Hello, everyone! Today’s post is one day late due a busy schedule on my part, but it’s finally here! And actually, it’s a little different from the other ones. Why? I’m not interviewing one person but three lovely ladies – Faye Magkouti, Maria Drosou and Valia Papakosta, the team of InterpretIt, an Athens-based interpreting and translation business. In this interview, we focused a lot on the team aspect of developing a brand. Was it easy? How did it work out? Read below to find out more!
Hello, ladies. It is a pleasure to have you three on the blog! Could you start by telling us a little about who you are and what Interpretit does?
Faye: Hello Emeline, thank you very much for having us. We are three conference interpreters and translators, who met at University while we were studying interpreting and after having worked for some time together, we decided to start our own agency, in order to provide our clients with integrated services. So, you could say that we are a boutique interpreting and translation agency. We provide high quality personalized services and our aim is to help our clients overcome any linguistic barrier.
Finding your brand can be a quite complex and long process, even when you are working alone. Interpretit has three founding partners, so I can’t even imagine all the work this must have entailed! How did you manage to come up with a brand that each of you could relate to?
Maria: A common wisdom says that two heads are better than one and in our case we are lucky enough to have three great minds that think alike! It may have been a long process but we chose to think of it more as something that would become our second name; something that would describe, represent, highlight and say exactly who we are! So we started by sharing our vision, our goals, our perspectives and we ended up with something that truly reflects something from each one of us.
I really like your business name, Interpretit. It’s dynamic and I think the pictures on your website reflect that state of mind. Is this something you want to convey to your clients? Why did you decide to choose Interpretit as your trading name?
Faye: Well, it is really funny. We have been brainstorming forever and we came up with lots of funny names, such as “One Planet” and then Maria said it was like a travel agency, and many names with “Trans” as the first part of the name. And then, we decided that we want to include interpreting in our name, and I thought of Interpretit, which consists of two words “Interpret and it”. I am not ashamed to admit that I thought of it as I was watching the movie “Analyze this” with Robert de Niro and Billy Cristal. We are glad that you think that it is dynamic, because it was one of our goals. Interpreting is a dynamic process and we believe that this little pun makes the name both interesting and helps us to be noticed.
It really does! And don’t be ashamed, inspiration can come from anywhere! Ok, next question: I think it’s obvious I’m a big hot pink lover, so I’m all for using it on websites, marketing materials… As long as it’s well used, of course. Why did you choose this color for your brand?
Faye: Again, it was a long process. Maria was all for using red, because it is powerful and dynamic, but Valia and I were not sure we could relate to it. We did some research online and saw that we would be the only interpreting agency in Greece with a hot pink logo and that was our first hint. Our excellent graphic designer was so patient with us and agreed to try all kinds of shades, until we found something that everyone would be happy with. Since, all three of us are girls we wanted something colorful and found greys and blues to be a little bit dull. Hot pink is vibrant, striking and dynamic and we believe that expresses our passion for our profession and the fact that we are three young girls who want to work hard and have some fun in the processes.
Can you tell us more about your logo?
Maria: Well, the visual part of our logo consists of two speech bubbles, a white one inside a pink one with black quotation marks in the middle. Speech bubbles are used in comic books and cartoons in order to convey the words spoken by a character. In our case, the first bubble represents the speech of the speaker and the second bubble the interpreted speech by the interpreter. Quotation marks are another way to imply that the words repeated are not our words, but they are still direct speech. The image within an image concept describes very well what is happening in the mind of an interpreter when they are working. (A lot of things are happening!) So, it is, yet again, a fun but also professional approach. Our brand name, Interpretit, is written in black with its two last characters “it” in hot pink. This was chosen in order to show that it is, in fact one word, but also to allow everybody to understand the little pun behind it.
And now for the traditional questions! We all know that branding is more than a name and a logo. If you had to choose three words to represent your brand, which ones would they be?
Valia: Professionalism, Flexibility, Confidentiality.
Professionalism was one of the things that brought us together in the first place. All three of us are qualified translators and conference interpreters specialized in different fields. We provide tailor-made services to our clients, depending on their needs, but we never compromise on quality. And this is how professionalism and flexibility are combined.
Confidentiality is a main requirement in both interpreting and translation. Quite often we are called upon to translate confidential legal documents or to interpret in confidential business meetings or company seminars. Our clients trust us with very sensitive information and we make sure that this information remains confidential.
Finally, how do you manage to convey these aspects to your customers?
Valia: Our brand, our logo, our website and, in general, our promotional material and our online presence have been designed having these three key aspects in mind. But this is only the first step. Most importantly, we believe in interpersonal communication. An e-mail or a phone call is not enough. We always arrange face-to-face meetings with our existing or prospect clients. Personal contact is exactly what it takes to convince them that Interpretit is all about professionalism, flexibility and confidentiality and that we do have their best interest at heart.
Thank you to all of you for sharing your story with us!