Thinking of expanding into Japan? You’ve got a lot going for you. Japan is the third largest global economy and has a well-established consumer base. Certain aspects of American culture are very well-received with Japanese consumers; however, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that you position yourself well. Our blog post and newsletter article give you some tips to consider.
South Korea, nicknamed the “Land of Morning Calm”, is anything but sleepy these days. Most East Asian business travelers have the opportunity to land in Seoul International Airport, so why not take four hours to explore the sights. Hide-out at ICN, the world’s best airport — with golf, spas, a casino and much more — to reenergize for the next leg of your trip, or go on over-drive and explore Seoul’s historic, high-tech or traditional landmarks, from Gangnam Style or the DMZ to the herb market, royal palaces and museums. Any block of four hours will be efficiently and enjoyably spent in one of the world’s “newest” 21st Century cultures.
Building business alliances in Japan requires a nuanced approach. What plays in America’s full-contact football brand of capitalism doesn’t necessarily cut it on the quieter golf greens of the Japanese version. If you want the executive-level internal support you need to close deals and expand your share of Japan’s stable economy, you simply must understand how to “play it as it lies” rather than call the play. Steve Pollock, CEO of Turnstone Ventures, explains more.
Sunday, February 10th marked the beginning of the Year of the Snake for many people around the Asian world. And continuing a global business trend, international retailers took notice as snake-themed items hit the shelves (both digital and otherwise). Not only is this a timely move for marketing and advertising teams, but a smart one, as this is a major gift-giving season for millions of people.
Christmas around the world isn’t always what you might expect. Just like well-known brands that take on a new flavor when localized for foreign countries, your experience with Santa Claus and holiday treats may vary, depending on where you’re traveling.
For example, how is an American fast food chain part of a Japanese holiday tradition? Why does Iceland have 13 versions of Santa Claus? And does Germany really hunt for the “Christmas pickle” in the tree each year?
Pack your sled, and let’s take a tour of some strange facts and fictions about Christmas around the world.
Beauty is in the eye of beholder, which is why global cosmetics companies take care to adapt their products for a local gaze. Whether it’s a tweak to an existing product or a shift in marketing strategy to accommodate different beauty priorities, product localization in the beauty industry is nothing new. Now some major players are upping the ante in the beauty localization game for China’s ever-expanding market.
Global beauty giants like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder are competing with Japanese and Korean beauty companies like Shiseido, Kao, and Amorepacific for market share in China. How are these North American and European companies using localization to make themselves more attractive to Chinese consumers? Read on to find out.
Face it, America: Japan is tired of reading your movies. You move too fast and your convoluted plots are better said than read. And if you’re a Hollywood actor? Sorry, but unless you’re bilingual, don’t be surprised to hear your voice replaced by one of a cast of Japanese celebrities in the near future. The age of Japanese super dubbing is here.
What is super dubbing, you ask? Read on, intrepid international business leaders. While it may seem like a trend confined to the entertainment industry, it could have an impact on how you release and promote your own products in Japan.
When you’re scanning the globe for a few hundred million new customers, China might naturally come to mind. While China may very well be your next source of international growth, it’s not an easy place for foreign investors and U.S.-based businesses to get a foothold. Global companies stumble time and again attempting to access China’s lucrative market. In this post, we’ve put together seven ways you can make the road to Chinese expansion easier to travel.
If ignored, tetraphobia — literally, fear of the number four — could be deadly for your brand in Asian markets. So what is this common superstition and how can you avoid falling into its trap when expanding your business into China, Japan, Korean, and other East Asian countries? And why are we so brazenly flirting with Fate by posting this on the fourth day of the fourth month? Read on to find out more....
To celebrate Valentine's Day this year, we'll give you a slightly different gift than the flowers or card you might expect. Taking a cue from Japan, we're all about choko (chocolate) ... but who gives chocolate to whom and why might surprise you. In Japan, women give chocolate to men. Sources are unclear about why but some say it may have originated from a typo of a chocolate company executive working on an initial campaign to introduce the holiday. Ready to see what else translates when it comes to Valentine's Day in Japan?
During the Super Bowl, people talk nearly as much about the three million dollar 30-second ads than they do about the actual football game itself. That's why Honda is pre-promoting and creating buzz for its new ad that will air during Super Bowl Sunday this February 5th. And the buzz now is all about the return of a slightly grey Ferris Bueller, the main character from the 1986 hit movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Yep, Matthew Broderick returns as Ferris, a bon vivant with the utmost confidence, even when singing in Chinese. We ask: why sing in Chinese and not the original German from the movie, and was it dubbed?
Did you put your plans to expand into Japan on hold when last year’s earthquake leveled confidence in its economy? If the fallout from the crisis temporarily clouded your view, now is the time to recognize that abundant business opportunities appear every day in post-earthquake Japan.
Finding where your company’s global expansion strategy fits with Japanese consumers may be your greatest source of growth in the decade ahead, as we mentioned in our Q4 newsletter post, "Opportunity in Japan's New Dawn". Trends in retail, social media, mobile advertising, and product design show tremendous promise for 2012 and beyond. Japan is a trendsetter — a pioneer in product design, mobile technology, architecture — and sets the bar for buyer desire globally.
