5 tips for product packaging translation

Large brands usually have big budgets available for implementing new marketing campaigns or crafting innovative designs. But product packaging translation is often forgotten.

Elements like packaging, advertising, color, design and billboards are vital for the overall success of the brand. However, the right transcreation of the message is just as important.

In translation and localization terms, to translate means to communicate the meaning of a particular subject from its original language (source language) into another language (target language). Localization, on the other hand, means finding the most suitable linguistic variation that can be recognized in a new language or culture. When it comes to goods and services, localization also refers to adapting products to the needs of the local consumers we are targeting. 

With that in mind, in the following lines we’ll give you five tips to help you when planning product packaging translation adapted to the location you are targeting.

5 tips to improve your product packaging translation: 

1.        Wording and design

Keep in mind that the wording of your packaging contains a lot of important information. This is why it is so important to carefully translate it into a new language. You should try to align the length of the sentences with your current graphical elements.

Example of product packaging text combined with design elements

In effect, the new text must be adapted to the layout of your design. When you do this correctly, a good adaptation of your translation in terms of design can help maintain your brand’s look and feel. To prevent your packaging from losing this, you will need professional graphic design skills. Make sure you work with a language service provider that offers Desktop Publishing services as part of their translation solution.

2.       Translation and localization

The success of your localized product could be at stake when translating the packaging wording and instructions for use. In many cases, product managers have seen their products fail in different locations because of poorly translated labels or instructions, while others have succeeded because extra attention has been paid to this.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: double-check that elements like the product’s assembly and usage instructions, labels, safety measures, and part names are correctly translated and localized as necessary. Your financial success in the market you are targeting will depend on how well you communicate with your audience. Proper editing, professional translation of the text and localization of cultural keywords are all key to delivering the message or sales pitch you want to convey.

3.       Review locally

Experts in your new market will need to check the product packaging translation before the release to the public, especially if they belong to a multinational brand. Work with professional local validators to check that the right content, style, tone of voice, layout and vocabulary is used. Make sure that a local linguist checks and reviews these important elements before releasing your product in your target markets.

4.       Market location

The new location of your product will be key to attracting your audience, so you should take this into account when planning your packaging design. Culture plays an important role here, as some audiences do not appreciate some colors or even shapes. It is also a good idea to perform a survey in your new market. Also make sure to test different designs for your new audience before deciding how to proceed.

5.       Distribution

When working in a foreign market, make sure your distributor understands the local market and is able to advise you on local regulations, as you may need to include some legal information in your packaging text and product description. Choose a local distributor who can answer any questions you may have and highlight potential issues along the way.

When your product meets all these criteria, you will be on the right track to successfully translating your packaging and localizing it to the new market you are targeting.