8 Great Tips To Do Marketing In Japan

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Written by: Hoàng Nhi


Japan has always been a potential market to invest and start a business. However, to do marketing in Japan is not an easy task since Japanese consumers are evaluated as one of the most conscientious consuming groups in the world. In this article, we will look through several tips that might be helpful for you in doing marketing and advertising in the Japan market

1. Research On Every Aspect Of Japanese Life

It is not strange to research about the local daily life before you start investing in a foreign market. Japan is a country with a long history and many unique traditions that do not fade even with the passing of time, so Japanese people really appreciate their own culture. They are well-known for their loyalty and formality. 

The Japanese market also values localization and the use of their language. Let’s take a look at Kit kats – a successful example that used this tip well.

Kit Kats were created by Rowntree’s of York, United Kingdom in 1935. Over 50 years later, they were first introduced to Japan in 1973. Kit Kats are incredibly popular in Japan and it has become a famous luck gift for Japanese people. One of the most important contributors to their success is transliteration of their name into Japanese, from “Kit Kats’’ to “Kitto Katto”.

Kit Kats in Japanese is pronounced “kitto katto” which actually sounds very similar to the Japanese phrase “kitto katsu”, which means “Never fail” or “You will surely win”. Because of adapting to the Japanese language and bringing a meaningful message, Kit Kats or Kitto Katto managed to become the favorite chocolate brands in the Land of the Rising sun. Kit Kats even established several unique flavors in this country such as Japanese green tea, Cherry blossom, Sake,…

Although Japanese consumers are likely to value local products more than the western ones, they still tend to accept new brands which they think bring the Japanese value in the products. 

2. Utilizing Digital Platforms

The Covid-19 pandemic made business shift from physical to digital not only in the Japanese market but also the global market. One more thing, Japan has one of the most developed digital infrastructure in the world. Japan is famous for its robot, AI technology,… These factors lead to a reminder that investors should now invest in digital platforms. 

 These days, Japanese consumers use the Internet to purchase products online without going out. The companies started to work on online platforms parallel with physical work (for example: creating online advertisements…)

3. Leverage Livestreaming (Live Selling)

Live selling is the practice of retailers or sellers showcasing their products through livestreams (usually via social media). It also allows customers to shop online. Live selling is not a new concept for shopaholics; However, when the COVID 19 Pandemic boomed, it became more popular for convenience and usefulness during the lockdown time. 

Through livestreams, sellers will show their products to viewers. They even can show more details or angles of the products and also give more information about those selling stuff. Live selling gives a realistic experience to customers: they feel like they are taking part in a face-to-face retailing practice. Some big e-commerce platforms in Japan are Instagram, Facebook,…

4. Catch The Latest Trend And Utilize Japanese Collectivism

Different from the West, where people tend to grow an individualistic culture, Japanese tend to have a strong culture of collectivism and group consciousness. Japanese consumers tend to choose the products that are the current norms, which will not make them stand out in the crowd. 

5. Understand The Japanese Mindset

In Japan, there are a lot of interesting and hilarious advertisements which are one of the most paramount keys to their successful marketing plans. Here are some special points in Japanese advertisements that you need to consider: 

  • Integrating many local cultural elements in advertisements
  • Viewers do not know what products are introduced until the ending
  • Prefer to use famous and influential people 
  • Focus on image and sound quality 
  • Not compare products with other companies’ products 
8 Tips To Do Marketing In Japan

6. Avoid Common Pitfalls

Japan is one of the biggest markets in the world, there are thousands of brands active in Japan. When a new business wants to enter the Japanese market, they have to make sure they stand out and their advertisements have to look high quality and professional to the consumers. 

To attract Japanese consumers, you must avoid common mistakes that businesses make when they first enter the market. 

  • First, you should consider using words that are familiar to Japanese users. The catchphrases must be easy to understand and to remember. 
  • Secondly, do not put too much information in your advertisements. It makes the consumers overwhelmed and they tend to not be attracted to it because the core information is weakened. 
  • Lastly, your marketing group should not lack digital literacy, which will make your contents on social media uneffective. Members in the group must have an average experience and knowledge in Japan’s current digital trend 

7. Collab With Famous Local Influencers And KOLs

There is no doubt that the influence of famous people in Japan helps brands to sell more products than usual. Using famous people in the advertisements brings Japanese consumers a trustworthy and credible feeling, this method is believed to work better than traditional advertisements. 

However, you need to choose influencers carefully because they are famous in different areas. To marketing your products effectively, choose a famous person that has credits in the right area and start a marketing plan. 

8 Tips To Do Marketing In Japan

8. Find A Local Partner

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 Walking alone is not a great way to start investing in a foreign market, instead you should find a local investor to go along with you. To start a business in Japan, it is essential that you have a deep understanding about culture, people, cuisine, lifestyle, market and so on. However, merely searching the information on the Internet can not give you the clearest look inside the Japanese market. You need a person who already has experience, who literally is Japanese and lives among Japanese customers. 


Investing in a new market will probably be harsh at first because of different conditions and cultures. Before starting a big business plan in Japan, you need to study deeply about the Japanese market and customers to adapt new suitable methods for your business. Using all the tips effectively will probably help you a lot to achieve success in investing in Japan. 

 Feel free to leave a comment below to share some more useful tips to do marketing and advertising in Japan. All opinions are welcomed!

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