The end of the year is a traditional time for gift-giving in many parts of the world...but often for very different reasons. In Japan, early December marks one of the two main gift-giving seasons, called oseibo (the other main gifting season is called ochugen and happens in the summertime). During oseibo, friends, family, and especially business associates may exchange lavish gifts like cantaloupe — melons and many fruits common in other parts of the world are a rare treat in Japan — that can fetch prices of up to $100 in Japanese department stores. Guest author Rochelle Kopp explains the custom of and etiquette behind oseibo.
We have three easy steps to breaking into the rapidly growing Chinese online marketplace:
Step 1. Read our newsletter article on preparing your social media launch
Step 2. Check out this article from Fast Company to get your statistics need-to-know cultural considerations, and
Step 3. Continue reading this blog post (click "Read Full Post" below) to find out how these elements interact.
If you’re thinking about testing—or even diving into—the waters of the rapidly growing Chinese social media market, now is the time to start doing your research. With more than 400 million Internet users, most of them young, educated, and savvy about games and web socializing, there’s ample opportunity for well-prepared businesses to succeed.
We’ve got a few ideas to help you get familiar with Chinese online channels as you start out, and expand into this lucrative market in a way that’s culturally appropriate. More detail can be found in our full newsletter article.
Walking through Singapore, you’ll hear four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil), and one unofficial patois known as “Singlish”. You’ll smell the delicious aroma of some of the best food in Asia. And you can travel between the 63 islands that make up the Lion City. What you can’t do is spit, litter, chew gum, or jaywalk in one of the world’s cleanest and most orderly cities – they’re all illegal and punishable with fines.
We've pulled together some unique activities and places in Singapore, the ones most travelers don’t have a chance to experience. Next time you’re in town with a few free hours, check out our list and go home with your best stories ever.
About guest author Rochelle Kopp: Rochelle is managing principal of Japan Intercultural Consulting, an international training and consulting firm focused on Japanese business. She is also co-author of The Lowdown: Business Etiquette Japan.
Japanese have the reputation of being sensitive about etiquette matters. Although your business deal won't necessarily be rejected due to a wrongly offered business card, it does pay to be aware of what Japanese consider important in a business setting.
Knowing some of the key sensitivities that Japanese have about doing business with people from other countries, and adjusting your behavior accordingly, can significantly increase the success of your business dealings. Here are some of the top things to keep in mind:
Doing business in China, you may find yourself graciously invited to a dinner or banquet. Here are some pointers to help you understand the etiquette of sharing a meal with your Chinese counterparts.
Giving up control
About author Jon Ritzdorf: Jon serves as the Acclaro in-house globalization architect. He holds an M.A. in Chinese Translation and draws on more than a decade of experience for both his professional work and as an adjunct professor at New York University and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
What are some of the latest trends in China?
There are several trends to be aware of:
Micro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) has really taken off in China. The clear leader is Sina Weibo, launched in August 2009, with nearly 100 million users, according to Forbes.com. If you’re trying to create a loyal following and/or promote your products directly to Chinese customers, definitely consider a Chinese micro-blog.
As with other countries, mobile advertising is gaining momentum. While smart phone penetration is still relatively low overall, the youth market is leading the trend of using their phones for internet use and app downloads (and with these, come mobile advertising). According to Nielsen, 73% of Chinese youth ages 15-24 reported using the mobile internet in the previous 30 days (versus 48% in the U.S. and 46% in the UK). Look for mobile internet use and mobile advertising to really ramp up in the next few years.
Search, search and more search. According to iResearch, China’s web search reached 64.02 billion queries in Q4 2010. And people aren’t necessarily searching on Google China, but rather Baidu, China’s largest search engine, with over 75% (or even as much as 83%, according to some reports) of market share. And watch for Baidu to expand beyond its borders.
A rising tide raises all boats. We’ve all heard the old adage before. Yet somehow the intensity and global gloom of this last recession had many of us doubting that it would ring true this time, that the regular tidal patterns would ever return.
It may come as a surprise, then, that one of the categories that has bounced back significantly in 2010 is luxury goods.
The tide has risen for this sector in general and global luxury sales are projected to grow by 10 percent this year (via The Financial Times). LVMH, Swatch, Richemont (owner of Cartier, Montblanc and Hermes) and Burberry are a few of the “boats” enjoying the rising tide. Each of these companies has performed better-than-expected in 2010 and their shares have risen sharply.
Big brands are the biggest benefiters from this trend, according to consultant Bain, because they were able to respond to the global financial crisis by opening new stores and continuing to invest. Globalization has been the key to many of these brands’ success.
Though the U.S. has definitely seen growth in luxury goods sales this year (around 12%, according to FT), Asia harbors the brightest potential for the industry in 2010 and 2011. According to forecasts by Bain earlier this year, China was likely to finish 2010 with a 15% increase in year-to-year revenue growth; as this year draws to a close, estimates are more along the lines of 30%, and China is poised to become the world’s third largest luxury market in five years’ time (FT).
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