Home' Australian Giftguide : Apr Jun 2013 Contents australian giftguide
In a struggling Japanese economy,
companies are looking for export
possibilities to expand their businesses and
the Tokyo International Gift Fair was the
ideal platform, writes MARION GERRITSEN.
Success in Japan
BRIAN GREGORY SHARES HIS TIPS ON HOW TO
SUCCEED IN THE JAPANESE MARKET.
1. In general it needs a long-term approach to the market.
2. Positioning is more important than volume and so patience is
3. Good customer service is a part of the culture, as is developing
personal relationships, although I feel both service and
relationships are, or should be, important in any country.
4. Japan probably has the greatest selection of products available
so there is a lot of competition for shelf space.
5. Having the greatest product in the world does not
6. Keiretsu alliances still exist, although they are not as
integrated as they once were, and can negatively affect
attempts to enter the market---this applies more to the
industrial side than consumer product side.
7. Presentation is important and so is packaging.
8. Quality is essential even for inexpensive products. One stitch
out of line on a cuff, or a dent in a product box will result in a
return to the distributor not necessarily the overseas supplier.
9. Language--even if English is understood, everything needs to
be in Japanese, except packaging which can have a label for
essential info. Overseas packaging can help sell a product...as
long as it is good.
The 75th Tokyo International
Gift Show (TIGS) Spring 2013
took place over three days
from 6-8 February at Tokyo Big
Sight. It attracted 196,105 buyers,
not only from Japan but from
every part of the world.
About 2,424 companies
exhibited at the gift fair with 154
companies from 18 countries and
regions such as Israel, Italy, Iran,
India, Australia, Austria, Holland,
Ghana, Korea, Sweden, Thailand,
Taiwan, China, Germany, Nepal,
France, the US, Vietnam, Hong
Kong and Lithuania.
"We received a very large
number of exhibitor applications
and many enterprises had
to go on the waiting list for
cancellations," says Nobuyuki
Haga, CEO of Business Guide-
Sha, organiser of TIGS.
"We felt that this was a sign
of the gift market returning to
health, and also of the market
finding activity in the gift sector.
There is heart in gifts. We
think of the receiver, there are
craftspeople and enterprises
making things which overflow
with traditional technologies
and skills, ingenuity and ideas.
Then there are the distributors
in wholesale or retail who sell
them as gifts.....we believe that
gifts full of heart will always be
Importer and distributor SCT
CEO Brian Gregory adds it is
also important that there is
control in the market, especially
these days with internet sales
"Care is always needed as to
whose product is sold, where it
will be sold, and at what price,"
he says. "We are never interested
in products where the only sales
point is price. There will always
be someone cheaper---until no
one profits. We are only interested
in patented or unique products
that are---hopefully---hard to
copy, and brands/products that
preferrably have had some kind
of success in overseas markets---
EU or USA carry more weight in
Japan than other areas.
SCT has been exhibiting at TIGS
for years and decided on a larger
stand this year.
"For the last few years we
have taken a small booth for
our licensing division preferring
this show to the licensing show
here. This year we decided to
take a larger booth because we
had some new products that we
felt may benefit from exposure
to stores throughout the country
that may otherwise not know
These products include the
hi-Fun (Italy) range of fashionable
electronic gadgets, as well
as the Goggle umbrella from
25toGo, building blocks from
Jekca, wooden homewares
items from Legnomagia
(Italy), and chinaware from 58
"The most popular product
was, without doubt, the hi-Call
Bluetooth glove from hi-Fun.
The product won an award for
best import product at the show,
and has since appeared on three
The Tokyo Gift Show brings
together merchandise which
boasts the latest in design
and function and Haga says
this February Gift Show is an
trade fair report-tokyo
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