SINGAPORE -- To appeal to overseas consumers, Japanese companies need to do more to position their brands as a way to project one's status, outlook or personality, according to a report by J. Walter Thompson. The international advertising agency noted that while Japanese brands are thought of as innovative and reliable, they are "not seen as sexy, design-driven or cool."
The report was based on a survey of 3,200 consumers, aged 20-49 from Southeast Asia, China, India and Japan. Two-thirds of those polled rated Japan as the country with the most impressive products. In addition, 64% said they like to purchase products made in Japan, as they are strongly associated with quality, superior technology, reliability and trustworthiness. Indonesians were the most quality-conscious in the survey, with 95% saying they are willing to pay extra for a quality product. On the other hand, 74% of Japanese consumers prefer to buy brands that they have used before.