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Native Japanese English to Japanese Translator/Proofer
Japanese Novel, Editorial, Article and Marketing Material Writer
Technical Writer for Manuals both in Japanese and English
Market Researcher and Consultant
Director, Translation Operations, Accounting and Business Development, nexnexy, Inc.

- Freelance and director at a partnership company, nexnexy, Inc., established in 2009 with my partner teaching English at home. The venture is to provide high quality educati

Article Title: Translations Holds the Key to Your Brand Awareness
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High quality translations hold the answer to your company’s success in the Japanese market. Today content is generated by machine translations and non-native Japanese translators. However, how your website can efficiently communicate with your customer is the key to your success especially in a BtoB market; your website is your frontline sales team. In the BtoB market, organizations tend to be ignorant about the importance of public communications and advertisements while all of the top foreign companies in Japan have been sending out highly customized marketing messages from local Japanese affiliates. These companies have built their sound brand awareness not only with messaging, but more importantly with products and services tailor made for Japanese market needs through its own Japanese operations.

After the customer base has expanded with customizations efforts, the product lifecycle may reach its mature stage. In such segment, Japanese market may be uniformed to global markets where many of foreign companies challenges to switch their channel from long-term existing distributors to new operations from a scratch, even though there is already an existing distributor with strong connections to local markets. Many of those companies go beyond the point of no return with “a crucial mistake” by tapping on its own channel development. Some other companies learn expensive lessons from entering into the market without sufficient understanding about the uniqueness of the market. There are so many failure cases of foreign companies challenging new market entrance and channel switch in various industries. Some others, of course, failed not because of marketing message but simply due to the poor localization of products and services. For software products, as its user interface is essential, such poor translation quality make the products “useless” for its customer.

Unfortunately, as opposed to the importance of high quality translation, the software user interface and products and services websites market is full of content generated by machine translations and non-native translators. Where the products and services cannot be copied by someone else with highly protective patents around its technology, it may be a different story. If the products and services are overwhelmingly competitive, “translation quality” may not be an issue, since your clients anyway must adopt them to survive. English skills of average Japanese are improving. “Translation does not matter” in some cases. However, such “lack of accountability” may become a critical shortfall at later stage.

When market expands and reaches its mature stage, organizations will face serious phases to challenge the return on investment in the past and how to differentiate those commoditized products and services. The answer is a brand. Products and services lost long-term credibility will phase out. There is one aspect crucial not only for a new market entrant, organizations challenging channel switch but also for existing market player already grabbing certain pie of the market, although its requirements are diversified, is the brand. Translation services play a very important role in building positive brand awareness.

nexnexy provides not only translation services for new messages at the stage of market entrant but also rewriting services for quality improvement of existing websites. The SNS will become more and more influential in the future especially in BtoB segment. We can be a long term partner to optimize website messaging tailor made for Japanese market.
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