Ikea In Japan Essay

2647 words - 11 pages

The topic I chose for my marketing project is IKEA in Japan. IKEA, a Swedish furniture company, has made its success by selling low cost furniture to consumers worldwide. Like most companies, IKEA expanded into the global market to capture more consumer base. Thirty years ago, IKEA tried to move into the Japanese market; however, the company pulled out after failing to capture the local interest. With renewed understanding of the people and their culture, Tommy Kullberg, President and CEO of IKEA Japan K.K, plans to return to the Japanese market with his team in 2006 . By working on these marketing sets, I have had the opportunity to learn about market research, sustainable competitive advantage, market segmentation, branding, four Ps of marketing, positioning, and supply chain management and sourcing. My findings for these topics are discussed below.Market ResearchGlobal market research plays an important factor in an organization's success when working internationally. In order to successfully market a product in a new country, you must first understand the local market so you can establish an effective marketing plan. The more you know about the area and your target audience, the better you will be able to position yourself in the marketplace. Global market research includes the following steps :* Defining the research problem(s)* Developing a research design* Determining the information needs* Collecting the data (secondary and primary)* Analyzing the data and interpret the results* Reporting and presenting the findings of the studyFor IKEA moving into Japan, here are some of the problem areas that I have identified:1. What is the demand for inexpensive furniture in Japan?2. Would self-assembled furniture appeal to the Japanese?3. Would the current aesthetics of IKEA furnishing appeal to the Japanese?To find the answers to these questions, you would need to gather information on customer preferences and demand. Research data can be gathered through focus groups, survey research, or test markets. Because Japan has a highly collective culture, focus groups would most likely not work out as well . The approach that I would take is surveying. Surveys can be used to help identify customer preference. When performing surveys, one does not want to survey the entire market. Sampling is important. You want to sample the target audience. Therefore, identifying the target audience is very important when conducting marketing research . Since IKEA has a global website, it can host its survey online in addition to surveying customers in the stores.There are several sources available for secondary data. IKEA can also utilize existing research agencies that have helpful customer and market data. Bringing together these results and analyzing them will allow IKEA to better understand its customers. Testing out the market is another way to gather data. One of the techniques that have worked well for Toru Nishikawa, marketing manager at Hitachi, is to observe...

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