Localisation of logos and taglines in 5 simple steps

Localisation of logos and taglines in 5 simple steps

If you want to promote a free-to-play game or new mobile app across multiple markets, it’s important that your marketing campaign resonates with your target audience. In order for your product to launch with the desired impact, you’ll need a powerful cross channel global campaign that really speaks to your audience to encourage them to download the game/app. The logo and tagline remain the most important part of your campaign, if they do not connect with your audience then you’ll fall at the first hurdle, so localisation is key.

Where should you begin when localising logos and taglines for multiple markets?

There are several things to acknowledge when trying to promote a mobile game/app launch internationally, even more if it references something which is already well known in popular culture, such as a comic-book saga or board game.

We’ve compiled a list of key things to consider from the outset to help you with your important localisation decision.

1. Understand brand background and target markets by conducting cultural consultations

The first thing to acknowledge is that the name of the brand might already be famous in the selected target markets, therefore it’s important to keep a level of consistency with the previously marketed products, so the audience can relate to them easily.

Clarify which markets are initially going to be targeted; are you launching campaigns across the FIGS markets (France, Italy, Germany and Spain), the Nordic countries, Asia pacific or the Americas etc.? Different markets have different localisation trends, as the number of people who understand English varies per market.

Conduct a cultural consultation with a group of in-market experts to check how the product/brand is perceived in your target countries. By doing this, you will find out important insights and variations per countries which will allow you to make an informed decision on whether adapting the title will be well received or not.

2. Consider the title, subtitle, app descriptions and keyword localisation separately

The title of your game/app may consist in two parts; the name and a subtitle/tagline. Make sure you ask in-market linguists what approach they would advise you to take for each part (translation/transcreation/creative adaption). You may find that for a specific market they will not recommend localising the title but they will recommend localising the taglines and descriptions or vice versa.

The trend in Japan and Korea with American titles and subtitles is to ‘transliterate’ both. This means they prefer brands spell out the pronunciation of the English titles and subtitles in Japanese and Korean language characters. Whereas, in the Nordic countries, often transcreation isn’t required for English games/apps.

It’s worth considering here if the app/game you are promoting has been translated or if it is still in English. If you localise the title, subtitle and descriptions fully but the product is left in English you may leave the consumer frustrated, they’ll be less likely to make in-app purchases, and it may even damage your brand in the long term.

3. Cultural consultation is a two-step process – in-market linguists recommendations and a wider survey

Receiving answers from two in-country experts alone will not be sufficient for you to build a big enough picture, you should also double check with other demographics for their recommendations. Compile a survey based on the initial response and send it to several other people to check what the wider trend would be.

At Freedman our teams consist of people from all of the markets mentioned above, but even when we try to predict the results we are often surprised by the unexpected outcomes of the cultural consultations, so it’s always worth checking.

4. Localisation of logos goes beyond transcreation of copy – The creative itself may also need adapting

Once you have an agreed approach for localising the name and tagline for each market you may wish to consider adapting the creative itself to suit your markets. It’s vital to keep a level of consistency with the logo design, keep in mind particular colours may work better in particular markets.

5. Remember one size does not fit all – the type of translation used for one market might not work when you roll out to others

After seeing successful results for initial markets, you may want to expand the roll out to include additional markets. It is fundamental to repeat the same consultation process before reaching your decision: contact in-country experts to ask them about the trends, and after having seen the results send out a survey to other people to check the preferred option.

Key takeaways for brands looking to localise logos and taglines for multiple markets:

Make sure that you check the opinion of in-market linguists by conducting cultural consultations 
Each market will need a different combination of transcreation and/or creative adaption in order for it to resonate effectively 
A global marketing implementation agency will have a network of in-market linguists ready to provide expert advice on which localisation approach is recommended for each market 

Freedman has localised logos and taglines for a range of brands in the gaming and technology sector including Scopely’s The Walking Dead game and the app Shazam.

Click here to view a selection of our work.



Maria Pilar Garces Perez

Maria Pilar Garces Perez

Pilar joined Freedman in 2015. She is in charge of delivering quality translated texts to different clients, as well as handling different digital production requests.Pilar started at Freedman in the Translation team as an intern in February 2015. She then got promoted to Project Executive and joined a client account, where she is working now.She has a degree in Translation and Interpretation; and a Master in Education. She can speak Catalan, Spanish and German.She likes travelling and reading. She’s also taking up photography and would like to be able to run 10k.

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