Japan Pres David Mortimer

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Packaging in Japan

Packaging in JapanBy David Mortimer(davidmortimer@mortfolio.co.uk)

The Gift of Respect

Group Identity*The Japanese tend to identify themselves within a group, rather than as an individual.

*Anything that could potentially disrupt the group is usually avoided to help keep the peace.

*This is evidenced in the fact the word no means that is different.

*Any solution must therefore work towards convincing a group of people over individuals.

Gifts*Gift giving is an art form in Japan, with the decoration/symbolism often more important than the item or value of the item inside.

*Most business meetings will begin with an exchange of gifts.

*Presents are also given in mid-summer and at the end of the year, to family members, clients etc.

*This could be a good way of spreading an environmentally friendly product for business people

Trends Keep/reserved items*Whisky and spirit bottles reserved behind bars for single patrons.

*Tea served from specially selected china in restaurants.

*Personalised chocolate kept in heat regulated rooms ready for collection. *Products made specially for a person or group are becoming very aspirational

Ref: WebJapan

Trends Keep/reserved itemsNukazuke (Vegetables pickled in rice bran)

*Vegetables picked and left to pickle for months

*Served in traditional pickle bed, as traditionally found in homes

*Nostalgic popularity amongst those old enough to have had it in their parents house

Ref: WebJapan

+40 Fashion*New range of fashion magazines for the over 40

*Promote looking better to feel more confident at work.

Ref: TrendsInJapan

Traditional / Natural packaging*Some is packaged to resemble how they were traditionally or naturally presented

Ref: WebJapan

Advertising attitudes*Soft sell being too direct is considered rude

*Brand reputation over individual product features

*Choices often based on status and emotional values


Reasons for packaging*Made for convenience

*Prevent need to touch with hands

*Sections off different parts of one product

*Gives emotional appeal

*Allows you to eat food while out and about

Any new system must therefore have these qualities

Ref: WebJapan

Furoshiki*A Furoshiki is a square piece of cloth used for over 1000 years to wrap gifts and carry items.

*Found in most homes until around 30 years ago.

*Becoming popular again as a fashion item. Nostalgic value for those old enough to have had them in their family home

*A fashionable, yet traditional way to carry groceries?

Ref: WebJapan

Furoshiki Gifts*When ordering gifts for the mid-summer, end of year or just for a business meeting, you can book the gift in advance and have a custom designed Furoshiki.

*The same style can be given out to family members / work colleagues, to make them feel part of the group. This avoids the problem of being different if only one person uses it.

Ref: WebJapan

Businesses encouraging use*Businesses will encourage their use, as it gives their workers a smart uniform look, which plastic bags would not achieve. They will get a discount on them too, by buying in bulk for all their employees/colleagues

*It will also promote their environmental credentials on the street, which is important for a society which considers brands over single products.

Businesses encouraging use*The most celebrated packaging in Japan have often been those that cleverly used space to separate different parts of a product.

*Workers who dont want to eat within the companys diner, can take trays and store them in their Furoshiki while they go to the local convenience store.

*From here packaging is not needed as the tray keeps the different foods protected, clean and separated. The trays can then be dropped back off at the diner after use to be cleaned with all the other trays, keeping the whole system clean.

*It is often considered rude to eat while walking in Japan, so workers will have to sit down to eat anyway. The Furoshiki system just makes it easier, cleaner and more convenient, as they dont necessarily need a table.

Ref: WebJapan

Furoshiki Fashion*The trend for +40 fashion magazines for men and women mean workers will be happy to have another way of looking smart and attractive on the street, and they believe this will make them more confident in work.

*It is important that they, as groups of respectable work colleagues, are able to distance themselves from some of the more embarrassing characters about to hit the street

Plastic Bags - Sabotage*The governments commitment to the environment must be tested, by lobbying for a limit on the amount of plastic that can be used in free plastic bags.

*If stores begin to make people pay, so they can keep the quality of their bags up, customers may decide to spend a little more and move to re-usable versions.

*Free bags will still be available, but what store or customer would want these sort of scenes outside their doors?

Plastic Bags - Sabotage*The trendy streets of Tokyo's Harajuku and Daikanyama districts are the perfect place to push the move away from plastic/paper bags

*At peak times, hired people will take to these busy streets with plastic bags packed to the brim with heavy and spherical objects

*Straight comparisons of bag sturdiness in an advert format would be considered too hard-sell, so the comparisons will be made in the head of the individual

Other Ideas*Organic and home made sales have gone up 3.7% in a year

*This is related to health scare from pre-packaged food from china

*A similar technique of advanced ordering for aspirational environmental packaging could therefore also work for fresh food counters within convenience stores. *If booked in advance, then food can be specially made for a work function etc. This can then be served in a traditional home cooking style dish. *The dish can then be returned, washed and saved for the next purchase, a scheme already proving popular in cafes.Ref: WebJapan

Overview*The campaign utilises the group identity and importance of respect often felt by the Japanese to turn a traditional item into a modern aspirational convenience product, while affecting the respect felt for those who will continue to use free plastic bags. *Recognisable hard sell advertising is avoided, in exchange for communication which helps to bring out emotions and thoughts within those who view it in person.

*The Furoshiki can become the carrier bag of choice for business men who care about the respect they receive and the businesses who hire them.