If you’re looking to expand your brand globally and want to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a distinct culture, you don’t have to look to Europe or Asia. Right next door is access to one of the wealthiest, industrialized non-English-speaking cultures in the world — the Canadian province of Quebec. Using professional translation services, you can bring your brand into this advantageous market, ensuring a locally relevant message that corresponds with your global brand vision.
Increasing your global footprint is an important step in the evolution of your brand. Quebec offers you the opportunity to do so, right at your doorstep! According to CNN Money, 15% of US exports are shipped to Canada, making it the United States’ largest export market at $337 billion annually. A close proximity to the US means a border that is conducive to shipping, allowing you to keep costs down and supply chains short.Quebec is also a growing market, not only containing 24% of Canada’s entire population, but also higher consumer spending per capita. Between 2014 and 2016, digital French-language ad spending increased by 21% in Canada to nearly $1 billion CAD, according to a report by eMarketer. Seventy-one percent of those in the 18-24 demographic made a digital purchase last year; 80% of those in the 25-34 age group did as well. A French-language advertising strategy using professional translation services can significantly increase your brand’s reach and its reputation as a global presence.
The first step is to translate your marketing material and ad copy into French to meet the translation requirements of the Quebec Office of the French Language. French is the official language of Quebec, so from an advertising perspective, all advertising copy, signage, marketing literature, websites, and other promotional material that consumers will interact with is legally required to be in French. The Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act also requires French translations to appear on all packaging and labels of goods being sold in Canada. Marketing translations and ad copy translations are essential to moving into French Canada. If you are planning on having operations in Canada, you may have a need to use professional translation services to translate legal, HR and financial documents as well.
Beyond simply completing the French marketing translations, there is a specific tone in Quebec’s advertising that you’ll want to adapt. Quebec’s cultural identity is very important to its citizens, and they can be disenchanted with a marketing campaign that is simply ported from America and translated into French. As noted by Arthur Fleischmann, president of Canadian advertising agency, John St., people in Quebec “look at things with a different sense of humor, with more of a design sensibility.”
A Quebec-Focused Advertising Strategy
Brands that have moved into French Canada find that the optimal strategy for success in this market is to adopt a Quebec-centric advertising strategy. For television and digital advertising, this can often be achieved by hiring French-Canadian actors, using set locations in Quebec, and researching and adapting to the special Quebec culture and humor when targeting specific demographics. Translation, though, is the most important part of adapting to the French Canadian market. By understanding how to connect with Quebecois through their language, along with the proper preparation, and sensitive consideration of the singular Quebec culture, the benefits to your brand’s global strategy are myriad and profitable.