We have many things we need to catch up on, including our blog. It’s been very busy the last two or three months and, sadly, the blog was neglected.Beautyterm has undergone a series of exciting new developments that we cannot wait to share. One of them was our move to a new US office that we absolutely love. Located downtown Fairfield (CT), The Galleria building houses many different businesses, including three restaurants (one all-American and two French!). This means that appetizing aromas are always wafting from their kitchens and sneaking in through the gap under the door! Enough to walk around hungry all day long!
Then we also have a yoga studio (http://www.yoga4everybody.net), interior design boutique called Lions Paw & Company (http://lionspaw.co/) and the She3 Well-Fitness Studio that offers women’s health workshops teaching them about living healthier, staying fit, and how to make better choices in life.
But that’s not all! The Jan Van Gorder commercial photography studio is on the other side of the wall from us (http://www.vangorderstudios.com/) and the Chase Driving School just down the hall. And last but not least, I must mention the wonderful Villari’s martial arts studio run by Sensei Jerry and Nancy Simon, whom my youngest daughter absolutely adores!
Could not have found a better location!
Every professional translator is required to demonstrate perfect language proficiency and good knowledge of subject matter. That’s a given. However, there are other qualities that translators need to have in order to be good at what they do.
What exactly are those qualities? How can translation service buyers know they are working with a talented and skillful beauty translator?
Translators can also be expected to have the following qualities, irrespective of their field of specialty: experience, professional attitude, good research skills, discipline and attention to detail (but not at the expense of losing sight of the forest for the trees! After all linguistic dexterity comes from a flexible mind, from the ability to see the “big picture”).
But a good beauty translator’s personal qualities will often make the difference and here is why:
- Awareness of the Market – It often comes down to personal curiosity. Beauty translators must be knowledgeable about the market in which they translate in order to understand their target audience and produce high-quality translations that hold the consumer’s attention
- Passion for writing and love of words – Someone you hire for translating cosmetic copy must not only love beauty products but also love writing about them and feel passionate about language in general.
- Vivid Imagination – Communication professionals who truly love language usually understand that they are not dealing with a static immovable force but rather with a living, breathing and constantly changing entity. They are not afraid to show off their own originality, imagination and creative flair.
- Humility and open-mindedness – Do not trust translators who say they can deliver a “perfect” translation. Just like in writing, there is always room for improvement. Openness to feedback and criticism from others is a must. Translating is not only about “getting it right”; it is also about having the right attitude.
- Self-confidence – At the same time, translators must know when to take a stand. Holding one’s own voice against others is a necessary part of consulting with clients, especially when helping them avert a costly or embarrassing mistake. Finding that right balance between humility and self-confidence is key.
Back from Javits Center in NY, where beautyterm visited IECSC NY 2012. On day two, the trade show was bustling with visitors and exhibitors alike. One of the leading spa events in the United States, celebrating this year its 10th anniversary, the exhibit presented a rich tableau of all sorts of activity as we descended the escalators to enter the exhibit hall.
The exhibitor list included a wide variety of companies in the business, but we were most interested in skin care manufacturers. The first brand that caught our attention, thanks to its massive, brightly lit stand was Repêchage, a US-made line of professional skin care sold in spas and resorts worldwide. Sanitas Skincare is another American brand that immediately stood out in the crowd as we entered, probably owing to its very stylish and elegant look.
We had, of course, come to look specifically for our Parisian favorites Decléor and Carita. Both stands were very busy, practically overrun by visitors, clamoring to find out about products and to benefit from discounts and special offers. Carita representatives were especially gracious and took extra time to chat with us in the midst of all the flurry and rush. They were also particularly photogenic as you can judge for yourselves (no photoshopping in the picture!)!
After our friendly chat at Carita, we continued our exploration up and down the exhibit hall, surrounded by throngs of men and women (mostly women) scurrying around in great excitement. Some stands had salon, spa, massage and even teeth whitening equipment on display and were running demos. Others showcased beautiful multi-colored makeup and nail accessories.
Many visitors walked away happy with a free facial or makeover, including our very own Head of Human Resources, who is a big fan of Sonya Dakar. An American-made brand from Beverly Hills, Sonya Dakar is a recognized Hollywood staple among popular celebrities, including Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas, James Franco, Gwyneth Paltraw, Drew Barrymore, and many others. Sonya Dakar introduced MicroVenom Daily Defense and Sun-Kissed Facial at the IECSC NY 2012. Nate Dakar, co-founder and president of Sonya Dakar Skincare, was there on Monday, explaining the benefits of his famously luxurious, celebrity coveted line, and shaking hands with star-struck admirers like ourselves.
All in all, the conference provided a wonderful experience, infused with the inimitable vibrancy, vitality and energy of New York City you will find nowhere else in the world. There were so many brands; we could not possibly name them all, but we would like to thank everyone who was kind enough to talk to us for their time and for their professionalism! Special thanks go to Agnes at Aquafolia, the ladies at DermaSwiss, B.Kamins, Nelly Devuyst, dermalogica, glo professional, Physiodermie and to the entire family at VMV Ltd.
