Why The Research Plan Needs to be Globalized

Melanie Degnan

Did you know that there are 50 different Eskimo words for ‘snow‘? Or that those who live in northern Scandinavia and Russia who speak Saami, have about 1,000 different ways to say ‘reindeer’? This information is definitely interesting, but why does it matter? Well, it might matter if you’re thinking of taking a product or service to market anytime soon. Ok, maybe only if your product is a reindeer-mounted snow shovel. But seriously, knowing there are so many variations in these languages, makes you wonder about all the other many languages and possible communication problems that may arise. Of course, you might not be thinking of the global market just yet, but you should be. Our world is becoming increasingly global and increasingly instant, which brings new communication challenges. Today’s products and brands need to be prepared early on to compete on a global level. Being able to communicate according to each market’s values, understanding cultural sensitivities, and knowing how your product or service compares with top local brands in that space should all be top of mind.

One way to do that is through research, which can be a crucial tool for understanding more about your consumer and creating more effective communications. However, there are many common pitfalls when it comes to reviewing open-ended questions. That’s when having a great research team and a skilled supplier in place can mean a world of difference. When it comes to global studies, we partner closely with Lionbridge because language is such an important component of the insights we deliver and Lionbridge ensures we provide top quality translation. In fact, our very own Carol Fitzgerald and Paula Shannon from Lionbridge are in Nashville at the SiriusDecision Summit today to talk about this very subject.

However, it’s important to note that the meaning of a word is not just important on a global scale. While in one language there may be more than one word used to convey a certain idea, there are also countless ways to interpret that word’s meaning. A company may think such a word means one thing, but in reality from a consumer’s point of view, it could mean something very different. Understanding what your brand stands for among your consumers – what you stand for, what the essence is – is of utmost importance when going to market. That’s why from time to time we conduct our own global exploratory studies to help our clients glean more insights on marketing terms that may be helpful in their own communication and positioning platforms. This year, BuzzBack conducted a study exploring the word ‘premium’, which aimed to understand what consumer language represents – verbally, visually and emotionally in the US, UK, China and Brazil. To request the white paper, contact us below, or to learn more about our ‘premium’ study, click here.


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