The purpose of this special issue is to introduce several research results from JMAC marketing research projects. This issue contains five papers among 31 research projects (shown in Figure 1): “Industry Innovation and Brand-Mode Shift”, “Presence and Prospects of CMOs in Japanese Corporations: How Do CMOs Contribute to Performance?”, “Exploratory Study of Factors Determining Outcomes of Sixth Sector Industrialization Using Secondary Data”, “Current Issues in Brand Research” and “Relationship between Consumer’s Hedonic and Utilitarian Motives for Making and the Value of User-Developed Solutions and Sharing of Solutions: A Large-Scale Empirical Study”.
All of these papers show the frontiers of each research area in marketing practice in Japan.
Brand strategy is defined to be based on the cognition of customers, and is centered on the "exchange, sense, symbol" principle and designed for integration of management, marketing, and communication. However, the industries-innovation now is changing the system of production and exchange and making the shift of interaction of business from the viewpoint of service-dominant (S-D) logic and S-logic. This brand-mode shift is emerging from an “activity system” with customer augmentation.
The objective of this study is to explore how CMOs influence corporate performance in Japan. Recent research reports have shown that CMOs play positive roles in American corporations. However, this kind of analysis has yet to be performed for Japanese corporations. An empirical analysis showed that CMOs do contribute to the performance of Japanese corporations in terms of sales growth ratio in three consecutive years. An online literature review of recent developments associated with CMOs showed that CGOs (chief growth officers) have started to replace CMOs in US consumer goods corporations during the 2010’s. These results are interpreted based on interviews with four Japanese CMOs. We propose a hypothetical causal model as a basis for further research.
Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in Japan face serious situations due to a decline in workers and an aging population. Under these circumstances, the government has introduced measures to promote sixth sector industrialization (i.e., diversification of primary producers into processing and distribution) as a means of revitalizing these industries. However, research in this area is limited to discussion of the contents of government support measures and introduction of examples. There has been little quantitative analysis of the factors that determine the outcomes of this approach. Therefore, in this paper, we performed a quantitative analysis using the casebook of sixth sector industrialization prepared by the government. The results showed that industry revitalization was enhanced if processing and direct sales were conducted simultaneously, and that the influence on outcomes differed in the direct sales and restaurant sectors. In addition, sixth sector industrialization was more effective if there was a strong involvement with the local area.
Brand continues to be an important academic topic in marketing. In this article, four brand researchers present and discuss current issues in expanding brand research. This article has an omnibus format consisting of four short papers that are discussed in the following order: 1. Influence of corporate brand on organization (Akutsu); 2. Effect of branding in BtoB marketing (Yoda); 3. Function of brand in BtoC marketing (Sugitani); and 4. Environmental changes around brand consumption (Kubota). These papers all include the important theme of brand, and their content clarifies various aspects of modern brand research through analyses from the different perspectives of four researchers in this field.
A growing number of consumers are interested in making items, as part of maker culture, and high value product solutions are being created and shared. While several companies have achieved high market performance using these solutions, many consumer solutions have not been used. Under these circumstances, it is important to understand the relationship between the motives of these consumers and the value and sharing of solutions. This helps with market performance provided by consumers' solutions and successful sharing, which is significant not only for researchers and practitioners, but also for social welfare. Many studies have examined these issues, but only in a limited number of consumers, and this behavior in all consumers is still not understood. In this study, we examined the empirical relationship of the motives of consumers with the value of user-developed solutions and sharing of these solutions, using large-scale survey data of consumers. Our findings show that the motives of utilitarian consumers affect the value of user-developed solutions, whereas those of hedonic consumers have an effect on sharing of solutions. The effect on sharing the solutions is strengthened by the motives of utilitarian consumers.
Employees in service frontline positions, which are the point of contact between service providers and customers, interact with customers with heterogeneous concerns. Given these service characteristics of needing to meet the unique needs of each customer, service frontline employees are required to answer regular questions based on quality standards and to deal with personal requests. Employees who demonstrate creativity are more likely to identify the potential needs of customers and to solve customers' problems in a creative and effective manner. This approach also contributes to creating a superior customer experience and building long-term relationships with customers. This paper presents the current status and future issues in this area based on a literature review of the creativity of service frontline employees.
Traditionally, marketing research has taken the view that competition should be avoided. However, given today’s environment, which is characterized by intense and rapid competitive moves, there is a need for a new marketing research approach that begins from the premise that competition is unavoidable and explores key success factors for getting or keeping ahead of competitors. This paper refers to such research as “competitive marketing strategy” and examines its framework. Through a multidisciplinary review, the competitive dynamics view, rooted in the Austrian School of Economics, is identified as the suitable research framework. Also, marketing research is shown to provide new insights by incorporating the following three ideas into the competitive dynamics view; (1) customer relationship management, (2) distributor relationship management, and (3) portfolio management.
MINISO is a rapidly growing company which was established in Tokyo in 2013. Although it has the concept of a Japan-based designer brand, it is basically a Chinese company. MINISO has opened over 3,500 stores in 79 countries worldwide, with sales reaching USD 2.5 billion in 2018. This paper focuses on the process of how this brand was made.
A health-oriented management approach is attracting the attention of many companies to increase their corporate value through investment in employees’ healthcare as a management fashion. Sunstar, a personal care company, has created innovation directly with their health-oriented management approach, and has improved their corporate value. The company has invested in employee’ healthcare from an early stage, and has created the brand “KENKO DOJO”, which is based on brown rice and vegetable meals and vegetable juices, which their healthcare facility provides for employees. From the start, top management decided to seek some profit by utilizing their health-oriented management approach. In this case, there are two important points. The first is that of creating shared value: the company balances employees’ healthcare and business creation by utilizing their healthcare method. The second is service-dominant logic: the company integrates goods and service and also co-creates value.