Thailand is extremely attractive to foreign businesses because of its strategic location and aggressive reforms from the Thai government. But for companies who want to enter this market, Thailand presents multiple challenges; the country’s cultural, political, and economic landscape is very different to that of the West. Even well-known brands face difficulties when establishing their presence in the Land of Smiles. This is why localising content to connect with Thai people is very important. Below are some tools and tips to utilise when localising the brand’s messages:
- Market-specific copywriting and SEO: The difference between riding a horse [ม้า maaH] and riding a dog [หมา mhaa] in Thai is as slight as a tone. However, mispronunciation is a common and easily justifiable mistake that most members of the local public will absolve you of if you are a foreigner. However, text that is misspelt or grammatically incorrect can lead to humiliation due to the resulting appearance of unprofessionalism. Utilising copywriters who are familiar with the target audience and experienced with the jargon and language can help optimise brand messaging and identify keywords to empower the brand’s SEO activities.
- Local influencers: It can be difficult for people to trust a new brand without a recommendation from another person or wider consumer recognition. The utilisation of local influencers satisfies both conditions and amplifies the brand’s reputation whilst connecting with the influencer’s fan base. Remember, in Thailand, Yaya is bigger than Gaga.
- Symbols and creating local brand artefacts: The most direct way for a brand to connect with new audiences is to provide a concrete bridge, or an intangible link, between the brand and the target audience. An excellent example of this tactic being used effectively is in how McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, is used in Thailand. Having the mascot posing in the traditional welcome ‘wai’ garnered a lot of attention. It acted as a trigger to attract interest when initially released, and has been an iconic symbol of McDonald’s Thailand to the extent that it equally symbolises the brand’s image to the public eye.
Tools that can help with a brand’s communication initiatives aren’t the only thing to consider when localising the overall brand image. Obtaining contacts and building a better relationship with stakeholders in a new market is as important, if not more so. At Midas PR, our extensive network of industry experts and media professionals can amplify your brand’s outcomes and impact. Visit our website at www.midas-pr.com today for more information or get in touch with us by email.