Japan is one of the leading countries in electronics industries in the world. The country supports lots of research in modern technology, especially with regards to electronics and automobile industries. In fact, the country has won the most Nobel Prizes in the entire Asian continent. This means that entry into the Japanese market with electronic products of this nature will present a significant challenge. Thus, a perfect strategy will have to be drawn in order for the Beckham type of Swiss Watches is to make a significant impact in the market. The supplier should decide on whether production will be done in Japan or outside of the country as this is likely to affect their performance. It must be noted that local manufacturers are given government subsidies as they provide jobs for the countries citizens. This means that they will be in a position to produce at relatively low costs and, therefore, offer better prices that importing firms. The marketing strategy will also have to take care of the Japanese culture to ensure that the products do not clash with the market expectations.
The firm should first seek to achieve market stability before proceeding to popularize the product. This should be achieved through thorough analysis of competitive environment, trade barriers as well as government policy on subsidies. This is a very significant step, especially for the Swiss firm given that its competitors in the market are credited with production of quality products. For example, it should thoroughly assess trade barriers erected by the Japanese government to protect their local firms from foreign competition. These may be in form of legal requirement that may make it unnecessarily long to start operations in the market. As a result, the firm may end up wasting lots of resources trying to obtain trading licenses so that by the time they settle down for business proper, their funds will be considerably strained. This is the reality of the matter and the firm should be alive to it because marketing will require lots of money if the license is finally obtained. In fact, if the legal requirements look too cumbersome and expensive, the firm may be encouraged to look for alternative markets in order to succeed in its pursuit. The firm should also consider the nature of bilateral trade between the Swiss and the Japanese government as this could also be a significant determiner. In case the two countries are engaged in trade wars, it would be advisable to withdraw rather than pursue a course that will only result in massive losses. These could occur in terms of economic sabotage by the Japanese government in order to discourage the firm from operating in the country. Indeed, economists concede that trade barriers should be taken seriously because they may not only hamper trade for the firm, but cause its total collapse by engaging it in endless court battles (Brecher, 1982).
The firm will also have to assess the strength of its potential competitors in order to draw up a working strategy that will give it competitive advantage over them. For instance, it may have to rigorously use the internet in its marketing if its competitors are yet to adopt the strategy. This will effectively make it a market leader in the internet advertisement, which is a positive thing for a new business. In case the competitors have already adopted the strategy, the firm may consider designing the watch in a manner that is unique to it. However, this should take into consideration what the market desires in terms of the product. This is why, in assessing the business situation, firms are required to perform market research to ascertain what the market expects in relation to what is already in the market. The firm will also need to assess the financial position of its competitors before making any steps in the competitive market. If competitors are better financially, they can really frustrate its efforts to market its brand in the market by introducing better features in their products to counter whatever steps the firm makes. This can really be frustrating because when a firm invests so much money in a marketing strategy, they expect some immediate returns so that the business remains afloat. However, if the strategies turn out to be counterproductive because competitors are smarter, the firm may have to close shop and leave the country after operating for only a few months. This explains why businesses are always wary about operating in an atmosphere where they are underdogs in terms of competitive advantage. They risk getting to a point where the businesses make constant losses and not any profits, forcing them to close down (Jones, 1961).
The policies of the Japanese government regarding trade are also likely to affect the firm’s prospects in the market. For example, if the government provides subsidies to local manufacturers and not to importers, the firm may opt to set up manufacturing firms in the country to enjoy the profits. The subsidies relieve businesses of the economic pressure of having to obtain all materials at a high cost. They can be in form of waiver for land rates, implying that expenditure on land rates will be reduced significantly. This will leave it with enough money to do thorough marketing with a view to achieving high sales volumes. Indeed, this can give the local firms a big competitive advantage over the firm to the extent that it may not be able to compete favorably. Countries usually give subsidies only to firms that manufacture in their countries as a way of encouraging them to create jobs for its citizens. As a matter of fact, the principle of international trade implies that the Swiss Watch will perform better in Japan if it manufactures in the country instead of focusing on importation alone. These factors should be considered in totality so that when the firm begins its operations everything will be in order and the firm will make economic impact in the Japanese market (Brecher, 1982).
Market Brand Awareness and Increased Sales
The Swiss firm should consider using the pricing strategy in order to popularize its brand in the Japanese market. This may imply running the business at a loss for quite a lot of time by selling at the lowest prices in the market. In this strategy, the price of the commodity is based on the prices of similar products in the market. In most cases, marketers price their products slightly lower than similar products in the market. For example, the recommended price of $85 would have to be revised based on price of competing products. However, the prices should not be too low to the extent that the business makes extreme losses. These losses may cause the business to collapse altogether and, thus, should be avoided. It must be noted that lots of money is spent in the design and packaging of the product and the business should seek to raise this money. In addition, a business could be implementing more than one strategy at the same time. For example, media campaigns take relatively lots of money and may make it impossible for businesses to lower their prices lower than their competitors. It usually complicates matters for most marketers when more than one marketing strategy has to be applied. The strategy should allow the market to familiarize with the product given that they can obtain it at relatively lower prices. Although pricing strategy does not always guarantee success in the market, it may give the product a forceful entry into the crowded market. However, it must be noted that the strategy risks being counter-productive if people may stop buying the product if prices are suddenly raised with a view to making profits. In this case, the gains made through selling at a loss will be completely lost and may be difficult to recover (Jones, 1961).
