In today’s rapidly changing world, brands are looking to get ahead of the business curve. With technological advancements, it’s become easier to expand your business to various parts of the world, including the emerging market of Japan.
Japan’s consumer market is attractive to foreign businesses due to its versatile consumer market. But despite its tremendous potential, the Japanese market is one of the most challenging markets in the world.
So before you set foot into your business venture, you must speculate on the commercial failures and successes of businesses in the Japanese consumer market. It’s best to understand the local market in Japan to seek business success to avoid potential loss.
How to Dominate the Japanese Consumer Market?
Japan is an economic powerhouse with a disposable income and demanding consumers with an exceptional taste for high-quality products.
As Japan is among the most technologically advanced countries in the modern world, it is not surprising that Japanese consumers are known for their resourcefulness and ingenuity.
But with a population of 125 million, a median age range of under fifty, and an exponentially decreasing birth rate, Japanese consumers have become very cautious about how they spend money.
These factors make it difficult for foreign brands to enter the Japanese consumer market. But here are six things you should do to win Japan’s consumer market.
1. Understand the Japanese Market
Japan’s consumer market is unique because of its rich culture, language, and consumer behavior. Therefore, before you expand your business to Japan, you must thoroughly understand the Japanese market.
It’s wise to conduct vital research into the market before promoting your brand. The Japanese population has traditions and values unaffected by globalization. Therefore, they are known for their interdependence, formality, and dignity.
But this information is not sufficient to launch your brand in Japan. Before expanding your business to Japan, you must also learn about your target audience, popular Japanese media platforms, and industry trends.
It would be best if you learned what Japanese consumers look for in a brand to build a successful business campaign. For example, Tokyo is a highly populated city in Japan.
Their general buying trend revolves around space-saving user-friendly products. Thus, familiarity with buying trends will help you cleverly advocate for your brand in Japan’s consumer market.
2. Create a Japan-Specific Marketing Plan
Once you learn about Japan’s consumer market, the next thing you should do is create a Japan-specific marketing plan. It includes being familiar with traditional Japanese promotion channels.
For example, Japan has various holidays and events, such as the winter sale at the beginning of January. Knowing more about such events will help you promote your brand through traditional channels.
Moreover, your marketing plan should revolve around the buying behavior of Japan’s consumer market because customers consider their buying options before they make a purchase.
Their buying behavior is significantly affected by the limited living space. With limited living space and storage, consumers only look for required products. Therefore, when you market to Japanese customers, you need to give them a good reason to invest in your product.
3. Make Use of Japan’s Digital Transformation Trends
Japan is an economic hub due to the way they utilize its digital platforms. Businesses depend on Japan’s well-developed digital infrastructure to promote their products and services.
Therefore, you should learn about the digital behavior of Japan’s consumer market and use digital transformation trends to promote your business.
Internet users in Japan browse the web to make online purchases. As a result, everything has transitioned to the online business model, from ordering groceries to subscribing to services.
About 94 million Japanese people use the internet to shop. This indicates that it is only wise to digitize your business if you wish to win Japan’s consumer market.
But how do you shift your business to digital platforms? You can begin by making a website and listing your products and services for people to explore what your brand has to offer.
4. Collaborate With Local Influencers in Japan
Influencer marketing is a rising trend in today’s world. Local consumers tend to trust the influencers due to the authenticity of interpersonal connections.
Once you set up a website and list your products and services, the next step is collaborating with local influencers to promote your brand in Japan.
This business strategy helps advertise your brand amongst the local masses and attracts potential customers. In addition, it is more affordable than TV advertising and billboard posting.
About 35% of Japan’s population uses YouTube. Therefore, business advertisement through YouTube has doubled in the last few years.
Brands are now collaborating with influencers and featuring their products on YouTube videos and social media to promote their business in Japan. But make sure to consult professional translation services for effective communication with influencers.
5. Translate Your Documents into the Country’s Language
Do you know that less than 30% of the Japanese population speaks English at any level? Furthermore, according to studies, less than 8% of people in Japan are proficient in English.
Due to this, many businesses fail to establish themselves in Japan as local consumers do not understand what a brand offers. If your website and marketing campaigns are not in native Japanese, you will not get a good response from consumers.
If you’re based anywhere in the UK, to win any international consumer market, you must show interest in the foreign country’s culture and language by hiring the right translation agency that can professionally convert your documents. This consequently allows your business to create a user-friendly and client-focused brand.
Skilled professional translation services can adapt your website to Japanese, and your dedication to understanding Japan’s consumers is your key to success.
For example, when KitKat launched in the UK, the brand was known as KitKat throughout the world. But with global business expansion, KitKat changed its name to “Kitto Kitto” for Japan’s local consumers.
Besides this, KitKat introduced popular Japanese flavors such as red beans and matcha green tea. These factors made KitKat prominent in Japan.
Similarly, it would help if you localized everything into Japanese to boost your sales in Japan. From your website, campaigns, and product descriptions to brand names and prices, you should translate everything into their local language for successful business expansion in Japan.
6. Establish Your Presence
Since Japanese consumers are cost-conscious, they make careful buying decisions. Some key shopping behaviors of the Japanese consumer market include comparing products, being cost-conscious, buying fewer products, and investing in high-quality goods and services.
Due to this, it’s challenging to build brand loyalty in Japan. Moreover, you must present customers with cost-efficient, reliable products to win Japan’s consumer market.
As a business looking to expand into Japan, you should not spend money making low-quality cheap products. Instead, aim to produce high-quality, affordable products to establish a brand presence by gaining customer trust.
When you market to Japanese consumers, you should understand their cultural preferences and buying behaviors to promote your products accordingly.
But first, build credibility through language-specific targeted marketing by hiring professional translation services.