Event Report on ‘Leaders of Japan’January 31, 2012
‘Leaders of Japan’
Guest Speaker: Groupe SEB Japan / Managing Director / Per Rasmussen
January 19th (Thurs), Mandarin Oriental Tokyo / Oak room
Leaders of Japan is a series of networking events, designed for Executives including CEO’s, Japanese Country Managers and APAC leaders, and has been organized by Wall Street Associates since 2007.
Attendees have the opportunity to communicate with other executives from similar industries and companies in order to further develop knowledge of the market, as well as gaining contacts and building relationships through networking.
The venue for the event is usually the Oak Room at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. The attendance is limited and by invitation only exclusivity which allows for more intimacy.Guests can enjoy the luxurious and historical atmosphere of the former Mitsui Boardroom over a three course dinner The latest Leaders of Japan event in January focused on consumer goods and retail, and 25 people attended the event.
The first speaker in 2012 was Mr. Per Rasmussen who has been
committed to marketing activities in Japan for 20 years, and
currently is working at Groupe SEB Japan as the Managing Director,
and is overseeing the T-fal brand. Prior to joining Groupe SEB Japan in 1998, he worked at LEGO and Braun/Gillette.
During the event Mr. Rasmussen enthusiastically and entertainingly explained the reason why T-fal became a successful brand in the Japanese market. He highlighted some of the different features between the Japanese and European markets.
‘It is quite difficult for foreign and start up consumer goods companies to acquire market share in a competitive market. If you want to acquire market share, you have to create new market demand. ’said Mr. Rasmussen.
‘Years ago, electric jarpots and metallic kettles used on the gas stove were the most common ways to boil water in Japan. The jar pots have some negative points that are evident.
For instance, they need a continuous supply of electricity for the water to boil effectively, they are slow and the water looses its freshness . With regards to this issue, Groupe SEB Japan succeeded in identifying and creating a new market for the electric kettle market in Japan.This result came from our strategic marketing activities.
One concrete example of a successful and strategically designed and implemented product for the Japanese market is called [Aprecia]. The target market is young females, predominantly single, between the ages of 18 to 28.
[Aprecia] is light and uses only a small amount of water (800ml), focusing on being compact and easy to use for the targeted female market. In addition to this, [Aprecia] is designed for protection from dirt and dust particles, and also designed for easy cleaning on the inside for Japanese people who prefer to wash using their hands. Furthermore, the color pink was one of the important elements in attracting the young Japanese customers.
Indeed, we had to find just the right shade of pink to appeal to the market. The product has become a bestseller in Japan and is now marketed as a “Mini” product in other regions,’ explained Mr. Rasmussen. The attendees were eager to ask questions and listen to Mr Rasmussen’s responses after his impressive presentation.
Note: The Leaders of Japan presentations will be conducted in English only.