The Keys to Making a Global Brand Flourish or Flop in Japan by Soness Stevens, FEW Ambassador to FCC Event – February 2014
Ever wonder why there is such a chaotic overflow of information on websites and store shelves…?
Kathryn Sloane (Director of Growth, SGK APAC based in Singapore) and Reiko Nakamura (Managing Director of Schawk Japan) told the Forum for Corporate Communications at their February event that this is because research shows Japanese crave information and the more the better.
During their talk Helping Global Brands Perform in Japan, they said SGK survey respondents claimed that products with more attention stickers have greater value and is reassuring. In contrast to this, one graphic designer at the FCC event said he struggled with product manufacturers over this. While hired to create appealing designs to enhance product desirability, the manufacturers demand more information be placed on packages and then if they feel that isn’t enough they add the attention stickers at the final end of packaging, frustrating the designer whose original product image didn’t include that little sticker.
This would also seem to be the case with website design. While western designers tend to make clean and elegant websites, Japanese websites always appear cluttered and filled with lots of bits of information. Japanese web designers said that Japanese people prefer the apparently cluttered maze which is nearly impossible to navigate for many non-Japanese.
SGK offered a few secret essentials to marketers and would be marketers on approaching the Japanese market.
- Find Your Meaning for Japan
- Localize Your Design for Japan
- Think from the Shelf, Out
- Become “My Brand”
- Design for the Future, Not for Now
- The Business of Japan
- Optimize Your Workflow for Japan
- Protect your Equities in a Renegade Market
- Produce and Protect Your Brand Assets Across Touch Points
- Continuous Improvement Through Consensus
But, what if a non-Japanese business owner wants to keep their webdesign simple (like Soness does with her upcoming, HappyU.jp venture)? Kathryn noted the returning trend to simple design and advised to be flexible, while remaining consistent with brand image.
Remember that Japanese expect 100% perfection in every detail. Timeliness, consistency, trust built on consistency and the endless pursuit of a perfect product. But remember to clarify which version of perfect you are seeking. Will it be the western version? Or the Japanese version?
November Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 31st October 2017
November Community Services Feature with Charles McJilton of Second Harvest
By Tia Haygood, Community Services Director With Winter and the holiday season around the corner, many of us are mapping out our plans for the upcoming thanksgiving dinners, bonenkai, Christmas celebrations, and the like. As we make merry in our end-of-year celebrations, we should still be mindful that in Japan there are 20 million people […]Published on 31st October 2017
How I Got Here: Aya McCrindle
In my life, I’ve experience five personal ‘tsunamis’ that threatened to leave me broken, but instead gave me strength and led to the creation of the Find Your Element Workshop, a 12 week creative evening program that takes participants on a step by step journey of self-awareness and exploration. I was 24 when the first […]Published on 30th October 2017
Strategic Partner Spotlight: Sarah Furuya Coaching- Celebrating 5 Years in Business
As I write this, it is 5 years to the day since I quit my job, hopped on a plane to NYC and went to a three-day event called ‘Rich, Happy and Hot Live’ with 500 entrepreneurs and the world’s finest soulful online entrepreneurs. It was a brilliant way to enter my entrepreneurial life and […]Published on 29th October 2017
Special Event Recap: Make the Connection: Practical Networking Strategies that Work for You
What is networking? How do you prepare for a ‘networking’ event – your approach, look, conversation points, questions? How do you overcome shyness to approach others? Or how do you elegantly end a conversation? What is way the best to follow up and maintain new relationships? Helen Iwata, CEO of Sasuga Communications K.K., answered these questions […]Published on 26th October 2017
Women's Start Up Club: Marketing with a Purpose
Strategy and Implementation Consultant Zsuzsanna Jarfas of Japan Creative Enterprises will demonstrate the basic tools of marketing with purpose and how WSC participants can apply these tactics to their own businesses.
November Midweek Lunch Mixer at Le Pain Quotidien Roppongi
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. The mixer will again be at Le Pain Quotidien at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi!
Tokyo Run for the Cure
Join FEW at the Run for the Cure/ Walk for Life Marathon around the Imperial Palace on December 2nd! More details coming soon.
FULLY BOOKED! Radical Boundaries: How to Say No to Make Way for YES
Join us for an exclusive workshop with Sarah Furuya on developing techniques to say 'no' in order to devote your time and attention to the things and people you truly love.