Dunhill & Quill talk localisation and global marketing in the Retail Ramble podcast

19 Sep 2017

Dunhill & Quill talk localisation and global marketing in the Retail Ramble podcast

Dunhill’s Global Head of Digital, Michael Perry, recently sat down alongside Quill’s Chief Commercial Officer, Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, for Essential Retail’s weekly ‘Retail Ramble’ podcast.

Quill is currently working with Dunhill to create high volumes of product and category descriptions across five languages for the heritage brand’s website, to help them reach their global markets. In this timely conversation, Wulfric and Michael discuss the challenges of selling online internationally, and how to overcome them.

Listen to the full interview below or read on for memorable quotes from their chat.

Michael, on the importance of ‘glocal’ content:
(Skip to 21:10)

“When selling internationally, you have to focus on being relevant in each market, which means that content needs to be bespoke to each market. It needs to be created for the reader that will be consuming it. The US customer wears things bigger and longer; the Japanese customer wears things shorter and tighter. It’s exactly the same when you’re creating content – the more we embrace that, the more success we have. Be relevant, be bespoke, be local.”

Michael, on why Dunhill opted to outsource multi-language content production:
(Skip to 05:42)

“The problem we were trying to solve was that we had a large volume of content that we needed to produce on a regular basis – for example, 500 to 1000 different products which needed to have content written for them. This content then needed to be translated into five to seven languages, and would then need to be published across the website and all other channels that we operate.

“Obviously, this creates a huge operational and logistics nightmare, with that content having to be written, checked and fact-checked by members of the product, marketing and senior teams. It also has to be localised, checked again by the local teams, then finally published through the website CMS.”

“The reason we initially engaged Quill was that we were finding that – despite the intensive effort we were putting in – there were still some quality issues with the end result, and we were having to engage in really extensive check and re-check processes to get anywhere near the quality we wanted.”

Wulfric, on why translation isn’t good enough for global brands:
(Skip to 8:00)

“When moving into new territories outside of English for the first time, a lot of ecommerce brands and retailers will use the direct translation approach: taking their copy from the English source, and then translating into the target language, whether that’s French or Japanese.”

“But often, unfortunately, this doesn’t really capture the brand tone of voice correctly for that particular market. So, for example, Dunhill in Japan is perceived completely differently by its consumers to how it’s perceived by UK customers. It’s essentially a completely different brand. So, we need to be very cognisant about these differences – and the only way that we can create content that resonates for these individual consumers and markets is to use an approach called ‘transcreation’.”

“Transcreation is different to translation in that we’re not translating the content word for word; we’re only referring to the English source for guidance – and then we’re creating the content from scratch in that target language.”

Michael, on the pitfalls of conventional translation:
(Skip to 13:06)

“We’ve picked up some very odd translations in the past, with ‘leather’ being translated as anything  from ‘skin’ to ‘beef’. Obviously, for any brand, this would be a tough situation, if you’re advertising a product as being made of ‘beef’! A large portion of our products are made from leather or have leather parts, so you can imagine the time involved in double checking for simple things such as straight translation.”

Wulfric, on the problem Quill solves for retailers:
(Skip to 01:36)

“We specialise in Primary Content: the critical pre-purchase information that users need to convert. We supply content – such as category descriptions and buying guides – that is indexed by search engines and therefore helps users to find the brand, category or product they’re looking for.”

“And once the user is actually on the brand’s website, Quill supplies the content they need to make an informed purchase, such as detailed product descriptions. Quill exists to solve the operational challenge that retailers and brands have, in that they need to create large amounts of these types of content, at scale and on brand.”

Michael, on balancing central management with local offices:
(Skip to 10:46)

“One thing I’ve probably learned over the past couple of years is that the key to having a successful cross-border ecommerce operation is not trying to force your way of working into the local markets. You have to be prepared to adapt, you have to be prepared to be bespoke –  and that is a key part of what we’re doing, with Dunhill’s brand offer and the ecommerce market in particular.”

“We’re lucky in that we have local teams – we have offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Japan and Paris – which means that our digital operations are supported by those offices and driven from the UK. But this also means we need to be very sensitive to the time pressures on our local colleagues – and that’s exactly where Quill comes in.”

“They take a lot of the heat off these crunch times of the year, where we have to produce large volumes of product and conversion content that needs to be ‘transcreated.’ The way that we operate now [with Quill] is much less intensive for our London teams.”

To find out more about Quill’s multi-language content production services, please fill out the form below to request a call-back.

Keaton Groves @ Quill ContentMarketing contributor

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