Making Connections
Delivering Results

Accelerating market access for leading SaaS companies

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Japan is the third-largest economy with a stable consumer base and tech-savvy population. Despite embracing emerging technologies and predicted SaaS revenue CAGR of 15%, there are hard truths to acknowledge:

Japan is not easy.

If it were, you would not be reading this right now (thank you). Some of the biggest companies in the world have failed in Japan; Vodafone, Tesco, Nokia, and Carrefour to name a few. Many others endure years of costly investment and frustration for meager returns. It doesn’t matter what works elsewhere – you need a different mindset.

Timelines are different. 

While you can easily have a pin on a map, building a foundation for growth in Japan can take time. Many companies lack meaningful goals based on local business practices – when expectations aren’t met, Japan gets parked in the ‘too hard’ basket. You need an approach that balances short-term requirements with your long-term potential.

Passive tactics just don’t scale.

Passive access through things like convenient connections, random leads, and region-wide deals are just checking a box. In exchange for deep discounts, SaaS companies receive “free money” and call it a day; this, however, is not what success looks like. You need to be active while avoiding tactics not based on a clear path to sustainable growth.

Costly Tactics that tend to produce limited results

Invest in HQ staff

PROs: Reliable representation, deep product knowledge in territory, and a wealth of information conveyed back to HQ

CONs: Cost, ‘lift & move’ strategy failures, and missteps from staff lacking the nuances of culture and business environment

Invest in local staff

PROs: Reliable local cultural knowledge, visible presence in territory, and potential best of both worlds: global and local

CONs: Cost (US$500K+ for 2 staff with expenses annually), staff retention, and communication / motivation challenges

Invest in a Program

PROs: Access to connections at incubators, trade shows, match-making events, and government programs; feel busy

CONs: Time wasted on formulaic activities that define success as the number of connections made, not new revenue

Invest in the Big Four

PROs: Access to big brands with a wealth of Japan expertise and market entry reference points; feel safe and confident

CONs: Consultancies create professional dependencies, aren’t responsible for results, and stop short of doing the work

Our Solution: Open Japan by securing an OEM relationship with or investment from the right strategic partner. Learn how we MAKE CONNECTIONS to DELIVER RESULTS.