How to Launch Your Brand in Japan?
By: Vanessa Anderson
All you need to know about a brand is, it has the support of the intellectual and smart minds behind it. Those engineering minds focus on how to build a brand and to make it successful over time. Some are luckier than others and have tasted success even overnight. But to launch a brand in a foreign market is a gruesome task. For the fact that language is not the only factor in your way but also the culture.
Like any other Asian country, Japan is home to several international brands, quickly reverting to the Japanese way of conducting the business. If you want to make your way through the Japanese market then you must change your marketing tactics. It's hard to keep your focus in a country where everything is different than the home country, in such case you need to create an emotional attachment with the consumer.
Japan is About Branding!
Emotion is one factor you need to be able to relate to. The point to internalize the new resource pool needs to be heavily focused on requiring Japanese translation services. Why? Because localization is the major key to help you understand and to relate the brand’s image in a cultural context.
There is a long list of brands doomed in the Japanese market despite their home run. Once you damage your image in a global market, it is hard to retain trust afterward, so to avoid it, it's better to have a plan B or C.
Choose the Type of Branding
The first step towards launching a brand in Japan is to learn what sort of company you want to instill. To expand business in Japan, you can choose from three major operations;
- A representative office
- A branch office
- A subsidiary company
Get proper entail about each type. For instance, in Japan, a representative office cannot conduct sales and vice versa. If you are planning to bring your brand in Japan, the better option of all three is to have a subsidiary company that will customize the products or services according to the Japanese culture. For this purpose, you need to attain a Start-Up Visa to begin your entrepreneurial venture. Once you are clear about the type of operation, then the second step is branding.
To have a better understanding of culture, you need to make business contacts that will help you resonate with the culture and the economy. It is in your best interest to become familiar with the local contacts who can successfully credit your brand.
Getting on with the right terms will pave a way for brand marketing and brand management, making it possible for you to establish a business venture in the Japanese market. Once you have developed a business contact through the right mediators, you can contact a Japanese consulting firm as well. Once you have acquired the help, they can further create contacts for you with local builders, conduct preliminary market research and number the target distribution channels as well.
Localization is the Basic Step
Although foreign brands do not concave and do become successful, there is still a paramount of branding that needs to be done. For instance, an American food company, let’s say KFC OR MC Donald’s, has a peculiar taste because of which they are quite famous.
Opening a franchise and rebuking the menu is not an easy thing to do, but some items on the menu were listed off according to the local preferences. Likewise, if such a food franchise was to open in Pakistan, the use of pork was prohibited so they had to cut off the item from the food menu.
Now you won’t get a breadcrumb encrusted patty of macaroni or shrimp elsewhere besides in Japan. So you see how the tactic of the food chain? They even localized their menu off the charts with the slogan and graphics as well.
Japanese Sales Distribution
Japan is anything but simple. The complex distribution system is a complete mess of rhetorical hierarchies that affects market sales. Before thinking to sell an item, you need to get a grip on the traditional chain of network and how businesses are intimidated by them.
To improve your sales, you need to eliminate any third-party reseller or distributing outlets. This will help the conductive business to avoid compromising the millions of products outsources in the warehouses. Instead of distributing items all at once, keep a ratio of products unattended to ensure sales and demand is unaffected. The custom and sales concept is rather different than western countries in Japan.
Personal Affiliation of Product and Consumer
In Japanese culture, a product that has an emotional or a personal impact on the customer tends to exceed the target sales. This happens because the product can relate to the customer on a personal level.
Rather than focusing on the product, focus on consumer behavior; when, how, why and where they buy the product. Keep an eye out for 5ws and see which of these factors can be personalized with the product or the service.
Japan promotes a work-oriented culture, and if you plan to release a product that will increase its productivity then they are bound to engage it in their daily regimes. It is easy to establish a brand's image with complete trust if the product's quality does not have a reverse effect on one's life in Japan.
Wrapping It Up
To launch a brand, understand the local culture and traditions. Some cultures are more influential than others, so keep a proper lookout. Pave your way with a localization strategy that will help you establish the perfect brand in Japan (or in any other country for the fact. A product can become lucrative for a business if you have made the right contacts and are well familiar with the context.
Choose your choices and industry carefully, and of course, a language translation service is the best choice to become part of branding in Japan.