The main aspect of marketing is to convey message to potential customers in a way that it is understandable and appealing to the potential customers. If a product or service fails to convey the message then the promotional campaign certainly is a failure. Over the years there have been product and campaign promotions that simply amaze us with their genius ways of presentation where as the same companies have made some of the biggest mistakes in the history of marketing. This post is about those mistakes that companies made due to inadequate research before marketing their product to international customers.
When a company leaves it’s home boundary and sets its foot in the international market, there are somethings that need to be analyzed, such as cultural value or emotional value that would appeal to the international customers. Language, pricing and other factors can be a challenge when entering a new market in a foreign country. Please take a look at these examples below as to how these companies created some of the biggest marketing blunders in the history of marketing!
- When Mitsubishi launched it’s Pajero 4WD in Spain they had the shock of a lifetime. As they were promoting Pajero they forgot to take into account the word “Pajero” means “jerk” in Spanish.
- The famous fried Chicken hub KFC’s slogan “finger-lickin good” when marketed was translated into China as“eat your fingers off.” Oops!
- GEC and Plesssey had a join company in France which was called GPT. When GPT is pronounced in French, it sounds as “Jay-Pay-Tay” which is similar J’ai pete, which means ” I have farted.”
- When Puffs tissue started marketing their tissues in Germany it didn’t do so well. The reason – Puff means “brothel” in Germany.
- When Italian mineral water company promoted their mineral water Traficante it was a failure because the word “Traficante” means “drug dealer” in Spanish.
- When Bacardi launched a fruit drink named Pavian they meant French chick, but when they promoted it in Germany the same word meant “Baboon.”
- Electrolux had to take their slogan down which read “Nothing sucks like Electrolux.”
- When Ford tried selling it’s car “Pinto” in Brazil it was a huge failure. The reason - the word “Pinto” is a slang for small penis in Brazil.
- Parker pens slogan “Avoid Embarassment – use Quink,” when translated into Spanish came out as “Avoid pregnancy – use Quink.”
- When Hunt – Wesson introduced their Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos, they forgot to note one thing, Gros Jos is the slang for “big breasts.”
These examples above show that promotional messages in one country might deliver one message where as in another the same message can be conceived as something else. Before promoting your products and taking your business to a new market a research must be done in order to avoid failure and succeed in a new market. Some of the things that needs to be taken into consideration while launching a product or creating a marketing campaign in a foreign country are : language, culture, emotional value and slang languages among many other things.
If you know any product or marketing blunders please share with us. Although these companies might have failed when launching their product in a foreign country – they sure have given us a way to learn. I guess this is why they say – the best learning comes from mistakes, it’s even better when someone else makes them and you get the lesson!
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