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Transcreating Colors - Don't be Blue!

We know that colour is an important marketing tool, connecting the viewer with an object more quickly than any other identifying feature. It helps to shape the customer’s feelings, perceptions and responses to your product or service.

So with a major shift in the global competitive market, and forecasts showing that 70% of the world’s growth over the next few years will come from emerging markets such as India and China, how do we capture the attention of our far-away friends, who may have a need for our products and services? No matter how large or small your business, simply transcreating the content of your web page or product, can help your business expand globally.

Color symbolism varies from country to country and a little research can go a long way. The potential pitfalls of the wrong color choice were illustrated to us by Pepsi Cola, who, unaware of the symbolism of light blue in South East Asia being related to death and mourning, changed the color of their vending machines from ‘Regal Blue’ to ‘Ice Blue’, promptly losing their share of the market to Coca Cola.

So where to start? Blue is the most widely used global corporate color and is considered to be the safest as it is perceived to reflect reliability in the West. However, using dark blue in China symbolizes immortality and spirituality - not what you want if marketing legal services for instance.

While in Korea and Iran, blue is the color worn for mourning so it would be wise not to use this in relation to health products! It is certain that our perception of color develops contextually within our own cultural boundaries.

If you’re looking to expand your business into international waters and want a competitive advantage, you can read further blogs in our trancreating colors series contained in our Export Blog.

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