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?
Q&A with Color and Style Consultant Maud Janssen
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Reinvigoration & Reinvention: Color Your Life,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Maud Janssen, a color and Style consultant working for the British company House of Colour. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Learn about how finding the right colors that suit you […]Published on 9th January 2018
FEW Community Survey 2017 Results
Results of the FEW Community Survey 2017 conducted in the summer have been released. This survey, which was sent to FEW members as well as the wider FEW community, was designed primarily to determine overall satisfaction level among current FEW members and wider community so as to ensure FEW is accomplishing its organizational mission and vision. Of the 158 […]Published on 4th January 2018
The Best of FEW: Fall 2017
Happy New Year from FEW! Thank you to everyone who joined us at all our events since we kicked off the 2017-2018 FEW Year in September. As the go-to place for personal and professional learning, connection and inspiration, FEW is proud to offer various events, resources, and networking opportunities for internationally-minded women in Japan. We look […]Published on 4th January 2018
November 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Marketing with a Purpose
On November 29, the Women’s Start Up Club hosted Zsuzsanna Jarfas to speak about her experience and run an interactive workshop on “Marketing with a Purpose.” Every business needs a strategy to help define the direction and vision of that business. According to Zsuzsanna, the definition of strategy is “a plan to reach a financial […]Published on 4th January 2018
January 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 […]Published on 4th January 2018
Brunch Mixer at Blu Jam Cafe in Daikanyama
Join us for delicious food and great networking over brunch at Blu Jam Cafe on Sunday, January 28, at a special edition of our monthly midweek lunch gathering.
Women's Start Up Club: Online Presence - How to Create Content Online
Join us on Jan. 31 as Wolfgang Bierer of Endeavor SBC KK shares what online presence tools are available and gives a deeper understanding of the best ones for your particular business needs.