Why Culture and Translation is Critical at Campbell’s Soup

It is impossible to conceive of consumers in today’s society acting alone, with no interaction with others in their social environment.  Even someone living in the remote areas of Siberia, who grows his own food and makes his own shelter, functions as part of a society taken as a whole when he takes his once a year trip into the village for tools and supplies.  More ordinary people, the consumers or buyers which whom global business and Milwaukee Translation Services is concerned are clearly engaged in a social behavior –buying and selling, dealing with others in formal and informal situations and on levels ranging from intimate to aloof.  The lives of consumers are subject to myriad social forces in their environment.  Sociology is a discipline that investigates human behavior through the study of social institutions and their relationships.  The individual is not discounted, but sociology’s emphasis is on the family and various other social groups and institutions.

The term culture, though frequently used, is difficult to define clearly because the term encompasses so much about the way a society lives.  Culture is the sum total of knowledge, beliefs, customs, values and other behavioral patterns learned and shared by the members of a particular society.  Essential to the concept of a culture is the notion that culture is man made rather than innate.  Thus, that children are born is “natural,” but how the mating process is conducted and how the children are treated is “cultural.”

It is important for certified translation workers to understand cultural values and beliefs—ideas about what ought to be and the things that people “know”—and the symbols associated with that knowledge.  Culture obviously varies from place to place around the globe and affects the success of marketing worldwide.  What seems like a normal idea, or even a great idea to marketers in one country may be seen as unacceptable or even laughable to citizens of other lands.    According to Houston Portuguese Translation workers, Campbell’s Soup offered their familiar, to us, red and white label cans of soup in Brazil, but found cultural values there too difficult for this product to overcome.  Brazilian housewives apparently felt guilty using the prepared soups that Americans take for granted.  The beliefs that they would not be fulfilling their roles as homemakers if they served their families a soup they could not call their own.  Faced with this difficulty, Campbell’s withdrew the product.

Successful Product Launches In Developing Countries With Experienced Translation Companies

U.S. companies that wish to expand their geographic operations to China, Korea or Vietnam face a number of seemingly insurmountable hurdles, among them cultural differences, distribution snafus and business practices that radically differ from those of Western countries.  Those willing to meet the challenges are advised to proceed with patience, perseverance and flexibility-virtues that eventually can help build big profits in a nation whose economy is growing faster than that of the United States.

When Proctor and Gamble entered China in 1988, it faced the usual barrier to entry to marketing.  One Houston Chinese Translation worker recalls, how Proctor and Gamble was up against selling a product – disposable diapers – historically not part of the Chinese consumer marketplace.  At that time, there really was no demand for this type of product because mothers didn’t see a need to move away from traditional cloth diapers.  In 2007, Proctor and Gamble introduced a viral marketing program that catapulted the Pamper’s product line to the top of the product category in unit sales.  Today, Proctor and Gamble joins the ranks of the highly successful corporations that have learned to market effectively to the Chinese.

As mentioned previously, part of Proctor and Gamble’s success stems from it highly successful promotional activities that were developed in conjunction with a team of translation service workers.  In 2007, Pampers launched a “Golden Sleep” campaign which included nothing short of in-store celebrations and internet programs that went viral that asked parents to upload pictures of their babies sleeping in Pampers.  All of the campaigns reinforced the message that babies that wear Pampers fall asleep much faster and sleep with fewer disruptions than those babies that don’t.

The success of Proctor and Gamble in emerging markets has allowed the company to set and meet ambitious growth plans that call for adding 500,000 new customers each day through 2013.

According to a San Francisco Vietnamese translation worker, another company that has been hugely successful in the Chinese market includes Campbell’s Soup.  Even though the Chinese diet consists of a large portion of soup, the majority of soup had always been handmade.  Thus, the challenge for Campbell’s Soup was to shift consumer preference and prove that their soup was better tasting, more convenient and offered a cost-efficient alternative.