In People

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW : MUJI X MarketingPulse

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Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), MarketingPulse is a regional premium conference for marketers and brands, and will debut on 21 March 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

The event will feature world-renowned brand owners, marketing and advertising experts and top creative minds.

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The inaugural event is tailored for corporate executives, brand representatives as well as marketing and advertising agency representatives to hear about the latest marketing strategies and trends.

Given the relevance of MarketingPulse to the retail industry, Retail in Asia partners with HKTDC and has privileged avenue to its star-studded speaker line-up.

MUJIThis week, Retail in Asia met Mr. Kei Suzuki, MUJI Director, to know more about his participation to MarketingPulse.

Mr. Kei Suzuki highlighted how MarketingPulse represents a great opportunity to learn from its industry peers and marketing experts. He also anticipated that the event will be the occasion to share MUJI’s best practices and future plans for its brand.

RiA : MUJI, also known as the anti-brand brand epitomizes minimalism and simplicity, but also stays faithful to its Japanese identity through design. How is this concept evolving?

Mr. Kei Suzuki : One of the pillars of Japanese culture is simplicity, which can be achieved through establishing harmony with nature. “Knowing you have enough” is the secret to live life according to this value.

As MUJI is originally from Japan, simplicity is an intrinsic part of the brand.

MUJI’s core concept remains unchanged through time, but the materialization of its concept evolves and expands through its products and services. However, for MUJI is important to preserve the integrity of the brand.

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Source : MUJI

RiA : How do you explain your success in your own country?

Mr. Kei Suzuki : I appreciate you use the word “success”, but I still think we have a long way to go. We still see room for improvement in terms of operations, merchandising and service.

What you mean by “success”, I believe comes from MUJI’s concept, our employees, and customers who helped us build our brand by sharing the same vision.

RiA : MUJI has a very strong brand identity and it is rapidly expanding globally, what are the pillars of such a successful marketing strategy?

I think, MUJI’s strong brand identity is at the core of our marketing strategy. We strive for consistency and we make sure that MUJI concept is well translated into campaigns and branding activations.

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RiA : Did you somehow adjusted your concept for the international audience?

Since MUJI’s concept is based on simplicity, we think there is no need to adjust, as it is well received overseas. Perhaps, it is because of its versatile design that fits into any environment as long as it welcomes the clear cut lines that characterize MUJI products.

RiA : How has your approach changed with digital? In terms of E-commerce strategy and digital marketing?

Technology plays an important role in our business. E-commerce, for instance, is very valuable to us, not only in terms of revenues generated, but because we are able to communicate our product concept and features with our customers. Apart from E-commerce, “MUJI passport” is the main tool we use to interact with our community.

RiA : China is the second largest market in the world, and the place where changes in technology happen faster. How do you target consumers in that area?

Mr. Kei Suzuki  : Our aim is to serve all customers equally as we see them as huge players in building the brand image. In China, representing it a big market for our operations, we see more opportunities to expand and evolve our scope. “MUJI Diner” and “MUJI Hotel” are examples of the strategies designed to serve our customers better.

Another news in this market will be the introduction of new product lines to target different demographics.

RiA : How do you engage millennials specifically?

Mr. Kei Suzuki : Millennials are the majority among our customers as MUJI’s concept seem to match their personality. We continuously interact with them as we see in them the opportunity to grow together.

RiA : In terms of product categories, is food something you are interesting in extending and how much does it account in your business right now?

Mr. Kei Suzuki : Yes, definitely. In Japan, we have already started experimenting fresh food for example. We really believe food experience can add value to MUJI’s concept.

RiA : In January 2018, MUJI opened MUJI Hotel in Shenzhen. It is a great achievement in the hospitality industry, what’s its concept?

The hotel has been designed to reflect the anti-gorgeous and anti-cheap concept. The goal is to offer the best price-value option, and to provide a space which can refresh both body and mind while away from home. Furthermore, connecting travelers to local people and places and framing traveling as a natural part of daily life is part of our contribution to lifestyle culture.

With MUJI Hotel, we are also following the trend coming from millennials who prefer experience over package consumer products. MUJI Hotel provides an answer to this shift in demand.

Cooperating with MUJI stores, MUJI Hotel seeks to provide a physical experience of the MUJI philosophy through the sensation of towels, the placement of outlets and light switches, restaurants and menus, space, and more.

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Source : MUJI

RiA : What are the challenges that are out there, and you will discuss during the MarketingPulse?

“MarketingPulse” is a very privileged venue to get in touch with top-notch players within the industry.

The conference will provide us a platform to learn how to improve ourselves and also interact with pour industry peers to share best practices and exchange notes on the latest trends.

I see it more of a community where at the end of the day we will all have a better understanding of the contemporary marketing ecosystem and new ideas to work on in our own business.

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Stay tuned to meet the other speakers and get ready for the 1st edition of MarketingPulse.

Exhibition and business-matching service to generate concrete business opportunities
MarketingPulse will feature an Exhibition Zone, gathering digital marketing and innovative companies to showcase new marketing strategies, technologies and solutions, and to demonstrate Hong Kong’s marketing prowess.

On-site business-matching will arrange one-on-one meetings for brands and exhibiting marketing agencies to explore collaboration opportunities.

In addition, the HKTDC will organize various networking events for brand representatives and marketing companies to exchange intelligence and build networks.

If you have any questions, please contact MarketingPulse

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