Japanese insights & things that made my day this week

2 minutes estimated reading time

Japanese insights

Creative Culture ran a roundtable that provided with Japanese insights across brands and consumers. Well worth a watch.

Key outtakes

Kawaii or cute occurs in areas that you wouldn’t expect it. From Hello Kitty airlines and maternity wards to Miffy being used to sell mortgage services.

Japanese newsprint
Miffy selling mortgage service on a Japanese print newspaper advertisement

Imagine 2060, more than 40% of Japan’s population will be 65 and older. This changes what market segments look like; no point chasing the latest generation. It will change what marketing will look like and what products will be sold. It would be an exciting time for product designers, creatives and strategists working with local clients who are willing to embrace the opportunity.

Couple by Norimutsu Nogami

Newsprint and television are still popular media in Japan (and more popular than marketers are willing to admit outside Japan). These media still have a strong influence on consumers and are represented more strongly in the media mix by Japanese companies. In terms of Japanese insights for brand marketers this means that brand building should be less of a challenge from a media investment point of view than it would be in in some western markets or China.

Japanese Television
Japanese television by buck82

Consumers shop daily or every other day. This is because they don’t have enough space to keep their groceries. So there are convenience stories in every neighbourhood. Retailers want to keep minimum inventory, so they receive frequent, small deliveries almost daily. Since there is a rapid turnover this in turn allows innovation around product innovation. Special edition Kit-Kats are the example most familiar to consumers. But you can see different products in the convenience store at different times of the day.

Family Mart Convenience Store, Harajuku Tokyo, Japan
Family Mart Convenience Store, Harajuku, Tokyo by MD111

More Japanese insights here.


Moving from Japanese insights to Chinese strategy, the Center for Strategic & International Studies discusses what is needed for the west to have a better China strategy.


The Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, took the opportunity to interview Mark Markkula. Markkula was an engineer and product marketer involved at Fairchild and Intel during the early days. He put in seed capital into Apple and sat on the board until 1997.

If you watch nothing else on this post, watch this discussion between Stephen King and Jeremy Bullmore at J Walter Thompson. Bullmore ended up as chairman of J Walter Thompson, eventually retiring in 1987. King established the first account planning department in the advertising industry at J Walter Thompson in 1968.

May of the problems outlined are similar to problems today.