Kapplöpning Cars Inc.

Company Newsletter 10/11/15

Second Languages

Aimee Young

As an international company, Kapplöpning Cars Inc. places heavy importance on second language education of its employees. Although the percentage of employees who speak a second language (26%) is higher than the percentage of second language speakers in the national population (18%), there is still room to grow, especially in the American economy where companies lose more than $2 billion a year as a result of cultural misunderstandings and language barriers. Our analysts estimate that of that $2 billion, Kapplöpning's losses total $3.5 million. American companies like ourselves are experiencing difficulty because trade patterns are changing. While Europe is traditionally the major trading partner, the net value of trade with Asia was approximately $800 billion in 2006, and it has undoubtedly increased since then. There is also the market factor to deal with. English may be the world's lingua franca, but America has less than 5% of the world population, meaning that 95% of the world is largely rife with opportunity if language barriers can be crossed.

To stay competitive in an increasingly global environment, our company executives, like an 80% of business leaders surveyed by the Committee on Economic Development, believe that employees should develop a greater international repertoire. In an effort to encourage employees to learn a second language, the president and CEO have created a world language workshop day on October 21. Employees who attend may place their name in a raffle for the opportunity to win a fully-paid, week-long vacation in Shanghai for two. The workshop will provide attendees with information about the return on investment for specific languages, languages that would best suit the needs of our company, opportunities for work abroad, and programs of study. Employees who learn a second language in the next year are eligible for a bonus.

Avoiding International Campaign Blunders

John O’Reilly

The worst advertising fails are:

  1. The Unilever Germany slogan was translated into English as, “[Expletive] the diet.”

  2. The American Dairy Association’s “Got milk?” was translated to, “Are you lactating?” in Mexico.

  3. KFC’s “Finger-lickin’ good,” became, “We’ll eat your fingers off,” in China.

  4. Pepsi’s “Come alive with Pepsi,” was advertised as, “Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead,” in China.

  5. The Jolly Green Giant was portrayed as the “Intimidating Green Monster,” in Arabic.

As a relatively new company, Kapplöpning Cars would do well to learn from its predecessors. Although some of these companies' fortunes changed once they scrapped their slogans (KFC went on to become the leading fast food brand with more than 4,400 restaurants in 850 Chinese cities), it is a good idea to spend extra money on translation services before finalizing a campaign in order to save millions of dollars down the road. Of course, if more Kapplöpning employees spoke a second language, paying for outside translation services would be unnecessary.

As if international campaigns aren't difficult enough, there are other mistakes that advertisers have to look out for. Campaigns that are deemed culturally offensive will arouse widespread uproar thanks to the development of social media. For instance, Fiat's sales in China were disrupted by their decision to use actor Richard Gere, a figure hated for his support of the Dalai Lama. In the celebrity marketing production, Gere drives from Italy to Tibet. Upon seeing the ad, the Chinese unleashed their anger via online message boards, swearing that they would never buy a Fiat car.

Although international marketing seems like a daunting task, it is well worth it for the unprecedented opportunity for growth in overseas markets. As long as the company ensures the correct translation and thorough cultural investigation of an advertisement, executives are sure to see improved prospects. However, this window will be short-lived. As increasing numbers of American companies expand abroad and foreign companies expand within America, this process will soon be more of a necessity for survival than an opportunity for increased sales. Kapplöpning, act quickly and wisely.

Kapplöpning Cares

At Kapplöpning Cars, we are committed to providing consumers all around the world with affordable and environmentally friendly cars ...because let's face it, the future of our planet is priceless. With such a wide variety of cars to choose from, the needs of all consumers are met without the guilt that comes with purchasing the gas-guzzling machines of other companies. And for care like that, Kapplöpning can't be beat!

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