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The Case for Adapting Your Marketing Material

Over the past two years, I have seen a number of marketing materials for Japan pass across my desk. Some were creative translation requests and some were what they called “disaster checks.” I would look at many of the creative translation requests alongside the visuals that went with them and think to myself, “The visuals have to be better adapted for Japan. Right now this is only going to be half as effective….” but I did not have the opportunity to give that feedback.

For “disaster checks” I was offering advice to make sure that a certain brand name or program name would not be obviously horrible. The famous example here is how the Japanese brand, Calpis’ name was changed to Calpico for the American market. This was okay, but I was dying to be able to give more in-depth feedback!

I finally realized that my passion was in consulting. Being a researcher of Japanese culture has given me a broad knowledge of the Japanese market. And because of my bicultural upbringing and professional training, I know how to explain the tastes of the targeted Japanese demographic to American companies. Plus, I know how to design and implement strategies to transform marketing materials.

Creating marketing material from scratch for each market is costly. Smartly adapted marketing material cuts that cost.  

This is where I come in.

I will review your marketing material, create a report on how much of your marketing material needs to be adapted, and how to adapt it. You don’t want to spend millions on hiring and working with an entire marketing firm in Japan to have them create something from scratch if what you already have only needs slight adjustments. On the other hand, if your marketing material needs to be considerably adjusted, you want to know exactly what needs to be adjusted and how so you are not going into your negotiations with the marketing firm blind. 

Next week, I will go into case studies of how things need to be adapted for the Japanese market. Meanwhile, feel free to get in touch with me with any questions or comments at One.Trans.Literacy[at] 

--Photo Credits--

Photo on left (Calpis karupisu.JPG) by Immanuel Giel.

Photo on right (Calpico Water) by Abigail Tay (

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