Marketing Yourself in Japan

Category: Culture, Marketing Translation

From sushi to matcha to karaoke, anime, manga, endurance game shows and Studio Ghibli films, it goes without saying that certain aspects of Japanese culture have found a “sweet spot” with American audiences. Japanese retailers, like Uniqlo and Muji, for example, have been very successful in reaching out to US consumers.

Likewise, some aspects of American culture read well in Japan, too, and can be a great market for American companies to expand into — assuming you’ve first done your homework on developing a strong B2B relationship — but once you’ve made the right connections, your brand can enjoy a loyal and, often, culturally-positive following.

Speaking to the specific likes of Japanese consumers is crucial, however. With some insight into how to position yourself effectively, you can benefit from doing business with the number three player in today’s global economy. While we cover marketing in Japan in detail in our newsletter article, here are a few takeaways:

  • The huge popularity of convenience stores and the possibility of retail relationships can not only give your brand increased visibility, but also insight into consumer culture
  • The rise of professional working women means a brand new developing demographic to consider in your Japanese marketing strategy
  • A general sensitivity to, and appreciation for, nature and seasons can help boost your brand’s image
  • While Japan may not be the best market yet for digital media and streaming content, it is a major mobile player, especially in the Near-Field Communication (“NFC”) space (think Google Wallet, for example)

Japan can be a potentially rich market for your brand, assuming you can adapt culturally and technologically. Our newsletter article goes into more detail, and you can check out our top five tips for Japanese translation, too.