During my most recent business trip, especially talking to younger professionals, I was surprised to hear about their perception about cool and advanced Japan. Many pointed out that they really would like to visit Japan and showed me with pride their Japanese electronic goods. Honestly I had not been aware that Japan is admired so strongly from the younger generation in Asia and I was wondering whether they truly talk about the same products and companies. At the same time I have to say not every company seems to work with the same marketing approach inside and outside of Japan. I was positively surprised especially about one Japanese company, which seemed much more attractive in their trendy marketing approach than within Japan. On TV or then on ad-boards I was surprised to find Canon as a super cool company. I got so attracted to the TV ads that I stopped what I was doing to find out what cool brand this could be! Personally within Japan I had never perceived Canon as such a youth oriented, trendy and hip company! Looking at the marketing power abroad let me wonder why not the same cool approach is done within Japan.
Another example about cool Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur was the restaurant pictured above. Although the restaurant “Ninja Joe” was not that full around lunch time, still the flyer on the outside showed that they are looking for new staff. Additionally I was truly impressed about the activities of Aeon in Malaysia. Close to the hotel where I stayed was a truly, truly huge shopping mall with an ice rink inside. Aeon was one of the many stores in the mall offering similar products in their supermarket stores as in Japan, but on the other hand their selection of household goods, electronics and fashion was adjusted to the local style. Personally I was impressed about their pharmacy and food selection, but the rest of the store seemed much more like a cheap copy of an Asian Walmart to me.
As you can see with the following pictures several companies have made their successful entry into the Asian market, when for me the two restaurant examples were surprising: Pepper Lunch and Watami. I had not heard yet about their expansion outside of Japan.
While the market is more or less saturated in Japan, many companies have no choice but to expand abroad. I am for sure curious to see, which companies will be successful in the long run.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)