Comparing Small Business Marketing in Japan and the United States


As an entrepreneur, you know that marketing your business is essential to its success. However, there are many different approaches to marketing, and some may work better in some countries than others. In fact, the way small businesses are marketed in Japan may be quite different from the way they’re marketed in the United States! To give you an idea of what this difference looks like and why it matters, here’s a closer look at Japanese and American marketing strategies. (more…)


Japanese Small Businesses
Japan is a very small country, so marketing doesn’t need to be as aggressive or competitive. In fact, marketers often rely on word-of-mouth advertising. There are also no product guarantees, which means that if you buy a product and find out it doesn’t work as advertised, you can’t return it. Essentially, Japanese consumers are expected to take more responsibility for their purchases than American consumers. In Japan, sales techniques like volume discounts or time limits on offers are uncommon because prices tend to remain fixed for an extended period of time. US companies have learned to use these strategies due to the competition they face from other US companies, but Japanese customers typically do not react well when faced with these tactics.
Japan’s conservative culture makes it difficult for small businesses to stand out, but there are some key elements that all successful brands must focus on:


Japanese consumers have trust issues
Japanese consumers have very different expectations of a business, which is why they are not as trusting. This is because Japan has a history of being taken advantage of by other countries throughout its history. This distrust can be seen in many aspects of Japanese culture, but it’s most evident when looking at customer loyalty to Japanese brands. The Japanese people have a preference for domestic brands, even if they’re more expensive. Even though we may see this as irrational behavior, it actually makes sense from their perspective: They want to support their own country. So how does this affect marketing? Well, American businesses don’t need to go through the same lengths as Japanese ones do in order to get the attention of customers. A foreign brand will automatically have a disadvantage.


Japanese business owners are more receptive to non-traditional marketing channels
In Japan, many small businesses are more receptive to non-traditional marketing channels such as social media. One reason for this is because Japan has a lower population density than the US. Additionally, many small businesses don’t have the budget to spend on traditional forms of advertising like TV ads or print ads. Social media is an inexpensive way to reach their customer base, which includes younger generations who are not as likely to be watching TV or reading print publications. Another example of Japan’s preference for different marketing strategies is QR codes. These barcodes contain information that can lead consumers directly to the company’s website from printed posters, billboards, flyers and magazine advertisements – this helps Japanese companies avoid paying to place large text ads where only few people will see them.
Japan’s preference for different types of marketing strategies does not mean that there aren’t challenges unique to Japanese business owners: For example, international audiences may find it difficult understanding why some company names are written in kanji instead of English letters.


American Consumers
The American consumer is a lot more demanding than their Japanese counterpart, so they have to be marketed to differently. For example, while they appreciate being given a discount, they are also happy to pay full price if the product is worth it. They are much less likely to purchase something if it’s not on sale or discounted. While Americans don’t expect everything for free, they do want value for what they spend. Products that are environmentally sustainable and ethically-produced are highly desirable as well. A company could offer coupons and discounts, but unless they can prove their product is worth buying without them, then consumers will not buy from them.


American business owners are skeptical of new marketing methods
Americans are skeptical of new marketing methods because they fear that their investment will not pay off. Many think that traditional marketing methods such as print advertising, radio, tv ads, etc. will be enough to get them a return on investment. This is not always the case. In Japan, there is much more acceptance of newer marketing methods such as digital advertising and social media campaigns due to how quickly technology has changed. People are more open to trying new things because they know change is inevitable and it’s better to adapt than resist. Digital advertising has been around for years now so people see it as an old reliable means of connecting with potential customers.


Traditional marketing is king in America
In America, traditional marketing is king. Americans have a higher affinity for buying from companies that they are familiar with or ones that have a recognizable logo. As a result, marketing through television, radio, print media, and billboards is popular in America. The one downside to this form of marketing is that it can be expensive for small businesses on tight budgets.
Japan has a very different approach when it comes to marketing their products (four sentences) Both countries have very different approaches when it comes to marketing their products but Japan has an entirely different take on things. Japanese companies tend to spend less money on promoting themselves outside of Japan where the majority of their sales come from within Japan. Companies like Toyota and Nissan advertise in Japan but not as extensively abroad. Most of the time, these ads will appear at local events or trade shows to avoid spending too much on advertising overseas. On the other hand, US companies like Coca-Cola and Nike heavily invest in advertising abroad because they make up such a large percentage of their revenue. These differences stem from cultural preferences: while Americans love tradition marketing, Japanians prefer more subtle methods of advertising like personal appearances by employees or managers at trade shows and speaking engagements instead of traditional forms such as TV ads.


Traditional marketing is not as effective for small businesses
Traditional marketing methods, like TV commercials and newspaper ads, are not as effective for small businesses as they once were. Instead, relying on email newsletters, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and a website with an online store will help you generate more interest from potential customers. Japan VS US
-Traditional marketing methods are not as effective for small-business owners in Japan because of lack of infrastructure like high-speed internet connections, which is why internet-based marketing is the best option.
-The US has more variety when it comes to media outlets that can be used for advertising, including radio and television networks, billboards, newspapers and magazines. -Japan’s population has higher income levels than those in the US, so Japan has more people who use credit cards. With this population segment being so high, traditional marketing is still viable there since people have more disposable income.
-Japan also relies heavily on relationships between companies and their suppliers or distributors for business transactions; this does not exist in the same capacity in the US. Japan is not alone in seeing the negative effects of traditional marketing campaigns; other countries are experiencing these problems as well. The difference between Japan and the US lies primarily in what mediums each country uses to create successful campaigns: Japan has adopted internet-based marketing while the US favors local, regional and national media sources.