FALSE FRIENDS, GOOD AND BAD TRANSLATION
The road to compelling copy
Heute ein Beitrag von Ben Davidson:
As an Englishman living in Germany, I’ve noticed a vast difference in marketing styles between the two countries. Sometimes, German companies’ marketing leaves a bit to be desired, with copy that is functional without being fascinating.
The carsharing case study
German firm Stadtmobil and US-based Zipcar are both market leaders and offer near-identical carsharing services. But their websites could scarcely be more different. The contrast is remarkable, and not only in terms of the texts. The visuals and usability of the sites are worlds apart.
The most striking thing is the sheer amount of text on the Stadtmobil site. And when you work up the courage to read the copy, the language is dull and sterile – it doesn’t forge a connection with the reader. The same cannot be said of Zipcar. Their site has its own personality, cool images and a sprinkling of humour. It drives you to find out more.
Picking a style that reflects the service?
Note the friendly tone of voice – it’s all part the cool, fun brand identity. There is a distinctly informal feel: phrases like “We’re easy”, and “The doors will unlock, and it’s all yours!” see to that. Zipcar explains why a car club is a great idea, linking these reasons to real-life situations. In contrast, Stadtmobil simply lists potential benefits. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t reach out to the reader or inspire them to sign up.
Consumer friendly or eco friendly?
So who is in the driving seat?
What I like about the Zipcar site is that all the pages have the same tone of voice, and project a consistent brand image. Light-hearted, engaging and informative copy helps make a boring task seem fun! It presents the service in a fresh and exciting way, using this persona to draw you in. And personality is a key ingredient, as people are far more likely to buy into a brand they identify with. While Stadtmobil is stuck on the hard shoulder, Zipcar is streets ahead.