Outsourcing localisation effortlessly

Client:

A luxury fashion house that designs, creates and sells ready-to-wear fashion, accessories, fragrances, sunglasses and cosmetics. These products are sold globally through its stores online, as well as through third-party wholesale customers, both offline and online.

The client is a leading player in the fashion scene, with endorsements from numerous models and movie stars, and the brand is frequently hitting the headlines with their campaigns and innovations.

Challenges

With a British heritage and brand association, taking the client’s marketing message worldwide to accelerate growth is a challenging feat.

By December 2014, localisation had become a burdensome task with a distinct lack of understanding of the process. The client felt that their localisation provider had misunderstood their voice, and this was having a huge impact on brand continuity. Translation quality was variable, and there was a definite disconnection between the client and the freelance translators they were using. 

They needed a localisation partner – an extension of their own team who would implement more productive and efficient ways of working together whilst creating high-quality content that connected the brand and products with consumers worldwide. 

Solutions

Alpha surpassed all of the client’s expectations by setting up a global, in-house team in its Cambridge offices, dedicated solely to the cultural adaptation of the brand.

The team - consisting of 18 full-time tested and approved linguists, 2 project managers and 1 program manager, all with a track record in brand marketing – provided an end-to-end localisation solution and now collectively manage a yearly volume of about 7 million translated words for various different platforms and outputs. These include: web copy, email campaigns, paid search, search engine optimisation, product descriptions, printed collateral and audio-video content into 10 different languages.

In order to accommodate final reviews of Asian translations, Alpha also added approved linguists to our own Asian offices (Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul), thus creating a 24/7 service which avoids any potential delays due to differing time zones. 

Alpha took charge of the client’s entire DTP process, implementing a streamlined system where files are taken directly from their creative design team, bypassing any unnecessary side processes, and enabling DTP and QA to be carried out as a single process.

Quality assurance services for web content and applications on iPhone and iPad on-site as well as audio-/video services (e.g. subtitling) are also taken care of by Alpha.

The Alpha team pay regular visits to the client’s headquarters – and vice versa – to ensure that each side of this partnership are truly communicative, and engaged with the products and that Alpha’s linguists fully appreciate the brand’s voice.  

Results

Alpha’s cutting-edge approach to the globalization of this major fashion house is behind the following successes:

  • High quality translation and managed DTP process for a luxury brochure, both print and digital formats for 10 languages, with 5 versions per language for different currencies
  • Delivered translation and quality assurance for hugely successful campaigns, which achieved record campaign reach
  • Weekly internal videos translated into Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Video script, time-coding, translation, subtitling and quality assurance all achieved within a 48 hour turnaround
  •  Beauty tutorial videos translated into 6 Asian languages
  •  Introduced “Send it to Alpha” system, streamlining DTP process by removing 9 unnecessary steps, while providing layout in FrameMaker, InDesign and iBooks
  • Total localisation cost reduced by 14% due to the client’s staff spending less time on redundant tasks
  • Significantly improved client understanding of localisation leading to much more realistic expectation levels
  • Helped to increase sales in China after presentation of a collection with a new translation style (25% uplift in sales)