The Importance of the Local Consumer

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IKEA's First Entry into the Japanese Market

IKEA, a furniture giant entered the Japanese market in the 1980s through a Scandinavian furniture concept which failed and they thus had to withdraw. Initially, the company had entered the Japanese market and was jointly ventured with a Japanese company. The company based most of its stores in Tokyo, offering affordable and quality stuff. However, the company failed to offer special care to the Japanese customers, which contributed to its failure. Additionally, they failed to hire locals in high-level positions and also lacked an understanding of the local environment. The result of this was that there was much resistance shown by the locals in regard to buying from an international brand. The company had failed to win the hearts of the local population and finally closed down in 1986.

IKEA's Success in Re-entering the Japanese Market

IKEA re-entered Japan in the early 2000s and tried the market once again. This time, they succeeded. Much insight had been gathered during their first experience, which helped them set themselves up again and become a success. One thing that they learned from their previous experience was the importance of the local consumer. Initially, they had ignored this consumer and had not paid special attention in regard to customizing their products to match the needs of the Japanese consumer. They had come into the market as an international brand which prompted the Japanese consumer to ignore the products that they offered. The company thus learned that the Japanese customer was to be prioritized above everyone else since they were the primary consumer of the product in that setting. The global marketers can learn from IKEA in regard to the importance of the local consumer. Essentially, when they venture into a foreign country, they ought to first consider the needs of the local population before everyone else since they are the primary consumer of the product.

September 18, 2023



Corporations Marketing

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Ikea Company

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