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2012 November

24

Nov

Stingy Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

There’s no polite way of saying it. It seems to me lately that Japan is turning into a nation of cheapskates. But, truth be told, Japanese have always adopted a defensive stance when it comes to spending money. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to establish a relationship of trust with Japanese buyers, before they will part with their or their company’s “hard-earned”. Building trust and status have always been the prerequisites for brands to entice people in this country to open their wallets. And when those prerequisites are met, until recently, they have spent big. For example, Japan’s luxury business for many years weathered the long-term national economic decline. Consumers simply made economies in other areas of their budget so that they could splurge on whatever totemic item that was flavour of the month.

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24

Nov

Facebook & Social in Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

At the beginning of 2011 The New York Times wrote a piece with a headline “Facebook Wins Relatively Few Friends in Japan”. At the time it seemed like Facebook had failed to ignite anything like the kind of addictive behaviour it had everywhere else in the developed world. Although Twitter had been growing strongly, for more involved interactions with their peers Japanese seemed to be studiously ignoring Facebook in favour of locally developed platforms, led by Mixi. What a difference a year or two makes. Fast-forward to the end of 2012 and Facebook appears to be catching on like wildfire, as it has in country after country around the world. So, Japan is not so different after all?

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