Britishness and Doing Business in Japan

Chris Arning of Creative Semiotics, based in the UK, explains the quintessential traits of 'Britishness' that will help with marketing your products to Japan. 

Made in Britain Has Developed a Huge Following in Japan 

'Made in Britain' is a powerful, complex brand that can embody everything from traditional and upper class, to rebellious and subversive. The Union Jack has become the most visible and ubiquitous symbol of the United Kingdom to the rest of the world, and here in Japan, it is a highly coveted label that conveys quality and craftsmanship. 

However, what makes up the quintessential traits of 'Britishness' goes far deeper than simply the Union Jack flag. Chris Arning, Director of UK-based boutique branding consultancy firm Creative Semiotics, was invited to speak at the British Embassy Tokyo in May, to present a global study of Britishness and discuss its relevance in Japan. These findings on Britishness and the semiotic code map that can be seen in the video were extracted from a semiotics project conducted on behalf of Iris Worldwide and Mini BMW.

British Companies Can Leverage this Phenomenon to Successfully Export Their Products and Services to Japan 

Arning shares what Britishness means in Japan and how UK companies can better market their products through understanding how to use their Britishness, and what businesses are successfully harnessing the brand. He explains that British brands often communicate on "more than one dimension at the same time," simultaneously encompassing the contradictions of aristocratic and upper class, to a strong working class popular culture. In Japan, figures such as Sir Paul Smith are seen as embodying the distinctly British traits of politeness and dignity that has made him a huge success in the country, while other designers such as Vivienne Westwood are wildly popular for playing on the subversive punkish aspects of British culture.

Watch the video to understand more about the quintessential qualities of Britishness and learn how to use it effectively for your business.


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