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Capture new business by translating your content

Who remembers the Chevrolet Nova? Although it’s now past, it was one of the major marketing errors of the 20th century. In Spanish, the word “nova” doesn’t describe a type of star; rather, it means “it does not go” (no va). Had GM done their marketing research and consulted with even one Hispanic person, they never would have made such a faux pas.

The anecdote illustrates the importance of marketing with an eye on the fastest-growing buying market in the United States. Delaware’s Hispanic population grew from 15,820 in 1990 to 37,277 in 2000, an increase of 135.6 percent. Their numbers are so great that they’ve been compared to the Baby Boomers as a major driving force in the economy and culture.

For businesses, this population growth translates into increased revenues. Companies are scrambling to revamp products and marketing tools to reach what is now the nation’s fastest-growing consumer group.

Market studies indicate that Hispanics show stronger brand loyalty than do other population groups. This is particularly true when organizations show appreciation and respect for cultural identity as expressed through language. Even among highly-motivated professional Hispanics who are completely bilingual and operate in English, more bridges are formed and bonds strengthened when companies reach out to this demographic with well-translated communications in Spanish.


Building trust and mutual respect is crucial in business transactions. Consider a well-known example involving the Spanish translation of a major airline’s slogan, Rivera says. “The airline, touting its comfortable seats, urges you to ‘Fly in Leather’; however, the flawed translation of ‘Fly in Leather’ to the literal Spanish ‘Vuela en cuero,’ colloquially means ‘Fly Naked’.” Oops.

Yes, it’s funny. But humor aside, translators, editors and reviewers must be meticulous and attentive to detail in order to avoid these kinds of errors. You wouldn’t trust your computer technician to write your promotional marketing material just because he or she is fluent in English, would you? It follows then, that neither would you trust your company’s translations (and reputation) to someone in your office who speaks some Spanish.

The translation process is composed of hundreds of small tasks that translators must complete. They must assess the text for subtleties of meaning and accuracy of message. They must compose a compelling message that appeals to clients — just like we do in English, but with extra care, thought and work. By doing so, you will increase your client base in spite of a sluggish economy. And, your business plan won’t get lost in translation.

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 Hook PR Group employs brand storytelling techniques and innovative content marketing strategies to help small businesses catch the attention of their current and future clients. Simply put, we help you ignite interest in your company's personality and promise by combining a great story with sound marketing techniques. Together, we’ll determine which tactics – blogs, press releases, e-newsletters, social networking sites, etc. – will help you make your brand a trusted source of information in your industry. Not reeling in as many clients as you'd like in these difficult times? Maybe you just don't have the right bait.Call us for a free brainstorming session.