Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

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How Kit Kat became king in Japan

Advertising that Works!

Advertising and marketing is not just about design. In the product-saturated market of Japan, 9.7 out of every 10 products fail in the first year. Also, the Japanese market is loyal to its domestic brands and has the most demanding consumers in terms of product quality and package design. Yet, the western brand of Kit Kat broke the barrier and became a hit in Japanese culture. So how did this Nestle chocolate bar do it? It all boils down to language similarities and culture.

Kit Kat is similar to the phrase “kitto katsu” which roughly translates to “win without fail.” Japanese students often use this phrase before they take their exams for good luck. Soon, students started eating the candy bar before tests. Nestle managed to tap into the Japanese love of novelty and ran with it by creating 200 special edition flavors ranging from wasabi to green tea flavored. They also have souvenir editions of the Kit Kat bar around holidays or events.

This form of advertising was a stroke of luck for Nestle but also it is something to keep in mind when we’re marketing to our audience. If we understand the values and even superstitions or culture of our audience a product can be successfully launched. A fine example of advertising that works!

See some of the different Kit Kat packaging and flavors from Japan below.

kit kat_strawberry

kit kat_milk

kit kat_melon

Author: The Cheeps

"The Cheeps" are the chick designers that run Cheep Cheep Postcards and Cheep Cheep Websites, two divisions of Hunter-McMain, Inc. We're here to provide fun information on advertising design, business tips, and holidays--sometimes random--we would like to celebrate with you.

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