How to market to Japanese Customers

How to market to Japanese Customers

Being second in consumer spending and luxury goods sales, and third in online retail sales, Japan is an extraordinarily lucrative market that potentially allows players to get a very significant turnover, but the tricky of this Promise Land is the difficulty of advertise in Japan and the peculiarity of Japanese Customers.

Despite the low knowledge in digital marketing strategies -many companies don’t even know the difference between sales and marketing– Japanese customers are really familiar with eCommerce and online shopping, not only from brands own website, but also from original platform and marketplace.

What Japanese customers are looking for?


Nowhere is the Japanese desire for quality clearer than in their attitude towards luxury goods even in recent years, due to the shrinkage of the economy, the trend is less frequent shopping, but of high-value products.

The so-called “Henrys” – or “High Earners Not Rich Yet” – people who are not yet wealthy but are still targets for luxury brands, describe the Japanese customers perfectly.
Henrys are primarily aspirational. In fact, they are some of the most active followers of luxury brands on social media, especially when they can get benefits like pre-sales, benefits or opportunities to show them as owners of the specific goods.

Offering a high-quality product, showing it as a status-symbol or exclusive item is one of the best ways to market to Japanese consumers.

Limited Edition

Create special events, waiting lists, limited-edition, area or season limited goods and so on. It’s one of the best strategies to consider if you want to appeal Japanese customers.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is the engine that moves Japanese marketing. Japanese customers have a real addiction to queueing, following the group mindset, which pushes them to do what others are doing. This urgency of having the desired items is powerfully applied with the uncountable number of seasonal-only products, limited time and exclusive editions.  


Despite their mistrust of institutions, Japanese consumers view marketing positively. According to a survey on G7 nations, Japanese people were the most likely to express positive or neutral feelings towards advertising.

They were also more likely to rate advertising as eye-catching than Americans – and online ads less distracting. This may well be because they are used to seeing more complex visual information on the screen and it is, therefore, less irritating. In any case, it’s good news for your brands and working with a Japan-based digital marketing agency will help you by creating appealing advertisements for Japanese consumers.

At the same time, it’s important to promote your brand through influencers and testimonials, since Japanese consumers care a lot about the reviews and opinions of other customers.
When a product is shown by a popular or well-known person, many people start to consider getting the product even if they do not really need it.


Japanese consumers are drawn to appearances. Everything in Japanese culture is based on the balance and harmony of the elements, therefore the aesthetics of the product, presentation and packaging must also be perfect. Studying the target you want to hit and creating an aesthetically suitable presentation is of extreme importance in the Japanese market.

After the eye has been captured by aesthetics, the Japanese consumer expects to find a series of detailed information on the product and the brand. It is extremely important to be precise and satisfy all the possible questions that the Japanese consumer may ask himself about a given product and also about the more technical characteristics. The Japanese consumer tends to prefer domestic products, so to get him to choose a foreign product it is necessary to convince him by giving him as much information as possible.