Must-Have Tool: Make a Video for Japanese Markets!

Must-Have Tool: Make a Video for Japanese Markets!

As you know, promotional videos are one of the most important marketing tools. In many cases, for example at online/offline trade shows, PR videos for your company are used as a tool to attract customers. And even in a normal business meeting, videos may be more effective than brochures when explaining to customers and partners.

However, when I was supporting many overseas companies as a trade show organizer, many of them only had English versions of their videos available for use not only in Japan, but worldwide. In fact, this does not allow for the full impact of the video, especially in Japan. So what are the benefits of making videos for the Japanese market? There are three main reasons for this as follows.

1. To appeal to Japanese people with low English proficiency.

70%  : This is not the percentage of Japanese who speak English. It’s the percentage of Japanese who are not good at English.

In the 2020 edition of the international ranking of English language proficiency by country, out of 100 countries and regions where English is not the first language, Japan ranked 55th, making it the fifth consecutive year of “low proficiency”.

Reference : EF English Proficiency Index >>>

In other words, many Japanese businesspeople are not good at English, which means they are not comfortable with English-only videos. Even if your business partner is fluent in English, it doesn’t mean that his or her boss, who is not present at the meeting, can understand English. If you want to appeal to Japanese customers/partners for your company or products, you should prepare a video with Japanese subtitles or narration.

2. To make them feel you are ready for the Japanese market.

Japanese people tend to be conservative and afraid of failure. This means that just because the video is in English, it may give the impression that you are unprepared = they may feel that you are a risk to do business with them. In fact, I was once sold a service by a foreign company, and when I showed the English-only video to my boss, he told me, “Their products may not be localized yet, so try to find a company in Japan that offers a similar service first. Localized video production is important to ensure that dealing with foreign companies is not seen as a risk.

3. To make Japanese people feel your seriousness and sincerity towards the Japanese market.

Japanese people especially tend to value seriousness and sincerity. They may be cautious when dealing with foreign companies because of their different business practices. But having a video for the Japanese market is one of the elements that conveys a sense of seriousness and sincerity. It can also be seen as respect for the Japanese customers, which is the first step to winning their trust.

These are some of the reasons why Japanese videos are becoming more and more important for your business in Japan. So, what kind of content should you include? Here are three contents that you should include in addition to product and service information.

1. The President’s Message

While many promotional videos focus on showing off how great their products/services are, the message from the CEO can actually be a major factor in the purchase. Customers are sometimes said to be moved to action by the CEO’s message.

If you can tell people why you started a business in your country, how you went about creating your products/services, and why you are trying to expand into the Japanese market with passion and stories, your company and your products/services will not only be more credible, but also more memorable.

2. Explain what your current customers are like in Japan.

One of the ways to find out if your company is trustworthy is the transaction experience. It is said that Japanese people are slow to accept new things and services, especially since they are often conservative. However, you can break through this barrier by demonstrating your track record of doing business in your country. Now, it’s important to know if your customers are well-known in Japan. If they are global brands such as McDonald’s or Coca-Cola, Japanese people will be able to identify with them, but if not, you need to make sure that they have a concrete image of your business performance.

For example, if your customer is a major video game manufacturer, you can say, it’s like “Nintendo” in Japan, if a major food manufacturer, it’s “Nippon Shokuhin”; if a major cosmetics manufacturer, it’s “Shiseido”; if a confectionery manufacturer, it’s “Glico” and so on. If you can answer it’s like xxx in Japan, Japanese people will be able to imagine your company’s capabilities and you can gain their trust.

If you would like to do such research and make your video, please contact us here.

3.  Prepare photos and videos of your office or factory.

To give the impression that your business is actually up and running, it is advisable to have photos and videos of your office or factory. Of course, you are entering Japan in this way because it is up and running, but Japanese people will have a more realistic feeling that you are doing business in your country by seeing actual photos/videos.

Even medium to large overseas companies sometimes participate in a small booth as a trial runhen they first exhibit at a Japanese exhibition. However, unless the company is well known in Japan, a small booth may be seen as a sign that the company is less powerful. To avoid this, adding content about your office or factory in a video will instantly change the impression of your company.

These are the secrets to making your videos more appealing. But you may be wondering where to turn to for video production. That’s why we at Biz Trip Story have launched  the video production service for the Japanese market at a good price, leveraging our experience in supporting many foreign companies entering the Japanese market.

We are offering a discounted price until March 31, 2020, so don’t miss this opportunity. We, the Biz Trip Story Team, are here to help you in every way possible!

※Rakuten Insight, Inc. (headquartered in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; Atsushi Tamura, President and CEO; hereinafter referred to as “Rakuten Insight”) conducted a “Survey on English” on the Internet. The survey was conducted from Friday, August 5 to Saturday, August 6, 2016, among 1,000 men and women in their 20s to 60s nationwide from among the approximately 2.3 million monitors registered with Rakuten Insight.