Since the burst of the so-called “bubble economy” in the early 1990s it feels as if the Japanese economy were in a constant waiting position – at least this is the image often projected. Decades long deflation, very low interest rates, low growth rates and especially the melancholic look back to the “good old times” fuel this impression.
However…the gross national product of Japan ist roughly 25% higher than Germany’s, and the purchasing power of the Japanese can be compared to that of Norwegians or Belgians. So, the market is there, and we can see that in the success of our customers.
With the right products and a marketing strategy which fits the expectations of the market, Japan can be a very attractive target for your activities.
To meet in person, face to face, has been and still is very important in Japan. For many years I have been advising…if not to say pushing…my customers to travel to Japan at least once a year and to visit their customers. in 2020 this is most probably not possible because of the very rigid travel restrictions issued by the Japanese government. So, what now?
Covid-19 has triggered a massive development in digitalization as well as an hither unthinkable change in working culture. Homeoffice, until very recently reserved to obscure mini companies has made its way to the mainstream. Online meetings, view into the private living/workspace of our Japanese contacts and whining babies in the background included, are nothing special anymore.
So: Offer your contacts online meetings on the platform of your choice, and use the momentum of the crisis. And still do not forget to watch the travel restrictions…
Your company has been active in the Japanese market for many years. First you encountered the usual problems, followed by some years of constant growth. But for a number of years now there has been stagnation or business volume has been even shrinking.
Why is this happening? Are you still doing the right thing? Should you change something…but what? And how can you change without endangering the little working business that is left?
To study Japanese up to business level is, like in any other language, quite a task. However, to learn enough for a simple conversation to introduce oneself can be done within a very short time. So, why not show your business partners your appreciation for the Japanese culture by doing so?
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