The "Christmasification" of Asian Markets


Whether online or in the mall, ‘tis the season for retail profits. If you’re someone who laments the commercialization of Christmas, stop reading now. In the United States, retailers can expect up to 50% of their annual sales to occur around the holidays. Forecasts are positive for this year’s holiday sales and look to be significantly higher than in the last ten, according to the National Retail Federation. But what about markets that aren’t closely linked to Christmas, such as China or Japan? Will Santa bring similar profits to eCommerce retailers in Asia? Today's post answers that question.

You Are What You Snack: Korea

September 19, 2013 by Acclaro
Category: Culture, Marketing Translation Services, Localization

Food has a lot of cultural pull. Consider the gastronomic delights of a gourmet French restaurant, the artistic beauty of the sushi roll, or the fragrant panoply of Indian cuisine. You can be sure to find global cultures represented in restaurants such as these the world over. Sushi in Stockholm? Sure. Tacos in Tel Aviv? Yep. Pasta in Pakistan? No problem.

Today's post takes you out of the restaurant scene and into a more casual — and often more interesting — offering: snacks, specifically those found in Korea. 

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Tokyo


If you’ve done business in Asia, odds are that you’ve flown to (or through) Tokyo. With two bustling airports, Narita and Haneda, Tokyo has the world’s third-busiest airport system, coming in just after New York and London. But busy as they are, Narita and Haneda have nothing on the city itself when it comes to crowds — Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolitan area, packing in over 35 million people in its 23 wards and 39 municipalities. And it seemingly has almost as many tourist destinations as people. Taking just four hours out of your travel schedule — whether it’s a layover or a few hours between meetings — means Tokyo can keep you busy.

Marketing Yourself in Japan


Thinking of expanding into Japan? You’ve got a lot going for you. Japan is the third largest global economy and has a well-established consumer base. Certain aspects of American culture are very well-received with Japanese consumers; however, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that you position yourself well. Our blog post and newsletter article give you some tips to consider.

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in the Seoul of East Asia

May 2, 2013 by Acclaro
Category: International & Global Translation Services, Culture

South Korea, nicknamed the “Land of Morning Calm”, is anything but sleepy these days. Most East Asian business travelers have the opportunity to land in Seoul International Airport, so why not take four hours to explore the sights. Hide-out at ICN, the world’s best airport — with golf, spas, a casino and much more — to reenergize for the next leg of your trip, or go on over-drive and explore Seoul’s historic, high-tech or traditional landmarks, from Gangnam Style or the DMZ to the herb market, royal palaces and museums. Any block of four hours will be efficiently and enjoyably spent in one of the world’s “newest” 21st Century cultures.

Building B2B Relationships the Japanese Way


Building business alliances in Japan requires a nuanced approach. What plays in America’s full-contact football brand of capitalism doesn’t necessarily cut it on the quieter golf greens of the Japanese version. If you want the executive-level internal support you need to close deals and expand your share of Japan’s stable economy, you simply must understand how to “play it as it lies” rather than call the play. Steve Pollock, CEO of Turnstone Ventures, explains more. 

The Year of the Snake and International Marketing


Sunday, February 10th marked the beginning of the Year of the Snake for many people around the Asian world. And continuing a global business trend, international retailers took notice as snake-themed items hit the shelves (both digital and otherwise). Not only is this a timely move for marketing and advertising teams, but a smart one, as this is a major gift-giving season for millions of people.

A Yuletide Tour of Strange Christmas Traditions


Christmas around the world isn’t always what you might expect. Just like well-known brands that take on a new flavor when localized for foreign countries, your experience with Santa Claus and holiday treats may vary, depending on where you’re traveling.

For example, how is an American fast food chain part of a Japanese holiday tradition? Why does Iceland have 13 versions of Santa Claus? And does Germany really hunt for the “Christmas pickle” in the tree each year?

Pack your sled, and let’s take a tour of some strange facts and fictions about Christmas around the world.

Branding Beauty for Global Markets

Branding Beauty for Global Markets

Beauty is in the eye of beholder, which is why global cosmetics companies take care to adapt their products for a local gaze. Whether it’s a tweak to an existing product or a shift in marketing strategy to accommodate different beauty priorities, product localization in the beauty industry is nothing new. Now some major players are upping the ante in the beauty localization game for China’s ever-expanding market.

Global beauty giants like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder are competing with Japanese and Korean beauty companies like Shiseido, Kao, and Amorepacific for market share in China. How are these North American and European companies using localization to make themselves more attractive to Chinese consumers? Read on to find out.

Super Dubbing on Track to Replace Movie Subtitles in Japan

Face it, America: Japan is tired of reading your movies. You move too fast and your convoluted plots are better said than read. And if you’re a Hollywood actor? Sorry, but unless you’re bilingual, don’t be surprised to hear your voice replaced by one of a cast of Japanese celebrities in the near future. The age of Japanese super dubbing is here.

What is super dubbing, you ask? Read on, intrepid international business leaders. While it may seem like a trend confined to the entertainment industry, it could have an impact on how you release and promote your own products in Japan.

Seven Ways to Succeed in China

When you’re scanning the globe for a few hundred million new customers, China might naturally come to mind. While China may very well be your next source of international growth, it’s not an easy place for foreign investors and U.S.-based businesses to get a foothold. Global companies stumble time and again attempting to access China’s lucrative market. In this post, we’ve put together seven ways you can make the road to Chinese expansion easier to travel.

