Japan market entry: why is it difficult? how to succeed
The quantified effects of rail transit development on land and building usage in adjacent The theory of land use has been extended to address the dynamics of urban . This article showed the influence on urban development and the relationship In another case analysis on the land price, the price of residential land in. People over the age of 65 make up a quarter of Japan's population, and it's on track to reach 40 per cent. The road also hints at demographic realities the town – and Japan more broadly – are currently facing: A construction crew . for a couple of hours, or can only clean or sweep, but still want to work. I have had close relationships with the Japanese managers assigned to me on to build a $75 million printer business against such formidable opponents Perseverance and patient capital helped, but I also attribute Toshiba's success to the management approaches that allowed the company to learn and stay on track.
However, in your own country it will be easier for you to make guesses about what your partner could think and fell, while in Japan this might be more difficult for you. There are many examples, als in this day and age, where Western top management returns from negotiations with Japanese partners, celebrating success, while two days later a relationship breaks up.
There are many cases where the Western side view and the Japanese side view of one and the same partnership are dramatically different, and one or both sides do not even know about this difference. Be warned, and do your homework Traditional big industry in Japan tends to be organized and structured in historically grown industry groups. Until recently there were six such large groups, each grouped around a large bank and a large trading company at the center with a large number of companies in many different areas ranging from transportation, ship building, cars and electricals to insurances and department stores and beer factories.
Recent bank mergers and other economic difficulties mean that the importance of these Keiretsu has somewhat decreased, but Keiretsu relationships are still enormously important in Japanese business and economy.
For many foreign companies it is essential to understand the Keiretsu structure and to plan your business taking account of this knowledge.
Japan market entry: why can business in Japan be difficult?
The figure below shows an up-to-date mapping of todays Keiretsu structure taking account of recent Bank mergers, including the announced Mitsubishi-Tokyo-Bank and UFJ merger. You will find a more detailed discussion and a large scale image for printing of our Keiretsu map here: For example, a keiretsu member will only buy beer from the beer company within the same beer company within the keiretsu, even if that beer is much more expensive than non-keiretsu beer.
Of course such traditional business practices are opposite to procurement by competitive bidding. Japanese Business Etiquette There are many books claiming to prepare you for Japanese etiquette.
Still, here are a few essential tips: There are many books claiming to prepare you for Japanese business etiquette. For Japanese people as else where in Asia-Pacific exchanging "meishi" is like shaking hands. It is very awkward not to exchange "meishi" when you first meet — few Japanese people will think this is funny.
So make sure you have enough. Not to have "meishi" has the meaning of being unemployed actually this is not specific to Japan alone, but Meishi are equally important in most East-Asian countries. Impress with facts and achievements, or the fame and power and size of your corporation. Bring documentation of your company in Japanese language.
Be on time and well prepared for meetings. In case of doubt, its better to assume that your Japanese partner will have done very thorough research about your company. Cudos to you if you have a great Japanese language website. Your position will be weak if you have not done your preparations. There are many famous cases of foreign companies which lost billions of dollars and failed in Japan ultimately because they did not do sufficient market research and preparations.
Read hear about some examples. Penny-pinching on market research and preparations will haunt you. There is a sophisticated protocol how seating is arranged at meetings, at dinners or in cars etc. The seating protocol depends on seniority, guest-host relationship, the position of the door, decorations in the room, etc.
Catalog Record: On track with the Japanese : a case-by-case | Hathi Trust Digital Library
If you are arranging important meetings or dinners at high level, it will impress if you follow these seating customs. Most foreigners who have not worked a long time in Japan will need advice from Japanese professionals to select the correct seating order. At dinners there are also customs about filling glasses etc. When you visit a company you will be guided into the honored guest position in a Board Room at the top floor of the building — or into a small vendors meeting room outside the security entrance of the building — depending on status and the purpose of your visit and your rank.
There are some things you should definitely not do: Never throw objects at somebody asking them to catch! Books, papers, documents, meishi, presents, and other important objects are given with both hands and a bow of the head. You better ask for them and avoid them. Be prepared for surprises! Uniqlo brand communication strategy Until the digital age started to gain rapid global momentum, Uniqlo has traditionally relied on marketing flyers and TV commercials as its primary means of advertising.
Today, it uses a plethora of methods to communicate its brand position and ideals, including its unique in-store environment, celebrity brand ambassadors called Uniqlo Global Ambassadorsdigital marketing, collaborations with designers and brand campaigns.
Through its wide aisles, bright lights, neatly stacked shelves and beautifully presented displays creating a comfortable and welcoming shopping experience, Uniqlo communicates its ideal of simplicity and essential basics.
Although the brand intentionally limits the number of designs it produces, it compensates for this and distracts consumers from the lack of choice by stacking its apparel from floor to ceiling, creating an illusion of choice and plenitude.
It also has many digital screens in-store explaining the practical benefits of its fabrics and apparels. For Uniqlo, the most important attributes it looks for in its brand ambassadors are great resilience and strong character to overcome adversity. Uniqlo currently has 4 Global Ambassadors: Japanese international wheelchair tennis champion Shingo Kunieda Japanese global tennis medalist Kei Nishikori Australian world-class pro golfer Adam Scott Swiss professional tennis champion Roger Federer The Uniqlo Global Ambassador partnership typically lasts for 5 years with the aim of having the ambassador promote the Uniqlo brand and its clothing worldwide, as well as collaborating on future product lines and co-developing functional wear.
The viral marketing project, designed to build brand awareness internationally, featured a clock with spliced clips of well-choreographed dancing and catchy lounge music all timed to match the ticking.
