Eight unique characteristics of Japanese customers

One of the most difficult issues for foreign business companies entering the Japanese market is the peculiarity of Japanese customers.

Today, I, who was born and raised in Japan, would like to share with you the characteristics of customers in the Japanese market in an easy-to-understand manner so that you can alleviate some of these difficulties.


Water and safety free

This is a famous Japanese saying.
Japan is a country having rich water, and water is available everywhere.
As long as the water comes from a tap, it is safe to drink even water in parks.
Water in parks and water served in restaurants is free of charge.
Cars are also washed with drinking water.
Also, thanks to the seriousness of Japanese people, even though there are no strict rules, public safety is very high.
Therefore, Japanese people have very little concept of “bearing the cost of safety measures.

When you ask for a glass of “Ohiya,” a glass of water is ser…


Demand the same quality level for all products and services

They expect the same quality level whether the product is expensive or not.
There is no concept of price commensurate.
They complain in the same way whether the product costs 100 yen or 10,000,yen.
It is also common for them to insist on replacing damaged or dented cardboard boxes that are only used to deliver products.


Do not accept price increases

Due to the effects of over 30 years of deflation, customers are very sensitive to price increases.
When a company announces a price increase of a few yen to a few tens of yen, social networking sites get flamed.
Customers demand excessive effort for companies.


Demand explanations instead of returns and exchanges.

When a product is defective, it may be replaced at the company’s full expense.
In this case, the customer demands an explanation of “why this happened” in addition to replacing the product.

The company’s quality assurance department respond that.


Companies and customers are not in the same position.

This is especially true for restaurants.
Some customers mistake staff for servants.
This is true in both fancy and inexpensive restaurants.
Recently, this is improving, slightly.


A spirit of “Mottainai”

Mottainai,” made famous by Ms. Wangari Maathai.
This spirit is imprinted in the DNA of all Japanese people.
Even if it is your own property or belongings, you are criticized if you throw it away easily.
When a company is found to waste something, social networking sites get flamed!


Japanese products are the best in the world in all fields.

Many people still think that products made in Japan is the world wide best products.

The time when home appliances manufactured by Japanese companies were high quality and the state of the art is already gone, but at the same time, they still stop thinking in that era.


Long for the West

They look at the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and other countries as objects of admiration.
Therefore, they are tolerant for their products and services.
On the other hand, they are strict for Asian people.
This is because they consider Japan the country of their dreams.



Did you get the image the unique Japanese customers?
If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Thank you so much.

I hope you have a big day.