Image Image Image Image Image

Trends and Insights

14

Oct

New Electric Era?

Tesla must adapt its vehicles to succeed in Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

Anyone paying attention to the stock market over the past six months will have borne witness to the incredible run up of the price of electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, Inc.

Read more…

14

Sep

Playing Its Own Tune

Despite changes Worldwide, the music industry here is still driven by CDs

By Dominic Carter

 

Many a time it has been said that Japan likes to do things its own way. And nowhere is this truer than in the music business. In the past decade in Western markets we have witnessed an almost complete transformation in the landscape of the music industry.

Read more…

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?

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

06

May

Cool Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

On a recent business trip to Singapore I was taken aback when told by someone well connected in the American business community there, “Japan? Oh that’s just a niche market, nobody’s that interested in it anymore”. What a wake up call for anyone who has devoted his career to this market! With its tendency to control and limit foreign goods and influences, it’s fair to say that Japan seems to have worked very hard to earn this position as a niche player. To anyone living in this huge market, the description as “niche” seems, frankly, ridiculous. However when you consider the Everest-style learning curve required and all the challenges of growing a foreign-owned business here, it’s easy to see how some would think of Japan as a large, but largely irrelevant market.

Read more…

21

Apr

Reemergence of Old Eco Practices

By Dominic Carter

 

The trend towards ecologically mindful consumption is a well established trend in Western countries, spanning decades. But what about Japan? Taking a look at any urban streetscape in this country could lead one to think otherwise, but it’s fair to say that Japanese have the idea of “eco” running in their veins. More than merely a trend, an appreciation and even a celebration of the natural environment is a key pillar of Japanese culture.

Read more…

16

Apr

Japan’s “Over 50s” Garner Attention From Marketers

By Debbie Howard

 

As in the U.S., the growing number of those aged 50 and above represents terrific potential for marketing everything from financial and investment products to preventative health and nutritional products to hobby-related sports and travel – practically any product or service imaginable.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

21

Jan

Rediscovering Wabisabi

By Dominic Carter

 

One of the first things you hear about when discussing Japanese design and aesthetic values is the idea of “wabisabi’. It is a concept that tends to pervade many aspects of what we think of being unique about classic Japanese design, and is a key part of the culture. However when asking a Japanese what wabisabi actually means you will get a wide range of answers.

Read more…