Tetraphobia and Doing Business in Asia

If ignored, tetraphobia — literally, fear of the number four — could be deadly for your brand in Asian markets. So what is this common superstition and how can you avoid falling into its trap when expanding your business into China, Japan, Korean, and other East Asian countries? And why are we so brazenly flirting with Fate by posting this on the fourth day of the fourth month? Read on to find out more....

Valentine's Day In Japan

February 14, 2012 by Acclaro
Category: Culture, Japanese Translation Services

To celebrate Valentine's Day this year, we'll give you a slightly different gift than the flowers or card you might expect. Taking a cue from Japan, we're all about choko (chocolate) ... but who gives chocolate to whom and why might surprise you. In Japan, women give chocolate to men. Sources are unclear about why but some say it may have originated from a typo of a chocolate company executive working on an initial campaign to introduce the holiday. Ready to see what else translates when it comes to Valentine's Day in Japan?

On His Day Off, Ferris Bueller Sings in Chinese

During the Super Bowl, people talk nearly as much about the three million dollar 30-second ads than they do about the actual football game itself. That's why Honda is pre-promoting and creating buzz for its new ad that will air during Super Bowl Sunday this February 5th. And the buzz now is all about the return of a slightly grey Ferris Bueller, the main character from the 1986 hit movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Yep, Matthew Broderick returns as Ferris, a bon vivant with the utmost confidence, even when singing in Chinese. We ask: why sing in Chinese and not the original German from the movie, and was it dubbed?

Three Trends in the Recovering Japanese Consumer Economy

Did you put your plans to expand into Japan on hold when last year’s earthquake leveled confidence in its economy? If the fallout from the crisis temporarily clouded your view, now is the time to recognize that abundant business opportunities appear every day in post-earthquake Japan.

Finding where your company’s global expansion strategy fits with Japanese consumers may be your greatest source of growth in the decade ahead, as we mentioned in our Q4 newsletter post, "Opportunity in Japan's New Dawn". Trends in retail, social media, mobile advertising, and product design show tremendous promise for 2012 and beyond. Japan is a trendsetter — a pioneer in product design, mobile technology, architecture — and sets the bar for buyer desire globally.

Oseibo: A Lesson In Japanese Gift-Giving Etiquette

December 6, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Culture, International Business, Japanese Translation Services

The end of the year is a traditional time for gift-giving in many parts of the world...but often for very different reasons. In Japan, early December marks one of the two main gift-giving seasons, called oseibo (the other main gifting season is called ochugen and happens in the summertime). During oseibo, friends, family, and especially business associates may exchange lavish gifts like cantaloupe  — melons and many fruits common in other parts of the world are a rare treat in Japan — that can fetch prices of up to $100 in Japanese department stores. Guest author Rochelle Kopp explains the custom of and etiquette behind oseibo.

Doing Business In China: Three Easy Steps

We have three easy steps to breaking into the rapidly growing Chinese online marketplace:

Step 1.  Read our newsletter article on preparing your social media launch

Step 2.  Check out this article from Fast Company to get your statistics need-to-know cultural considerations, and

Step 3.  Continue reading this blog post (click "Read Full Post" below) to find out how these elements interact.

Our Top Tips For Jumping Into Chinese Social Media


If you’re thinking about testing—or even diving into—the waters of the rapidly growing Chinese social media market, now is the time to start doing your research. With more than 400 million Internet users, most of them young, educated, and savvy about games and web socializing, there’s ample opportunity for well-prepared businesses to succeed.

We’ve got a few ideas to help you get familiar with Chinese online channels as you start out, and expand into this lucrative market in a way that’s culturally appropriate. More detail can be found in our full newsletter article.

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Singapore

September 20, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

laughing buddhaThe meeting's over. You've got a little time to explore. It's your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people.

Walking through Singapore, you’ll hear four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil), and one unofficial patois known as “Singlish”. You’ll smell the delicious aroma of some of the best food in Asia.  And you can travel between the 63 islands that make up the Lion City. What you can’t do is spit, litter, chew gum, or jaywalk in one of the world’s cleanest and most orderly cities – they’re all illegal and punishable with fines.

We've pulled together some unique activities and places in Singapore, the ones most travelers don’t have a chance to experience. Next time you’re in town with a few free hours, check out our list and go home with your best stories ever.

Doing Business in Japan

July 5, 2011 by Guest Author
Category: Culture, International Business

tokyo buildingsAbout guest author Rochelle Kopp: Rochelle is managing principal of Japan Intercultural Consulting, an international training and consulting firm focused on Japanese business. She is also co-author of The Lowdown: Business Etiquette Japan.

Japanese have the reputation of being sensitive about etiquette matters.  Although your business deal won't necessarily be rejected due to a wrongly offered business card, it does pay to be aware of what Japanese consider important in a business setting.

Knowing some of the key sensitivities that Japanese have about doing business with people from other countries, and adjusting your behavior accordingly, can significantly increase the success of your business dealings.  Here are some of the top things to keep in mind:

  • Listen more than you talk.  Westerners, particularly Americans, tend to be rather verbose.  This causes Japanese to become quiet, keeping you from finding out what is on their minds.  When you need to say something, reduce it down to its essentials, and don't go on and on.  Spend more time listening to what they have to say.  And don't feel compelled to fill all pauses in the conversation — if you let the moment of silence continue, it will encourage Japanese to open up.
  • Address the language issue.  Even Japanese who have good English skills can be thrown by rapid-file slang-filled native English.  Without sounding condescending, subtly adjust your spoken English to be slower, simpler, and free of jargon, acronyms, and idioms.  Be sure to add written supports such as an agenda, PowerPoint slides, and liberal use of the whiteboard, because most Japanese have stronger skills in reading English than they do speaking it.

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