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Friday, May 21, 2010

No. 5: Establish a regional brand

Dentsu, Japan’s giant ad agency, will launch business to help regional organizations and tourism-related groups establish a regional brand. The company will subcontract several operations that include conducting sightseeing resources survey and image research, establishing a regional brand to attract more tourists, and constructing a system to dispatch regional information. In the Japanese political world, Diet members had once heated discussions on establishing a new regional system in Japan, but the discussions are now a thing of past. Instead, regional vitalization has grown to be a hot issue in Japan. An increasing number of prefectures opened their antenna shops inside Tokyo, and some of them plan to open an integrated antenna shop abroad in cooperation. They are, however, not beyond the boundary of an outlet that markets regional products. The antenna shop has its own limit should it be defined as a commercial museum.

Everyone can see photos and images of every corner of the world on the Internet without going there and can buy products of regions across Japan easily via the Internet. Because economy is sluggish, it is a vital strategy to let people visit the region and have experiences they cannot enjoy unless they go there. That is, change of thought from demand pull to market creating is indispensable. The underlying concepts are market segmentation and differentiation. Segment a prefecture into municipalities, emphasize the identity of each municipality, and dispatch information. If each prefecture defines the information recipient as people all over the world, it can offer lots of varieties of subjects attractive to them. In that sense, a brand name that is short and impressive enough to strike people’s hearts like New York’s Big Apple is indispensable.

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