Japanese consumer has typical behavior pattern which is quite distinct from the behavior pattern in rest of the world. In Japan, around 80% of the people belong to the middle income group. Exporters from developing countries should understand the Japanese consumer as the demand for imported goods would emanate from the preferences, desires and wants of the consumers.
The behavior pattern of the Japanese is influenced by their unique culture and social ethos. The following characteristics of the Japanese consumers deserve serious consideration by the exporters while formulating their market entry strategies.
1. The Japanese consumer is fastidious about quality of the product. This means that the Japanese consumer is always very quick to find faults in the product and would not compromise even with the slightest of the defects in it. He is very difficult to satisfy.
For example,a western buyer is concerned with practicality and fit of the garment and therefore, pays little attention to little shrinkage or fading of the color of the garment. But a Japanese buyer would not accept the same garment with little shrinkage or fading of its color. He would return it for replacement. He is very conscious about the cheap lining and edges that have not been securely over locked.
2. He demands a very high quality of the product and would like to pay only reasonable price. Thus, exporters should ensure reasonable prices for high quality products.
3. He is willing to pay a higher price for those products which are innovative and project the latest fashion trends.
4. He is very fashion conscious; he is always looking for the latest fashion designs from the western world, in particular, the American fashion.
5. He is very conscious of the brand of the product. He is always willing to buy branded products as they give him an assurance of high quality and reliability. If the name of the product or its brand name is not easy to read and is not very appealing then he may not buy that product at all.
6. He is very conscious of his status and is willing to spend large amounts to project higher status amongst his peer group. The per capita income of the Japanese is very high and they to show off their wealth to their peer group. Since the land area available for housing is limited, so they cannot spend their money in purchasing large houses, that is to say, there are limited options for the real estate investment. So they invest in very expensive consumer goods to maintain and enhance their status in the society.