Specialization, human touch and top-notch collaborators
Shopping around for the right translation service provider is not easy. There is an abundance of translation agencies to choose from, all vying for potential clients’ attention with the same assurances of high quality, native language translators and project management skills.
Most agencies choose not to specialize too narrowly in one specific field. They tend to serve a wide range of industries, from the airlines, IT sector, food and agriculture to hotels. And most also have a financial and legal department as those areas are typically highly profitable.
All reputable establishments that follow a strict protocol farm out the translation work they accept from clients to adequately trained translators. So a legal document will be given to a legal translator and a pharmaceutical translation will go to a translator with the required expertise in that field.
However, smaller companies that do make the conscious decision to work within the scope of only one industry can offer many benefits:
-> Specialization creates high quality
- Focus: Adopting a focus in a given niche means that your translation will not be relegated, last-minute, to just any translator at the end of the phone line with time to spare, if the regular specialized translator is on vacation or sick leave.
- Educate: Rushed, halfway solutions become unnecessary because small translation boutiques are willing to invest time in educating their prospects before they start selling their services. For example, they take the time to explain how important it is to factor in enough time for the process of properly translating a document.
-> Close relationships and solutions tailored to your needs
- Nurture: Smaller companies pamper their clients and employees/partners alike. They may be able to address highly personalized client requests at a moment’s notice but they also have very tight-knit relationships with their translators and work hard at keeping both happy.
- Reach: They are so close to their clients that they can deliver CEO-level experience to everyone they work with. It’s all about involvement and hands-on management. Translators who ask questions are good news.
- Surprise: Truly valuable translation service providers understand and are able to demonstrate to their clients that translation is an art. They know the value of surprising their clients with initiative, innovation and sometimes even risk taking. Did you think translation was for drones? Think again!
- Meaning: A small translation outfit will work to build a meaningful relationship. Instead of placing focus on selling (churning out volume-driven revenue), the resulting partnership will be about connecting and understanding.
-> We bring you the best of the translation world
- Partner: Because small translation businesses are highly specialized and operate via networks of partners in order to be able to address their clients’ specific needs, they must ensure that their pool of partners represents the best and the brightest in the field.
- Automate: With smart use of technology, small service providers are able to ensure the same level of follow-up and service without the overhead cost of their big agency competitors.
[Be warned: some may still be more expensive, even without comparable overhead, given the higher level of expertise and higher overall attention to their clients. However, this usually means that translators are also much better paid and therefore much happier with what they do, in addition to being on the whole more satisfied with their working relationships and working conditions. Invariably, such differences will translate into a big difference in the quality of the final product that the paying end customer will see upon delivery.]
SOURCE: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing
In 1952, Revlon launched an iconic ad for its Fire & Ice Lipstick and Nail Enamel collection. One of the most memorable ads in fashion history, it featured the famous model Dorian Leigh photographed in a sparkling silver sequined gown and a red cape. The image was accompanied by the unforgettable tagline “Are you made for Fire & Ice?” and by a full-page quiz that asked a series of what were at the time considered racy questions.
The collection was revamped in 2010 with Jessica Biel reinterpreting the absolute glamour once portrayed by Dorian Leigh. The modern take of the ad showcased a softer version of makeup but came with no (as far as we know) updated version of the quiz.
Beautyterm thought it might be fun to try to rewrite the quiz in such a way as to better reflect the 21st century woman’s cheeky but overtasked persona. So we came up with a slightly more down-to-earth, maybe less Jessica Biel and more Sara Jessica Parker in ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ rendering of the Fire & Ice Quiz.
Go to http://bit.ly/J8iPcm to read all about it or look for us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Why is it so important to hire native speakers as translators? And why is it almost a twofold obligation when translating beauty care and cosmetic copy?
New translation buyers may not be aware of this, but professional translators work into their native language only. According to the American Translators Association a “translator who flouts this basic rule is likely to be ignorant of other important quality issues as well”.
If a document needs to be translated into English, it has to be given to native English speakers, and not a French, Spanish or German translator, however skilled a professional he or she may be. Granted, English has become a global lingua franca or a universal language, but that does not mean that non native speakers, even those who have mastered it orally, will be able to write flawless, print-ready copy.
Eventually their language-specific reflexes will gain the upper hand and the produced English translation will irrefutably end up peppered with pesky little inconsistencies and erratic expressions. The end result will be no less than annoying to the intended reader and also potential customer.
A good example from French to English translations involves the very basic word “skin”. In French, it is frequently used in its plural form to point to many different types of skin. So the French refer quite naturally to “les peaux matures” et “les peaux sèches et normales”, while in English “skin” must at all times remain in singular.
A non native translator working into English may, however, get carried away and say “With its unique composition, this spring water is capable of soothing even the most irritated skins” or “sensitive skins often age at a faster rate than other skins”, which, to put it mildly, has a skin-crawling (pardon the pun) effect from all points of view. This is exactly the type of translation faux pas – be it in a website, brochure, product description, press release or other – that raises red flags, tipping your readers off that there just may be something amiss with the broader picture.
