Be aware of foreign market public holidays and school breaks

Int'l Sales Tip of the DayCurrently, I am planning our trip to Europe this summer. We will be traveling to Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Czech Republic to visit family, doing some research and business.
But mostly, we will be in Germany. A close ally with lots of travel planning experience is my mother in Germany. The first thing she told me was to check the German holidays and school break schedule as those days and weeks would influence prices, possible reservation needed for popular destinations, transportation, and crowdedness in trains, planes and on the Autobahn. And that schedule is not uniform in all Germany. German public holidays, except for the German Unity Day, are determined by the federal states (“Bundesländer”), however, school holiday breaks may vary from region to region.

 

Following are very handy websites for getting informed about those dates.

 

In English:

 

And in German:

 

You also should take those days well in consideration when doing business in Germany. Yes, for traveling to Germany but also for planning on
  • launching a new product or service,
  • having an email campaign where you like to engage Germans in Germany, or
  • holding international meetings – online or offline on site –
to name just a few other occasions.

 
 

Research your Foreign Brand Name

Today I read an article in the German online newspaper Die Welt on how the dictator Adolf Hitler is idealized in India for his leadership qualities and strength. Most people are not at all aware of his dark past.
Using his famous grim look with the little mustache is even a very effective lead magnet for businesses. A boutique even chose for that very reason Hitler for its brand name (complete with the swastika in the dot of the “i”). Like some other businesses that used the famous name related to German history in their brand, they had to change it after the pressure of Jewish protesters.

Using foreign names in your brand or product can get significant when market to a foreign community. Check out the history related to it and be prepared for conversations about your choices (politic isn’t such a tabu topic in other countries as it is in the US, but that’s for another post).

Often, names are chosen with the intent of giving imagery and foreign flair. Such as the Salon and Spa “Le Belle” or another with “Le Bella”, or a multi-million Dollar housing construction named “Bella Fiore”, not too far from a Florist and Event Specialist with the same name. French and Italian natives shake their heads seeing those grammatical and constructional errors in brand names. And you don’t want to compromise your expertise by such disregarding of local orthography and grammar.

Yes, you can blame it to Google Translate and its linguistic limitations but at the end, it’s your research, your brand, your money.

Fazit: Test your business and product names, check in with natives or get a professional checkup to make sure to not offend possible customers and embarrass yourself.

Learn another language and help boost the tourism industry

“Taxi drivers should learn the basics of one or two other languages in order to be able to communicate with foreign tourists.”

Earlier this year, I had shared a link on Facebook to an article about a speech at a Taxi Association division meeting. It said further “Taxi drivers are among the frontliners in the tourism industry. You should equip yourselves with basic language skills so that you can at least greet tourists and ask where they want to go in their own language.”

I couldn’t forget this article and how right it was in its saying that basics of other languages would also improve quality of their service besides helping to boost the tourism industry. It was so obvious. And I started pondering which other professions are frontliners in the tourism industry. Here is what I came up with:

Hotel Receptionists

Restaurant Waiters/Waitresses

Taxi Drivers

Hotel Concierges

City Bus Drivers

Restaurant Hosts/Hostesses

Tour Guides

Tourism Information Center Staff

I am sure there are more…. Let us know!

Although Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in Washington, we became last year the only state in the US with no statewide tourism office and no money from the state to promote our state to travelers. The Washington Tourism Alliance was formed to coordinate state wide marketing and continue branding efforts and take over existing assets, such as Washington’s fabulous state website. We all have it now in our own hands!

Let’s all do something to help boost tourism!

3 Essential Strategies to Successfully Translate Your Brand Into Another Language

Nov 20, 2018 - 12pm PST / 3pm EST

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