18 March 2022

Good food, good life, good localization.

Nestlé:<br/> <strong>Good food, good life, good localization.</strong>

A lot of companies bandy around the word “global” while actually only localizing their products into handful of languages. Nestlé is not like that. With headquarters in Switzerland and operations in 187 countries, the food-and-beverage giant uses Swiss German, French, Italian and English as internal languages and requires translation into almost every world language.

However, the food-and-drink industry is highly competitive and its customers are demanding. Content needs to be adapted not only into many different languages, but also into different cultures. Of course this requires detailed linguistic acumen – knowing which product terms are used where and when in different regions. But, particularly for marketing materials, it also relies on cultural insight and creativity to adapt materials and slogans that cannot simply be translated “word for word” – a process known as “transcreation”.

We are one of the few global localization companies with our own Swiss linguists, who are able to translate in and out of Swiss German, rather than just slightly adapting content from Germany. And when it comes to marketing, our experts also speak the “languages” of chocolate and coffee. And, as it turned out, these skills matched exactly what Nestlé needed.


Getting the word out

Nestlé, a global corporation and the world’s number one food-and-drink company, was looking for a company with a similar cross-cultural footprint to meet its translation and localization needs. Initially working with Nestlé Germany, these needs spanned several languages, industries and disciplines, and included content ranging from marketing materials such as website text and mailing campaigns through consumer information, eLearning content and legal documents.

As well as the wide range of content types, Nestlé needed everything translated into a number of languages simultaneously. They wanted to work with a company which could interface with their system, handle the enormous volumes of text, and coordinate deliveries in many languages. Alpha stood out as the leading language provider they needed with sufficient staffing, longstanding experience and specialist knowledge of SDL WorldServer. As a result, Nestlé chose us to be their preferred partner for this set of projects.


The approach

Nestlé Germany already had a robust in-house system for managing the workflow of their global content. This allowed our in-house operations team to adapt Alpha’s translation management system to Nestlé’s workflows within a minimal set-up time.

At the start of the project, our linguists were promptly on-boarded and introduced to Nestlé’s terminology and in-house style guide. Our large in-house teams were able to balance the workload and increasing volumes without this negatively impacting the quality of the work. The linguists particularly enjoyed the challenge of creatively transcreating slogans and taglines into their native languages.

Across an international workflow, multiple languages and a wide variety of content types, our project managers ensured that deadlines, quality standards and budgets always remained on track. Filtering questions from our linguists and acting as Nestlé’s single point of contact for any queries, it’s a role that requires experienced hands to balance competing priorities.

Of course, that includes ensuring that each translation project had the right linguist and reviewer working on it. They made sure creative minds could focus on finding the right tagline, while legal experts provided accurate translations of contracts and regulations.


The results

Over the years, Alpha has provided Nestlé with many millions of translated words into various languages. The translation management workflow which was initially launched by Alpha and Nestlé Germany has been a resounding success.

But, particularly on complex projects, it’s always necessary to look for ways in which we can make continuous improvements. Our teams constantly re-assess the workflow and adjust it as and when Nestlé’s needs change. This has included fine-tuning the quotation process and customizing the review and LQA processes to take into account new guidelines from Nestlé.

So much so that other Nestlé companies have begun using it to source translations. Today, Nestlé’s managers and in-house linguists see Alpha as a one-stop shop for localization. They send content, and have a final version delivered in however many languages they requested by the deadline they set. And with any DTP and LQA steps that might be needed for the project all factored in. They particularly appreciate the way Alpha has streamlined the process to deliver timely translations in multiple languages. Helping Nestlé’s food feed their customers around the world.