Understanding Japan

22 August 2016

Sam Cassels / Beachhead Advisor, Japan

Getting to know a new market takes time and perseverance. Our Beachheads advisor Sam Cassels shares his insights about doing business in Japan. 

Listen to Sam Cassels share his insights about doing business in Japan. 

Transcript: Understanding Japan

[Music intro]

When you look at Asia, when you look at Japan in particular and if you look at context on a linear scale you’ve got Japan is quite a high context market as opposed to Australia and New Zealand which is a little further down. So the implications of that from acommunications, from a relationship, from a meeting, from just a fundament thing, I think it's really good to understand the differences and how long things might take or how different things might be; that’s a really valuable insight, so again the NZTE, the advisors, can all help in that sort of space. But it's not daunting it's just different.

[Music interlude]

We can never sort of place enough value on being in the market regularly because the face to face component is incredibly valuable. So despite going in once a twice a year and sending emails that’s fine but more effort will reap better rewards in terms of trust and long term opportunities I think. But again that’s a commitment that needs to be made and that’s a valuable resource that needs to be shared across not just Japan, other markets for these companies.

[Music interlude]

Generally, and we are asked this question a lot, I would sort of say Japan’s not that different structurally. It has a couple of different platforms like Line for example and of course you’ve got foreign language to deal with. But it ultimately comes down to the social strategy or it comes down to the media strategy or it comes down to specific things but they all need to ladder back up to the business strategy. Personally I get really annoyed when brands start to focus or continue to focus on what I call vanity metrics; counting metrics that really don’t help drive or create value for the business; they can’t close the loop to a business outcome. So how can we help them focus on doing things that actually make a difference as opposed to just garnering likes on a Facebook.