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3 tips for adapting your marketing strategy for the Japanese culture

Japan is an attractive market for many global brands.

With a population of 126 million people, high levels of internet penetration and an appetite for new products, it is easy to understand why.

However, the Japanese culture is unique and many a brand has failed in the country by not taking these cultural differences into account.

If you want your brand to succeed in Japan, you need to tailor your marketing activities to the Japanese culture.

Let’s look at three ways you should adapt your marketing strategy for Japan.

1. Be aware the B2B decision making process takes longer than in most countries

This is because all layers of the business hierarchy must be in agreement before a decision is made.

Research on a particular product or service tends to be performed by junior workers, who then report to their managers, who then report to their managers, all the way to the top of the business.

This means that conversions tend to take longer in Japan.

In order to help speed things up, you should tailor your content to the needs of Japanese workers.

Creating downloadable assets detailing your product features can be very helpful, as it will give junior workers all the information they need to pass onto their managers.

2. Be aware that perfectionism is common in Japan, with excellent quality being expected as standard

This applies to products, services and business interactions.

Customer service emails are expected to be replied to promptly (within a day at most) and anything slower than this will make your brand look sloppy and uninterested by Japanese standards.

3. Be aware that people want to see specific statements about products and services, not vague generalisations

They want to know in-depth about your product’s technical features, and for this reason product demos are very popular.

For each potential problem that your customer might face, offer a solution.

They want to have a full understanding of what they are buying before making a purchase, so make sure to offer all this information upfront.

I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction to how you need to adapt your marketing strategy for the Japanese culture. For more in-depth information, read Webcertain’s online consumer behaviour report here

This 219-page report gives concise, up-to-date overviews of the cultures of 38 countries worldwide.

  • Learn how each country scores for Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.
  • Discover what this means in terms of marketing.
  • Get additional insights directly from our experience helping global brands.
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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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