unlucky colours in countries like China.
As mentioned above, online marketing may be achieved through website translation services by a language services provider. Another way to optimise online marketing is using international social media marketing strategies, for example by localising your social media presence for the local culture.
Take a look at strategies by ASOS for successful examples. ASOS localises its social media presence on sites like Twitter for the local time of day with its @ASOS_Au and @ASOS_US accounts, and uses other languages, such as @ASOS_De, for its German demographic. Each Twitter channel caters to the region, but you can see that the brand’s tone is clear and consistent across the Australian and US accounts, adapted to fit the local culture and to achieve the same goals.
Transcreate, Not Just Translate
Translation is a significant first step. If your marketing is working at home, then surely changing it word-for-word into another language will guarantee the same success, right?
Each culture has its own unique identity. Although fashion is universal in that everyone dresses to their preferred style, the way to successfully capture your customers’ imagination varies. Although extravagance is an integral feature of marketing campaigns in a lot of countries, it is not always the case that the rich enjoy demonstrating their wealth.
In spite of cultural differences, your company may be more universal in its appeal and require marketing that focuses on a larger demographic. A number of decisions must be made to maximise your potential. Translating to a new character set requires you to think about translating your brand name into this new alphabet. Brands in China usually keep the English name, with companies like Gucci and Versace retaining their English branding in a nation that has an entirely different lexicon and syntax.
With predicted year-on-year growth in the fashion industry, fashion companies must devise an appropriate international marketing strategy to maximise their global appeal. Cultures are unique and should be considered carefully when approaching the market so as not to alienate consumers by causing offense or by using a culturally unlucky number, for example.
With all this useful information about how to begin breaking into multiple markets, only one question remains: what are you waiting for?