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Consumers

19

Aug

Umami – Why Japan’s Cuisine Will Capture You

by Dominic Carter
CEO, CarterJMRN K.K.

Sour, sweet, salty and bitter – these are what we all learned in school were the four tastes. If you were really paying attention,
you may remember specifically which part of the tongue picks up which taste (although I never quite agreed in real life that I could
only taste sour on the sides of my tongue, or sweet on the front). It was only around 10 years ago, while working on a consumer research
project for a client that creates flavours, that I started to hear about a new taste called umami.

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19

Aug

Social Media: The Double-edged Sword

by Jared Campion
Managing Director, The Wa Group K.K.

One of the big social media phenomena of last year involved participants willingly pouring icy water over their heads. This online campaign for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research was started accidentally, went viral, and brought in over $100 million in about one month.

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01

Aug

Satori Sedai: Enlightenment Takes New Form in Contemporary Society

By Mika Fukuda
Intern, CarterJMRN K.K.

 

A term that is still quite new in demographics discussion, “Satori Sedai”, or “Enlightened Generation”, describes the now more than ever informed and cautious youth who are standardizing pessimism as the new optimism.

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05

Jul

The Business of Omotenashi

by Dominic Carter
CEO, CarterJMRN K.K.
 

Much has been written and spoken lately about the “Cool Japan” initiative. With the slogan having been in common use since the early 2000s, the idea of Cool Japan is not a new one.

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27

Mar

Karaoke – Like It Or Not, It’s Here to Stay

By Debbie Howard
Chairman, CarterJMRN K.K.
 

One aspect of Japanese leisure culture to which nearly every visitor to Japan is exposed is the ubiquitous practice of karaoke – the practice of singing popular songs with recorded background music – usually involving copious libations and a modicum of self-humiliation.

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25

Mar

Japan’s Biggest Pop Star is Not Even Human

By Debbie Howard

 

She has over 100,000 original songs under her name, some of which have been top karaoke picks in Japan for several years in a row. She has 1.8mn (and growing!) followers on Facebook—more than any other individual Japanese pop star or pop group. She has sold out concerts around the world and has served as the face for such top global brands as Louis Vuitton, Google, and Toyota.

But she’s not human.

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11

Jul

Is Japan back? Was it ever gone?

By Debbie Howard

 

Having spent the past 28 years observing the Japanese market and its trials and tribulations, I am always amused by the “is Japan back” question, which I have heard on a number of occasions over the years.  Did anyone really ever think that Japan had gone “somewhere else” while we weren’t looking?

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27

Jun

Time for a Change

By Dominic Carter

 

After years of reporting on a Japanese consumer in retreat, we believe we are starting to see a sea change.

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27

Jun

Springtime Comes to Consumerland

By Dominic Carter

 

Those of us who have lived in Japan for some time will often marvel at how quickly and definitely the seasons change. One day it’s winter and the next it’s spring – such is the speed with which the seemingly entrenched weather pattern can change. So also it seems with the economic mood. As late as six months ago I was making presentations to our clients on the basis that we were faced with a consumer in full retrenchment.

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11

Mar

Definition of “Premium” and “Prestige” Changing for World’s Most Voracious Luxury Consumers

By Debbie Howard

 

Luxury brands continue to be one of the most fascinating of all consumer categories here, since Japanese consumers have proven themselves to be among the world’s heaviest purchasers.  Although some predict that the scales will tip as early as 2015 with Chinese consumers taking the lead, for now, Japanese consumers represent from 20~25% of global luxury sales – still a hefty share.

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