The cosmetics and toiletries industry has many complexities, with rules and regulations differing vastly across national and international boundaries. This presents an almost insurmountable challenge for companies eager to stay on the right side of the law while trading around the world – and means close attention to detail must be maintained at all times. Swift, accurate translation and localisation services can go a long way to mitigating some of the risk. Here are four key things to consider if you’re about to embark on your very first cosmetics translation…
1. Labelling and packaging design
Ensuring customers can read your labelling and any applicable instructions in their native language is crucial. Not only does it ensure the safe use of your product, but consumers need this information to use and benefit from your formulas and engage with your product line. Few consumers are willing to buy an item when they can’t understand what it is that they are supposed to do with it – and the cosmetics sector is one where snap judgements to dismiss a product are common. While many customers are willing to try something new, they will only do so when they feel they’ve been provided with the right level and detail of information. A clean, clearly labelled design will help provide this critical first step.
2. Major growth areas in cosmetics
The largest cosmetics sector worldwide is skincare, with consumers all over the world constantly seeking the next big trend or miracle product assuring plump, healthy, glowing skin. Whilst this desire for great skincare might be universal, the way these items are sold to the buying public is not. Skincare accounts for 36% of the global cosmetics market so competition is fierce and mistakes potentially fatal; it’s essential to pay close attention to international laws and regulations surrounding labelling, packaging, marketing and sale of products.
3. Cultural research
Be sure to choose a translation service which understands the way customers in different nations consume language. The most commonly translated objects are point of sale displays and directions for use – alongside cautions to avoid any accidents – but this is certainly not as straightforward a task as it may seem. Different turns of phrase will appeal to different countries, so translating these elements is certainly not best suited to a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Localisation and a native understanding of the language is absolutely critical.
4. Major legislation
There are many different types of legislation regarding cosmetics products and how they can be presented to the buying public. The main EU legislation is Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009, which applies to cosmetics products sold within EU boarders.
You must ensure that the copy on your packaging and all other elements of your cosmetics products meet with this legislation, which is designed to provide heightened safety for consumers. The regulation requires companies to refine their approach to labelling in order to ensure adherence, helping to launch products which are at once more accessible – and more appealing – to an international market. It goes without saying that translation of these vital elements is best left to translation professionals – rather than turning to an automated self-translate service.
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