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English for Global Marketing / Luxury Brand in Wonderland

Illustration by Andrew Boerger

中谷安男 貿易会社に勤めるダイスケは、上司のエリカに指示され、日本での効果的なマーケティング戦略を調査している。今回からは、シャネルやクリスチャン・ディオールのような外国のラグジュアリー・ブランドが日本で大きな成功を収めている理由を報告する。太字部分が今回の鍵となる表現である。Speech

Erica: I heard luxury brands such as Chanel and Christian Dior are very popular in Japan. Do you agree?

Daisuke: I think so. My friend’s daughter was given a Chanel handbag as a Coming-of-Age Day gift by her grandparents.

Erica: What an expensive present! It is said that Japanese ladies usually wear a gorgeous kimono on the day.

Daisuke: Of course, she did. But the kimono was given by her grandparents on her mother’s side and the bag was gifted by her grandparents on her father’s side.

Erica: Sounds extravagant. It may be too early for a young women to carry such a luxury bag.

Daisuke: That’s exactly what I thought. Yet, some of her college friends have a luxury bag not only from Chanel but also from Louis Vuitton.

Erica: Actually, when I walked along the avenue in Omotesando last Sunday, I saw many young people shopping in luxury shops like Prada, Bulgari and Dior. Having a tendency to spend much money on luxury goods is totally different from western youngsters’ behavior.

Daisuke: You may be surprised but in the mid-1990s we had a term Chanellers for people collecting Chanel products like wallets, handbags, accessories, and clothes. At that time, even some high school girls had such bags.

Erica: I wonder how they could spend more than $2,000 for a bag.

Daisuke: Some Japanese are willing to pay a lot of money to obtain prestigious brands.

Erica: If that is true, we can say the development of luxury brands depends on success in the Japan market.

Daisuke: That’s true. Japan’s percentage of the worldwide sales of luxury brands was as high as 30 percent. Therefore, many famous cosmetics and fashion manufacturers have attempted to penetrate this market.

Erica: However, Japan is a very competitive market because there are unique consumer habits and high-quality expectations.

Daisuke: We had better investigate how successful companies have developed their strong brand identity to attract the most demanding customers in the world.Speech

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