Since Index Exchange announced its entry into Japan in April of this year, I have been waiting for an opportunity to discover this kind of unique market. Having never traveled to Asia, I was a little nervous about stepping into the land of robots, manga, and “kawaii.” However, by the time I left Tokyo, I was very impressed with the culture rooted in that tradition and the way professional business was conducted.
Above all, deeply engraved in my mind, it says that in order to succeed in this market, we must change everything we have done in terms of corporate marketing, communication and branding. It was that.
In some markets, corporate brand adaptation can be crucial. Japan is just one such market.
The culture and traditions of this country permeate almost every aspect of how daily business is conducted. Therefore, it is important to incorporate elements rooted in such traditions into your brand. Japan is a surprisingly visual country. Beyond that, all of them are full of bright and vibrant colors. The neon sign of Shinjuku, the vivid red and black of Sensoji Temple … In the West, natural and calm colors are synonymous with many modern companies, but unlike that, there are so many color variations in Japan. .. For example, red for strength, blue for loyalty, green for vitality, purple for elegance, and pink for youth.
I visited a local office of an American company, and it adopted this idea brilliantly. The walls of the office were covered with bamboo and decorated with intricate origami that matched the corporate color.
It is essential to prepare for etiquette at Japanese conferences before a business trip.
Hierarchy, customs, and hospitality are the most important things in doing business in Japan. When Westerners from an industry where casual clothing and free-spirited conversations are the norm come into contact with this rigor, we can’t help but be surprised.
In Japan, it is natural for some people to continue working for a company for decades until they retire. This is very different from the United States, where it is natural to walk across jobs in three to four years. The weight of status that arises from the length of time you have been in the office also exists at meetings. For example, at a meeting, the person with the highest position in the company sits in the seat farthest from the entrance, and the employee with the shortest tenure sits in the seat near the entrance.
The speed of the meeting is also incredibly important. It was refreshing to see the meeting start on time (there is no option to be late for the meeting, but it’s ridiculous if it’s too early). Also, the conversation is always focused on the agenda and never distracts. In addition, business cards have become less and less used in the West in recent years, but business cards are still important in Japanese business etiquette. Business cards are considered an extension of a person’s identity, and the meeting begins with the exchange of business cards and bows with all other attendees.
At the end of many meetings, gifts are exchanged. This custom has received a lot of attention from Western society, but many seem to think it’s okay to give anything as a gift. But, as you can imagine, it’s totally out of place. For example, lilies, lotus flowers, and camellias are flowers used at funerals and should be avoided. During my stay in Japan, I saw cookies, chocolates, candies, and small appliances being exchanged.
Personally, I would like American conferences to be as warm and hospitable as Japan, to focus on the main points, to have clear actions, and to be professional.
The chances of success are enormous if you can organize the right teams to drive your business in new markets.
It goes without saying that a strong team is important for the success of the team. However, in remote areas, it is important to have leadership that is adaptable, good at communication, and attentive to detail. Commitment to small things has a big meaning in Tokyo. And having a team tuned to this delicacy of cultural sensitivity helps us achieve growth in the short term.
Establish Index Exchange as a true local company by responding appropriately to colleagues, adhering to meeting etiquette, and properly localizing your brand. That ensures the achievement of what is most significant to us. It’s about understanding the Japanese programmatic advertising ecosystem and knowing how to deliver something of value to its customers.
Finally, to IX International Marketing & Communications Head of Samir Shabab, IX Australia Branch President Adele Weiser, IX Global Marketplace Development Senior Vice President Will Doherty, and Partner Development Manager Hull Madoka I would like to express my gratitude. They spent a week introducing me to this amazing city. Not only did they alleviate the stress associated with traveling to new markets, but they also enjoyed karaoke, robot restaurants, and exploring Harajuku.