Introduction to "Selling to the Japanese Market"

Introduction to "Selling to the Japanese Market"

Hello, and welcome to "Selling to the Japanese Market," by David Luhman.

David, after graduating with special honors in aerospace engineering and journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder, went to Japan where he spent five years working at a small Japanese trading company, an American maker of mini-super computers, and finally, a Japanese securities company.

During his time in Japan, he became fluent in Japanese and eventually became the president of Tokyo's only Japanese language Toastmasters club.

Now he's back at the University of Colorado where he's earning an MBA in Finance. However as part of his on-going effort to help people do business in Japan, he's produced several tapes about doing business there.

In this tape, David discusses Japan's complex distribution system, the Large Scale Retail Store Law, direct marketing, telemarketing, pricing and advertising in Japan. And now, here's David Luhman.

Hi, I'm David Luhman and welcome to "Selling to the Japanese Market." In this tape, I'll discuss some of the opportunities and problems with selling to this rich market. To capitalize on the opportunities, you will have to guide your product through the Japanese distribution system, and price and advertise your product effectively.

I'll spend most of my time talking about selling consumer goods and not about industrial products. Although I spent most of my time selling industrial goods - large computers - in Japan, I think it's harder to break into the consumer goods market.

This is because of Japan's distribution system. Industrial goods usually are sold directly to end users whereas consumer goods must wind their way through a twisted path of layers of middlemen to reach the consumer.

But first let's talk about the Japanese market and the Japanese consumer to see if there are any opportunities in Japan. Price is one reason why you might succeed. Japanese products are much more expensive than comparable products in America.

This has been backed up by many studies over the past few years. They all show that most prices in Japan are about 40 percent higher than in the United States.

There are several reasons for this, including Japan's distribution system, price fixing, and retail price maintenance schemes. These high prices are bad for the consumer but they do create chances for exporters - if they're willing to invest time, effort and money in the nation with the world's second largest GDP.