Steps for Success when Approaching the Global Market, by Language Experts Talking Heads

14th August 2013

We all understand the lure of expanding abroad; more customers, wider opportunities, and access to some of the world's most thriving economies, but how should you go about exporting your product in today's global community? Translation and Interpreting service provider Talking Heads® has compiled a useful list of 6 'dos and don'ts' when it comes to trading overseas.

DO know your audience Think you know your international neighbours? Well, not all Germans like sausages, and the Japanese are less likely to twilight as ninjas than you might think! Before exporting, do your research, and try to keep an open mind when deciding on where to sell your product. Once you've determined upon a potential market, get stuck in. Book your tickets, fly over, try out the local delicacies and get a real feel for life and business in another country. Until you integrate yourself into their culture, you won't know whether China really needs a British frozen yoghurt, or if the Dutch might be receptive to a new mode of transport. Speak to the locals, visit exhibitions, and don't be afraid to go against the grain an untapped market is often the most fruitful. If you can't do the research yourself, you can always use a professional agency like Talking Heads® to conduct it for you. Click here for more info about their in-country research team. DON'T say no to a gift horse You do not need to 'go it alone'. Overseas trading is an exciting, energising process, but like every new business venture, it brings along its fair share of obstacles. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is a publicly funded organisation dedicated to helping UK businesses flourish abroad. Not only can they offer your business a significant grant to help you get started, they'll also provide an experienced International Trade Advisor and bespoke market research to help you better understand your target consumer. Don't under-estimate the value of the British Embassy either; they can provide your business with contacts, expertise, and even a venue in which to host your overseas debut. Of course, good advice can be found closer to home, and local supplier Talking Heads® is always available to discuss your business needs over a friendly coffee. Contact us for a chat. DO play the good host Thinking about holding a conference on home turf? In an age of Skype calls, email and instant messaging, it can be an invigorating and rewarding move for the company when everybody involved can meet face to face, but communication doesn't always come easy. It's always good manners (and practical) to ensure that your guests' native language requirements are catered for. Not only does Talking Heads provide Translation services, they're also leading the field in simultaneous Interpretation. Read a case study about Simultaneous / Conference Interpreting by clicking here. DON'T underestimate the importance of accuracy Familiar with the phrase 'Lost in Translation'? Everyone knows that the French for 'Hello' is 'Bonjour', but few would be able to translate the slang word 'wagwan' or the technical term 'deaeration'. Many words simply do not have a direct translation, or do not carry the same cultural connotations abroad. Whether you're marketing your product via the web, email or print, a competent translation agency should know what to take out, what to stick in, and what to substitute make sure that they are the type of agency that always use skilled native speakers to do the job (like Talking Heads®), or you could be wishing your French market an 'au revoir' rather than a 'bienvenue'. DON'T forget who you are Artwork, alliteration and verbal puns they're all just part of what makes your brand unique, and when description is so important, it can be hard to imagine branching out without your much-loved slogan by your side. Unfortunately, translation isn't always a literal process, and whilst the tagline 'Wear Will's Wellingtons' will immediately capture an English markets' attention, it doesn't sound so great when converted into Spanish, 'Lleva las Botas de goma de Will'. If you want to retain a strong brand identity abroad, then you need a translation agency with as keen an ear for commercial flair as yourself. A combination of accurate translation and written panache is uncommon, but when found, can mean the difference between a success story and a siesta. Click here to see how well Talking Heads® manage this by reading case studies. DON'T make your customer do all the work British companies are in a fantastic position to communicate their message to the global market. English is widely regarded as one of the most spoken languages in the world, and within Europe particularly, anyone who isn't native to England has almost certainly learnt it at school. However, successful marketing recognises that shopping shouldn't be an exercise in what you learnt at school. Basically, placing a language barrier in between your consumer and your product could put them off. Recent survey results tell us that only 13% of world-wide customers would buy in a language that isn't their native tongue think of all the customers you could lose by not contacting Talking Heads®! Are you selling, or thinking of selling your product abroad? Talking Heads® has been providing quality translation and interpretation for nearly 15 years. They're a friendly, family-run company, and are more than happy to talk through your requirements to develop bespoke solutions for your needs. Call their Head Office, in Sheffield, on 0114 257 2077 or email them at

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