FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
1. Cultural aspects
a) Greeting the Japanese host
First impression is very important in Japan therefore you should focus on performing a proper greeting. Traditionally Japanese greet each other with a bow but as a Westerner you will most likely be greeted with a handshake combined with a slight nod of the head. There is heightened sense of formality in Japanese interaction. Always show your respect and professionalism.
b) Exchange of business cards
Exchanging business cards is also a very important ceremony. Business card should be treated with respect because it represents the individual. Always use both hands when accepting a card. When giving your card make sure you present Japanese side up and also use both hands or right hand.
c) In a restaurant setting while having lunch
The most important guest sits furthest from the door. The host sits closest to the door. If you are not sure where you should sit - wait to be seated or ask.
d) On an actual meeting making a presentation
Punctuality is very important in Japan. Arrive five minutes before the appointed time. Do not take friends, spouses or children to the meeting. You will greet the most senior employee first and the others in descending order. The Japanese are very detail oriented so expect lots of questions.
2. Cultural pitfalls
-Never put someone's business card into a back pocket
-Avoid giving white gifts or gifts wrapped in white paper, because white is the colour of death in Japan
-Do not open gift in front of a giver
-Numbers 4 and 9 are unlucky, also number 4 means death so make sure you avoid those numbers for example while giving gifts
-Always wear appropriate business clothing
-Extroverts are seen as brash and arrogant
-Do not disagree openly
-Never interrupt or break the silence
-Do not write on business card
-Do not give a “made in Japan” gift
3. Legal, ethical, cultural and safety requirements
It is a good idea to research first before entering a foreign market. Gain information about its history, political situation, infrastructure, GDP, population, economic situation, etc. Good source of that kind of information is the AUStrade website.
Also useful for international marketers:
- International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS)
- Trade modernisation legislation: Customs Legislation Amendment and Repeal Act, Import Processing Charges Act, Customs Depot Licensing Charges Amendment Act
- Trade Practices Act
- Warsaw Convention
- World Trade Organization’s determinations
It is strongly advised to get the services of the following personnel when planning to market goods and services internationally: interpreter, marketing agent, legal and tax consultant, cultural consultant, language consultant, personnel agencies, business advisor. The presence of these people will considerably reduce the costs of entering the market including removing some complexities and legal and regulatory hurdles that might hinder or slow down market entry.
4. Solutions for common mistakes while doing business on Japanese market
Your business card has to be in English in one side and in Japanese on the other side. That rule also applies to all documents including a website. There should be a button to switch languages on your website.
1. Identify changes in the market. How these changes