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A Guide to Marketing in Japan: How to Win Over Your New Customers

A Guide to Marketing in Japan: How to Win Over Your New Customers

Entering the Japanese market is a unique experience, and one that many foreign companies struggle with. Bringing a new product into the market can take multiple steps, from the import stage, right through to reaching the final customer.

One often underestimated step for a successful market entry is the marketing strategy. To succeed with marketing in Japan, you need to carefully navigate cultural differences, language barriers, and regulatory compliance.

Know Your Audience, Know The Market 

Successful marketing in Japan goes beyond simple translation; it requires a deep understanding of cultural nuances and strategic insights. This understanding is crucial to break through barriers and captivate Japanese consumers, and as a result, is very important for companies to fully understand their Japanese audience in detail.

    • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand Japanese consumer behavior, preferences, and cultural norms. Engage local experts and utilize focus groups to gain insights.

    • Local Partnerships: Collaborate with local partners who understand the market. They can provide valuable insights and help tailor your approach to meet local expectations.

    • Customized Marketing Campaigns: Develop marketing campaigns that resonate with Japanese values. Highlight the quality and reliability of your products, as these are key factors for Japanese consumers.


Example: A skincare brand entering Japan might emphasize the meticulous quality control and natural ingredients of their products, aligning with the Japanese appreciation for purity and attention to detail.

Know What to Say and How to Say It 

Japan has strict regulations regarding labeling, consumer protection, and product standards. Furthermore, advertising platforms have strict rules around what you can and cannot do, ensuring that advertisers adhere to community expectations and guidelines. This can lead to challenges for non-Japanese companies navigating packaging, marketing materials and advertising, where missteps can lead to damaging your brand image or even legal issues.

Ensuring your product is adhering to regulations and platform guidelines should be a high priority.

    • Consult with Legal Experts: Work with legal experts who specialize in Japanese regulations to ensure your products meet all local requirements, especially if your product is regulated.

    • Detailed Labeling: Ensure all product labels comply with Japanese regulations. This includes providing information in Japanese and adhering to specific labeling guidelines. Note that Japan has a lot of rules around what you can and cannot say for different regulated products.

    • Local Partners: Working together with a local partner to help you navigate the nuances of the Japanese language and the local guidelines will ensure that your product is marketed effectively and compliantly.


Example: A dietary supplement company must ensure that all ingredients are listed in Japanese on the packaging and that any health claims are substantiated according to local regulations.


Adapting your marketing strategy to these key areas not only helps in overcoming potential obstacles but also positions your brand as respectful, reliable, and ready to meet the unique needs of Japanese consumers.


Navigating the complexities of the Japanese market can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. At COVUE, we specialize in Japanese marketing across multiple platforms and services, ensuring your brand seamlessly enters and thrives in this unique market. From understanding cultural nuances to ensuring regulatory compliance, our expert team is here to alleviate the challenges and drive your success in Japan.

Book a call with us today to understand how we can answer your marketing questions and help you succeed in the Japanese market.

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