News

February 2014 FCC Event Recap: Helping Global Brands Perform in Japan

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.

  1. Find Your Meaning for Japan
  2. Localize Your Design for Japan
  3. Think from the Shelf, Out
  4. Become “My Brand”
  5. Design for the Future, Not for Now
  6. The Business of Japan
  7. Optimize Your Workflow for Japan
  8. Protect your Equities in a Renegade Market
  9. Produce and Protect Your Brand Assets Across Touch Points
  10. 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?

News

Q&A with Color and Style Consultant Maud Janssen

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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

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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