The firm will also have to engage in active media campaign with a view to creating market awareness. Although it is extremely expensive, market awareness is important as it enables the product to make a forceful entry into the market. It basically involves an expensive campaign involving adverts in the print media, buzzing the airwaves with the name of the product as well as other media of advertisement. The use of the print media is particularly important because it creates a lasting impression in the market. For instance, an advert that appears in a newspaper will be visible to whoever gets the newspaper to read. Indeed, it has the potential of penetrating deep into the market considering that national newspapers nearly get to every part of the country. The fact that even those who don’t get to read the newspaper could still be attracted by the color of the advert makes print media particularly important. In addition, billboards also create a lasting impression wherever they are placed. A whole community that uses the road near the billboard would definitely see the billboard and get to know about the product. An awareness campaign can also be rolled out through a series of road shows that seek to meet people and sensitize them about the product. The best avenue to conduct road shows and campaigns would be colleges and schools considering that they also have a lot of influence on their families. In most cases, the marketing teams would sponsor an event and use the occasion to reach as many people as possible. It has been noted that this strategy is quite effective because it helps create a good rapport with potential buyers besides creating awareness. What happens is that when everyone has settled for the event, the marketing team is given time to educate the audience on the potential benefits of the product. In order to reap maximum benefits, the marketers may consider giving free samples to all the participants. It must, however, be noted that market awareness alone cannot be significant in a market that is flooded with similar products that could be of better quality. This is why marketers should focus on convincing the market that their products are not just new in the market, but also presents the best qualities they may desire. This may be easy considering that the product s electronic in nature and marketing alone may just convince the market about its high quality (Brecher, 1982).
The Swiss firm may also apply the niche marketing strategy in order to convince a significant portion of the market to buy their products. This strategy targets specific target groups that should essentially form the vast majority of the population. In this case, having realized that young people have lately become the greatest consumers of technology, the Swiss Watch would have to be packaged in a manner that appeals to the youth. This implies that marketing would have to go overboard and try to reach out to young people to become consumers of “Beckham”. It will particularly involve focusing on Lifetime television network because it is mostly watched by young people. Once they become loyal consumers of the product, they would definitely influence quite a number of their clients to consume the product as well. They will create a network through which the product would penetrate the market. Although niche marketing may take long to popularize a product, the effects are always long lasting once the product is well established in the market. A proper design for the watch in a manner that appeals to the youth would significantly boost its sales in the new market because the young are the greatest consumers of modern technology. Given that most youths are not in gainful employment because they are still going through school, reducing price of the watch below that of similar watches in the market will make it easier for the product to sell. It must be noted that consumers generally like buying products at a cheaper price and will find it easy to acquire one if the prices are considerably lowered. Essentially, it means that the Swiss firm may have to amalgamate more than one marketing strategy in the market in order to make a forceful entry. This is because applying a single strategy may not have a similar impact, especially considering that Japanese market is not short of electronic products (Jones, 1961).
Coupon Marketing could also make a lucrative marketing strategy for the Swiss firm. The success of the Coca Cola brand of beverages is associated with the use of coupons. This is a financial document that one can use to obtain a discount from a particular seller or a distributor. In some cases, a business may opt to give free products for a number of similar products bought. This has the benefit of stimulating customer loyalty among buyers so that they continue to consume the product. According to statistics, consumers love free things and would do anything to get them. In fact, out of ten consumers, nine of them would likely buy a product where he or she gets something free. This reality has been used by several businesses to penetrate markets that initially looked non-penetrable. It starts by a customer using a product simply to get something free. With time, however, consumers would start buying the product because of its quality that they have come to realize. In the case of the Swiss Watch, the use of coupons would be significant because the business will not make any losses by giving them free samples (Brecher, 1982).
Cause marketing has become the most current strategy for new products. This basically involves picking an issue of social concern and associating the product with it. For example, in a society that faces the challenge of paying for healthcare, a new product can pick a few loyal customers and award them a hefty insurance package. Although it would only involve a few customers, the strategy would certainly reach many people who would wish they got a similar cover. In other instances, the product may associate with environmental concern by choosing to support environmental conservation efforts. This would certainly give the product a competitive advantage over similar products because most people like identifying with a cause of humanity. The principle behind this strategy is to win the trust of specific groups of people so that they become regular consumers of the product. For example, the Swiss watch could easily be associated with a political idea that is quite popular in order to promote it. This will make the product the talk of town such that almost everyone gets to hear about it. Indeed, most people may not really buy the “Beckham” watch, but the fact that they associate it with something positive should be a good thing. This is because they may influence people around them to buy the product even if they do not get to buy it themselves. After all, what the firm is concerned about is the popularity of the product, not the sales. This strategy has worked in most cases and would certainly work for the Swiss Watch (Adcock, 2009).
In conclusion, Japan remains one of the leading countries in electronics industries in the world. The country supports lots of research in modern technology, especially with regards to electronics and automobile industries. Thus, the firm should first seek to achieve market stability before proceeding to popularize the product. This should be achieved through thorough analysis of competitive environment, trade barriers as well as government policy on subsidies. This is a very significant step, especially for the Swiss firm given that its competitors in the market are credited with production of quality products. In this regard, the Swiss firm should consider using the pricing strategy in order to popularize its brand in the Japanese market. This may imply running the business at a loss for quite a lot of time by selling at the lowest prices in the market. . In this strategy, the price of the commodity is based on the prices of similar products in the market. In most cases, marketers price their products slightly lower than similar products in the market. In addition, the firm will also have to engage in active media campaign with a view to creating market awareness. Although it is extremely expensive, market awareness is important as it enables the product to make a forceful entry into the market.