It ran all year round — in summer, the girls dancing wore polo shirts; in winter, cashmere; and at midnight they slept. The web tool, Uniqlock, was designed to include a blog widget so the clock could be embedded into blog sites. By Januarymore than 27, widgets from 76 countries were circulating, and the widgets and website that accompanied the campaign had been viewed 68 million times in different countries. Uniqlock won the brand a multitude of major advertising awards, including a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival.
By collaborating with global designers, Uniqlo is also able to gain quicker access into markets where it has a weaker brand awareness, like the US and European markets.
Here are some notable collaborations that Uniqlo has done in recent years: This collection debuted in and lasted for five seasons.
Inthis collection was launched as a family-friendly collection with lines for men, women and children at very accessible price points.
In JulyChristophe Lemaire was reported to have extended his contract with Fast Retailing for another 5 years. Uniqlo has also announced its acquisition of a minority stake in the Paris-based label, deepening its relationship with Lemaire. In the series of videos introducing the brand and its collections Jeans, Jogger pants, Ultra-Light Down, Knitwear and HeatTechJapanese streets-capes unwind in slow motion, and people walk on streets wearing simple but chic clothes.
A narrator starts in with questions: Do you choose based on your mood or the weather? Do you dress to fit in? Do you want to fit in? It represents an important next step for Uniqlo in its ongoing mission to become a truly global and inspirational apparel brand.
Going forward, the brand wants to foster closer two-way communication with customers. Uniqlo has committed to use the information collected through its website and mobile app to analyze customer data and provide them with information that best suits their individual needs. Additionally, Uniqlo needs to adopt, imbibe and leverage social media and digital platforms in its advertising and communication strategies deeper going forward.
Although environmental efforts may not be a key factor for consumers to choose a particular brand, not having societal considerations while doing business could be a reason for consumers to not choose the brand.
It believes that companies that only focuses on profit will not survive.
- Tackling the Declining Birth Rate in Japan
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- JAPAN'S BOLD STEPS
To enable partner factories to operate a safe and fair workplace through improving working conditions, safety and wages Environment: To implement policies and provide programs to create a fair and ethical work culture, focusing on work-life balance, job satisfaction, talent recruitment and retention Community: Up tothis program has improved the lives of more than 17, women.
It has not been all plain sailing for Uniqlo. However, Uniqlo has managed to take the focus of the ubiquity of its products through emphasizing its innovations in the fabrics. Although Uniqlo has already made a name for itself in the industry for its innovative fabrics, it needs to treat itself as its biggest competitor and continually think of ways to outdo itself. Innovation is therefore a key factor that will strongly influence the future of the Uniqlo brand. Focus more on quality, less on price: For Uniqlo to effectively compete and maintain its strategic advantage and differentiation, the focus needs to shift away from price but towards quality.
Even though Uniqlo enjoys high levels of appeal, evident by the serpentine queues outside its stores when it launches in new markets, there is still a need for Uniqlo to start investing in building a strong brand positioning on the quality of its apparels and aggressively communicate this. Today, people of all ages use the Internet and this is transforming the way consumers shop.
Uniqlo first ventured into e-commerce by launching its online store in the US in Since then, it has launched its online stores across Southeast Asia. Uniqlo understands that it needs to integrate its physical stores and virtual stores, and create a true omnichannel experience. Different forms of market analysis strongly point towards a scenario wherein spending on mobile commerce will overtake e-commerce in the next 3 years. The Chinese fast fashion apparel market is a testament to that.
Uniqlo has proved to be at the forefront of the technology trend as it launched its first mobile app in in Singapore, its regional Asia commercial hub. With a clean, informative and user-friendly interface, the brand has done a good job in allowing consumers the convenience of buying their products on the go. However, there were some unfavorable reviews on its post-purchase experience. Uniqlo needs to consider the entire online customer journey from pre- to post-purchase, in order to make mobile shopping not only an effortless experience but also a delightful one.
In addition, the brand needs to gather retail analytics in order to analyze digital consumer patterns and devise strategies to improve its sales in its digital channels. With the intense and multi-faceted technological and business disruptions taking place over the past decade, leadership in the 21st century will be influenced by constant change, geopolitical volatility, and economic and political uncertainty.
To effectively manage the above leadership disruptions, Uniqlo needs to quickly devise a succession plan and instill a next generation leadership team. As at OctoberUniqlo comes in third in global ranking of fast fashion retailers with sales of USD When a brand starts to gain popularity in its country and region, the next natural step would be to look to expand globally.
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This is especially so for Uniqlo, but the brand has met with considerable challenges. Up till now, the brand footprint and awareness are relatively low outside of Asia, something the company is tackling through global retail store expansion programs, advertising and marketing. In its products, notable differences between global customer groups have been overlooked and Western consumers often complain about its clothes size and fit to body shape.
To tackle this, Uniqlo has started partnerships with Western designers like Christophe Lemaire and launching collections like the Uniqlo U line.
In terms of non-organic growth, the brand has its own share of acquisition talks. Init purchased Theory, an affordable luxury brand which is quickly developing into a one billion dollar business.
More recently, Uniqlo had wanted to enter into a merger with J Crew Group inbut the company eventually pulled out of the deal due to the hefty USD 5 million price tag. Run by well-known executive Mickey Drexler, J. Moving forward, Uniqlo needs to be very focused in its international expansion strategy with clear and achievable plans tailored to each market. With profits declining due to margin erosion over the years and an impairment charge on J Brand premium denim clothing, international operations are getting increasingly important for Uniqlo to sustain its profitability.
It is looking at specifically targeting the US and China markets.