Jérôme Osselaer is an English to French translator who specializes in sports and business. After spending 10 years in the consulting industry, he decided to set up his own business, Jerome Jérôme. Quite original, don’t you think? Well, there is more – read more insights from this passionate entrepreneur below!
Hello Jérôme, and thank you for letting me interview you! When I first saw your website, I knew I would have to interview you for this series. Can you first tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my business. I am an English to French translator based in the charming town of Besançon (France). I specialise in business and sports, with two dedicated MBAs and 10+ years of professional experience in my fields of expertise. To be more precise, I have a results-driven consulting background fuelled by entrepreneurship.
You opted for a very original name. Conveniently, your first name is Jérôme, which is also the name of the patron Saint of translation. How did you decide you wanted to make use of it and to turn it into something so unique? Did you think about more conventional names for your business?
I wanted an impactful brand, with a name which would work in both languages and cultures of my combination, and memorable enough to allow some brand recognition.
St. Jerome is indeed the patron Saint of translators. Besides, I was also named after Jerome K. Jerome, an English writer best known for the travelogue “Three Men in a Boat”. Consequently, I knew from the start that I would integrate my first name in my brand, in order to associate my English to French translation business with the notions of handcrafted work, authenticity and written culture.
As you can see, “Jerome > Jérôme” is not the result of an ego trip, but rather a logical choice reflecting the language pair in which I operate. As we all know, a language pair is usually stated as “source language > target language”. For instance, I am an EN>FR translator. So, insiders of the translation industry can easily position my services through my brand name, as the “Jerome” on the left is the English version of my first name, whereas the “Jérôme” on the right is my actual French first name.
Furthermore, repetition helps memorisation, and repetitive syllables or sounds (Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola…) create positive brand perceptions.
That makes a lot of sense. Another element I like about your brand is that the circumflexed “o” of your name becomes a tiny icon that represents a stylized house, hence your tagline “Your home of translation”. Can you explain the process behind that?
The notion of “home” is a pivotal theme defining the identity of my home-based company, of which you can find several occurrences if you browse through the content of my website, from the obvious “Welcome home” to “home-made translations”, “play all your translations at home”, or going “back home”, as in back to the source of translation and St. Jerome.
Concerning the circumflex accent, it is the French accent above the letter “o” in my first name. The letter “o” in the English version of my first name symbolises the source text, while its French counterpart represents the target text. Shaped like a rooftop, the circumflex accent highlights the translation process, which allows me to add a French touch to the message of my clients.
While I was searching for my own brand, I benchmarked 100+ logos in the translation industry, and the vast majority of them included a linguistic reference (“translation” for half of them, “language” and “word” completing the podium of the most popular references), either in the name of the company, or in the tagline. That’s why I decided to add a tagline, which not only makes my activity clearer for outsiders, or direct clients, with the word “translation”, but also mirrors the mission of my business and the very idea behind its creation: to answer the needs of my clients in a friendly environment. My tagline is “Your home of translation”, because I want them to feel as comfortable as if they were at home.
Your website is rather playful and reminds the visitor that you specialize in translation for the sports field. Was this something out of choice?
To be honest, I just like to play with words! There is no direct connection between the playful aspect of my website and sports, which is only one of my two fields of expertise together with business.
Clients expect quality and professionalism from external resources, and my website should convey these values. I opted for a modern and minimal design with a direct and infographic style, because I believe that a website shouldn’t just drive traffic, but also direct user action. As a result, my website was literally designed around end-users, with minimal clicks and clear action points.
We all know that a brand is more than a name and a logo. If you could describe your brand in three words, which ones would they be?
I’d say efficient, trustworthy and friendly. Let me tell you why through the story of the colours of my logo.
I wanted a monochrome logo, or at least a logo with a limited number of colours, in order to fit into the minimalist flat design that I decided to pursue. Blue is one of the most frequently used colours, especially in the consulting industry, which is part of my professional background and a sector I intend to serve. I opted for a “corporate blue” from the Pantone 307 series, which is usually associated with trustworthiness and unity.
So there: “corporate” means “efficient” here, “trustworthiness” is self explanatory, and “unity”, as I consider my clients as true partners, or even teammates aiming for the same objective.
And finally, how do you carry these aspects to your clients?
Clients have no time to lose in today’s fast-paced environment. That’s why I usually reply as quickly as possible to any message from a client. I also tend to go straight to the point, with a direct but friendly style of communication, while delivering my work on time, in order to be considered as a reliable translator.
Thanks a lot for taking part and sharing your insights with us, Jérôme!