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Japanese consumers are uniquely demanding: they expect a higher standard of quality ― whether in products or after-sales support ― than consumers elsewhere. Complex and stringent regulations are another challenge confronting market entrants.
Overseas firms need to bridge that quality gap and satisfy those regulations to successfully establish their brands in the Japanese market. At SODC, our five expert teams ― Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Technology and Customer Support ― collaborate closely to help you do just that.
- The SODC Strategy Team starts by analyzing the "protection gap". What does your brand need to do to win over the Japanese consumer? Through consumer surveys, qualitative and quantitative research and focus groups, our Strategy Team identifies market demand, formulates a strategy and creates a country-specific marketing plan covering everything from product localization to communications, sales and customer/technical support.
- Our Marketing Team follows a methodical three-stage plan when launching new products.
The team builds (1) awareness (2) understanding (3) a sense of the product's reliability. The ultimate goal is to leverage all these to develop buzz, the all-important positive word-of-mouth which holds the key to success.
- Japan's distribution network is opaque and complex. Our Sales team cuts through the complexity of primary, secondary and tertiary wholesalers and special routes to set up the fastest and most efficient channels for your products. SODC has solid ties with major retailers in Japan.
- Japanese consumers traditionally worry whether overseas companies will be able to provide top-quality after-sales service. Our Support Team sets up customer support centers. Through these, we can respond directly to customers, addressing all their questions and concerns in a seamless manner, as well as carrying out actual repairs. Our technical experts also play an important role, evaluating new products prior to launch and making sure that all specifications comply with the requisite Japanese standards and regulations.
- After the product launch, our Feedback Team relays the opinions of Japanese consumers to the overseas manufacturer. Data on what works and what does not work in Japan helps manufacturers to develop products better tailored to local consumer needs. A virtuous circle of more precise targeting and higher sales is the result.