Japan Rethinks Marketing Models

Japan Business Post-Disaster

Since Japan’s disaster a few months ago, while the main aim is for the country to recover as painlessly as possible, on the sidelines it seems there has been a lot of rethinking taking place vis-à-vis marketing directions. It seems like – perhaps in the aftermath and because of the tsunami – people’s perceptions (and thus desires) are changing and so marketing techniques need to adapt to this. In a study entitled ‘Fukkatsu: Japan Rebuilds,’ by the end of last month, 77 percent of Japanese claimed they were “actively seeking out brands they believe are helping recovery of the country and personal stability.” In addition, the study showed how the Japanese are becoming more eco-conscious following the disaster with 75 percent using less electricity; 72 percent making greater attempts at water conservation and 68 percent in general seeking out “greener alternatives to everyday consumption.”

Bigger Japanese Picture

There is generally more contemplation going on it seems. Individuals and the private sector are taking more responsibility for the country’s recovery, as opposed to just relying on a “government that is increasingly seen as not showing leadership.” 93 percent of respondents said that they “just want a more stable life” so it seems that is the motivating factor. There are more bikers now as people become concerned about shortages in gas and price escalations with potential power shortages.

Better Booming Business

On the other hand there has been some good news for businesses following the disaster. Since the Japanese are a big nation of train commuters, businesses are now honing in on this and using the platform for a way to go shopping. Until recently, there were just some eateries around, but it now appears that “post-earthquake, we have seen that all shopping trips are shorter and more directed, and these ‘railway malls’ make that so much easier.”

Brick and Virtual Shopping

This has led to increase in brick and virtual shopping as a way of comparing prices due also to the increased use of mobile phones as shopping aids. The Japanese are also engaging now more in “embarrassment shopping” which is when you check out products to determine their social acceptability levels through mobile services and then decide whether or not to purchase them in the “brick.” Since early March, Japan has seen an increase of around 20 percent of online shopping.

Direct Consumer Involvement

It also seems from the article that in general the Japanese average man on the street wants to be more involved with 60 percent of respondents claiming they want “to be part of a shared process n product and service development.” They are also more aware of “corporate statements and are digging deeper into what goods and services offer.”

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com