Let’s look at the wider ramifications. Cosmetics and beauty care products are designed to bring glamour and luxury to everyday life. As L’Oréal puts it, they “pamper the soul”, influencing the relationship we have with ourselves, improving our self-acceptance and self-image, and not just the way others perceive us. Because of the importance of physical appearance in our developed societies, cosmetics enjoy an increasingly higher status. They represent our striving for excellence, perfection and beauty. It is therefore essential that they reflect equally high standards of quality. And hence we see the enormous strategic implications of product branding, image and positioning.
As an extension of advertising and marketing communication strategy, translation of cosmetic copy cannot afford to be shabby or substandard. Even smaller companies just barely on the verge of breaking into international markets should think carefully about spending a little extra on professional translation services, especially for documents used for publication and likely to reach a greater public.
That money will be well spent; it will prove that they care about their products and their customers. It makes perfect sense. Why should a customer trust a company that claims to have in-depth scientific expertise but is not able or not willing to advertise it in a way that is on a par with its capabilities? First impressions are lasting impressions and people make snap judgments on small details.
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Founded in 1957 and organized by Les Nouvelles Esthétiques Magazine, this professional trade show with a rich history is held in Paris on a yearly basis. It brings in 250 exhibitors and showcases 650 brands of cosmetics, nail and hair care products, salon and spa equipment, and more.
Attendees to the show include professional beauticians, makeup artists, hair and nail salon as well as spa service providers, hairstylists, pharmacists and beauty and health store owners, physical therapists and body treatment experts. In 2011, the event drew 23,000 visitors and this year the program offered 50 topical workshops and conferences.
Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa sponsors four International Congress of Esthetics and Spa educational conferences in the US (in Miami Beach, Dallas, Long Beach and Philadelphia).
Pharmagora is a professional tradeshow held annually in Paris and catering to pharmacists and the pharmacy business. The show’s 400 or so exhibitors are all important partners that pharmacy owners deal with on a daily basis, from laboratories, automated systems suppliers, IT equipment specialists, to orthopedic firms, distributors, merchandising companies and the like.
The trade show takes place at Paris Expo Portes de Versailles, the largest convention center in France. In 2012, it donned a new layout with 20,000 m2, where exhibitors were divided into three themed sectors, one of which was dermocosmetics. And this is precisely why Pharmagora is a wonderful place to visit for beauty and cosmetics junkies like ourselves.
First and foremost, what are dermocosmetics? La Roche Posay provides the following definition of dermocosmetics in its beauty glossary:
Dermocosmetic products are applied locally to the skin, scalp and hair. They combine a cosmetic action with a dermatological action. Dermocosmetic products are formulated to maintain the health and beauty of the skin and hair. […]
In addition to La Roche Posay, the most popular brands of French dermocosmetics are Uriage, Vichy, Avène and Biotherm. But there are also Ducray, Aderma, Galenic, Klorane and many more smaller companies such as Laboratoires Arcana. They all come to exhibit at Pharmagora because they all target consumers in the habit of buying their skin and hair care products at the pharmacy, with the help and personalized advice of their friendly neighborhood pharmacist.
In fact, that is another big part of the dermocosmetics concept. Laboratoires Pierre Fabre have even for many years successfully opposed the sale of dermocosmetics over the Internet, arguing in European courts that “only the physical presence of a qualified pharmacist guarantees consumers the quality of pharmaceutical and personalized advice that is tailored to meet their expectations of efficiency and safety” (SOURCE Laboratoires Pierre Fabre).
We should mention that in 2011 in the US, La Roche Posay was present in 6,000 drugstores, either via the pharmacy counter or in dedicated areas, where the brand’s products were promoted by specially trained derma advisors. Another interesting fact: the dermocosmetics sector has seen strong growth in the recent past in various parts of the world, including Brazil and Poland.
Cosmetic Design Europe reports that major cosmetic manufacturers are shifting focus from traditional to new media outlets in an effort to cut multi-billion dollar ad costs and develop closer consumer relationships. The cosmetics industry is known for its huge spending on advertising. However, today it is shifting business into digital as the use of Facebook, Google and other social media platforms has become more cost effective.
Online presence and social media marketing strategies are difficult to implement but at the same time highly efficient when properly designed. The launch of Trésor Midnight Rose by L’Oréal was a good example of a successful multichannel campaign that relied heavily on the influence of mobile applications. Procter & Gamble’s online campaign for the once forgotten Old Spice brand, which turned the “Smell like a Man, Man” commercials with former football star Isaiah Mustafa into a YouTube sensation was another case in point.
Known for its sponsorship and production of daytime TV dramas, which helped coin the term “soap operas,” P&G has recently pulled the plug on the last of its projects. Instead the company is pursuing a big push on all fronts of social media. Many other beauty companies are following the same path. You can listen to P&G’s Global External Relations Manager, Anitra Marsh talk about Social Media for Beauty Brands” at http://vimeo.com/11056220.