Expert Interview: Celine Rodrigues, Head of Localisation at Kingfisher

Kingfisher is a powerhouse in the home improvement sector, with major brands such as B&Q, Screwfix and Castorama serving millions of customers globally.

Celine Rodrigues is Kingfisher’s Head of Localisation and with responsibility for multiple markets and an enormous number of SKUs, she has great insight across international marketing and scaling a localisation strategy.

In this exclusive snapshot interview, Celine shares perspectives that are of relevance not just in retail, but across any multilingual, multinational industry –

How has your company responded to the challenges of 2020/2021? What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

At the start of the pandemic there was no clarity as to how it would pan out for Kingfisher and the main challenge has been a combination of cost increases for a number of reasons.

These include maintaining the level of supply in store for our customers, whilst progressing with the sustainability agenda amongst others.

2022 will be a matter of resuming initiatives we could not progress with due to a number of other priorities and making efficiencies with use of technology and changes in ways of working.

What do you feel is the greatest opportunity within translation and localisation for 2022? What do global companies need to keep at the top of their minds?

Technology and adjusting ways of working are where the greatest opportunities lie.

It is not a matter of delivering translations, content needs to be localised, and ideally the English content should be written with localisation in mind which does not always happen at large brands.

What do you believe is one of the most common mistakes you see being made when organisations try to use localisation to go global?

Transposing one message to all markets and involving translation only at the very end. This is a great recipe for failure.

What type of experiences are multilingual audiences looking for from brands?

It needs to resonate with the relevant audience.

For those new to careers in translation/localisation or international marketing, what are the key skills they should work on acquiring?

There are many examples where big brands have failed in expanding abroad or launching campaigns. Local knowledge is key.

What's the best advice you received in your career so far?

Rome was not built in a day. Patience is key.

Summing Up

Combining local insights with technology, and ‘baking in’ localisation logic at the very start of the content creation process are vital steps to take for localising at scale.

When covering thousands upon thousands of products, it can be tempting for international brands to cut corners or feel the pressure to just get some product info ‘live’, but as Celine outlines this is one way to give advantage to competitors.

Whatever your sector, the ICS-translate team’s ISO-17100-accredited processes can help keep you on track, and with ICS-digital’s SEO insights built into the process there’s even further scope not only to localise effectively for international audiences – but to outperform rivals in Google rankings too.