Why Australian Businesses Should Consider Expanding into the Japanese Market: Australia’s popularity in Japan

Oct 27. 2021

Looking to expand your business into another country? Although Japan may not be the first country that comes to mind for many, it is a market that presents untapped business potential.

The Japanese population possesses an extremely positive perception of Australia, an optimistic indication of how your brand will be perceived once it enters the Japanese market. 

Evidently, Australia is a very popular travel destination for Japanese individuals as Japan is recorded as the fifth highest source of travellers to Australia in 2019/2020. Pre-COVID this popularity was increasing by 9.4% with travellers in 2018/2019 steadily growing from the previous year. Furthermore, compared to other destinations, Australia is ranked 6th in the list of countries Japanese travellers would like to visit. The positive perception of Australia is also reflected in the large number of students who select Australia as a destination to study abroad, with Australia ranked as the third most popular study destination.

Australia is also constantly present within the top 10 most liveable countries in the world in the global liveability index. This information is picked up by Japanese media like Japan’s Business Insider, establishing Australia’s positive image and spreading awareness of the country’s high quality of life.

Research has also shown that Japanese consumers strongly associate Australia with ‘wildlife and nature’ at 77%, surpassing other countries including Hawaii with 46% and Switzerland with 41%. It was also ranked the highest for ‘safety and security’ at 51% and the 4th highest country for ‘good food and wine’.

These statistics reflect how Japanese individuals possess a strong positive association with Australia specifically around the factors of ‘nature’ and ‘safety.’ These pre-existing associations can be effectively leveraged by Australian businesses when entering the Japanese market to build a successful lifestyle and ethos around their brand.

If you’re thinking about expanding your brand into the Japanese market, here are three things you should first consider for your brand:

1. What makes your brand uniquely Australian?

With the perception of the Australian ‘brand’ high in Japan, think about what differentiates your brand or product and how it can clearly connect to its Australian roots.

2. What makes your brand or product different from what is already available in Japan?

Once you have mapped out what makes your brand uniquely Australian, do some research to understand who your competitors might be and start thinking about how you can use the popularity of the Australian brand to overcome that.

3. How can you position your brand as relevant to the Japanese market?

When entering a new geographic market, it is important to be aware of cultural differences as well as differing values and societal trends. Australian trends and values may differ significantly from the Japanese. You must understand the motivations behind Japanese consumers’ purchases and their interests to strengthen brand relevance.

This article forms the first in a series where we will explore the opportunities and considerations for entering the Japanese market. Stay tuned for more insights or feel free to contact us to discuss your individual business needs.

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