Many companies look to expand into the Japanese market due to the potential for huge profits that such a move entails. Japan is among the most lucrative consumer markets in the world and has an especially large thirst for electronics, luxury, and beauty goods. With that in mind, the following article discusses some top tips for business leaders looking to create a market entry strategy in Japan.
Take Research Seriously
In order to move into a market successfully, you must get to know it properly. The Japanese market has many quirks and conventions that differ from those found in anglophone countries. You need to get to know these conventions inside out.
Use data analysis, sociological research, and a good dose of first-hand experiential research to work out what kind of changes you need to make to your business in order to make it a success in Japan.
Marketing conventions are especially important to research; these conventions differ significantly from those in the UK or the United States of America. It is also important to be aware that many Japanese firms conduct market research in a slightly different way from those in the USA. Typically, they put more faith in the word of individual brokers and salespeople.
Use Native Copywriters
Consumers in Japan and abroad can pick out inconsistencies in copy very easily. Just think how easy it would be for you to pick out copy that was written by an inexperienced non-native English speaker.
As such, make use of marketing companies or individuals that have access to native Japanese copywriters that can produce spotless marketing material. Native copywriters are able to adhere to the subtle – but nevertheless extremely important – writing conventions present in Japan that non-native speakers of the language are unfamiliar with and may not be able to replicate.
Partnering up with local businesses and contractors will immediately give you a head start in terms of finding your footing in Japan. Local business leaders will benefit from being able to advertise and broker the sale of your products or services.
Your business will benefit from the expertise of the local people you work with. Local experience is invaluable when trying to move into a foreign market. Japanese partners may also have areas of your chosen market under their influence – perfect for the introduction of products and services to a recipient crowd.
Spend Time in Japan
Third-party research will only get you so far in terms of truly understanding how the Japanese market works. It is crucial that you and your teams actually spend a reasonable amount of time living in the island nation. Living and working in Japan will help you to develop a deeper understanding of what drives customers, clients, and collaborators.
You should spend time networking and getting to know the state of the market from a consumer perspective. Take the time to learn some Japanese so that you can successfully and politely conduct meetings. Anglophone people have a bad reputation for not learning other languages; however, by learning some of the basics of Japanese, you can pleasantly surprise people with your ability to conduct business in the language people are used to in Japan.