Burt’s Bees To Japan Research Paper Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Japan, Business, Products, Nature, Company, Workplace, Women, Customers

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/20

Hiring

Page 5..Business Deals & Hiring (continued)/Distribution Channels
Page 6..Distribution Channels (continued)/Shipment & Political Economy
Page 7..Competitors/Costs, Regulations & Documentation
Page 8..Political Economy & Employment Regulations
Page 9..Business Culture

Page 10Work Ethic

Page 11-14..Appendix

Page 15Works Cited

Introduction
The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer goods with manufacturing in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Greater China and Canada with markets in over 100 countries.  Headquartered at 1221 Broadway, Oakland, California, Clorox employs over 8,000 employees worldwide.  Clorox Company reflects a strong social commitment, which includes environmental sustainability and adherence to human rights standard business practices. Its Business Partner Code of Conduct is Clorox's expectations for suppliers, providers, consultants, distributors and contractors that provide detailed expectations and business standards. Clorox Company is fully committed to supporting environmental sustainability. Their social commitment includes goals for carbon footprint reduction, GHG reductions, energy and water reductions; all of which have been successfully met.  Exceeding these goals and keeping with this commitment drives their future. Its 2014 fiscal revenue was over 5.5 billion, with 20% from international net sales with a +4 pretax earnings growth. 4% of overall sales are from Burt's Bees. Its projected sales goal is 3% - 5%. Strategies involve growth through profitable channels, countries and new categories. Additionally, funding growth through reduction in waste within their work, production and supply chains is their focus.
Burt’s Bees is a huge product line of personal care products, and is a subsidiary of Clorox. Burt’s Bees contains all natural ingredients, and are made for almost all consumers. “Each of our products has been carefully formulated to sustain your skin's equilibrium of temperature, moisture, and nutrients.”(Burt’s Bees) Among many of their natural ingredients, the main ones are Clary Sage, Chamomile, Aloe, Pomegranate, Willow Bark, and Beeswax. This leaves all of the areas of skin being exposed to these products very well-conditioned and healthy. There are a wide variety of these products, which have really grown over the years. There are now products for infants as well. Burt’s Bees has a “triple bottom line”, which is “people, profit, planet.”(Burt’s Bees) This means that as a company, they try to look after everyone, and everything. This includes employees, customers, families, and even the environment.

Business Proposal

Marketing Plan
"Japan is the 2nd largest market for cosmetics and personal care products after the U.S," (globaltrade.net) with the Japanese cosmetics being "highly competitive and sophisticated."  Two decades of stagnation have created a frugal, selective and quality-conscious consumer.  Key products in Japan is skin lightening, aging care, and skin moisturizer.  Japanese consumers seek high performance, quick acting, with cross-functional appeal.  The trend in cosmetics is organic and natural products.  A strong recovery within the cosmetic market was seen in 2012; the highest since 2003.  United States is the 2nd largest importer to Japan, with cosmetics accounting for 18% of total exports, and second to France with a 25% market share.  However, France has lost market share in recent years.  Japanese value unique products and branding is vital. Nicely packaged and promoted is significant. Since Burt’s Bees isn’t active in Osaka Japan yet, we will have the First-Move advantage of bringing a new and never before seen product. This will increase the demand from our new target consumers in Japan. Presentation of this product is very important to spread the word. We plan to introduce just a few of Burt’s Bees products to start out with. Japan has many large retail outlets, and huge amounts of land being taken over by huge stores like these outlets, which created regulations regarding the environment. Now because of this, the best option for a location to present the Burt’s Bees product line would be in a big, well known mall such as the ATC Town Outlet Mare, located in Osaka. We want to introduce our line of products to the stores within the mall. This will include some of the “Classic” products that the US started out with when Burt’s Bees was first introduced there, which are the lip balms, facial cleansers, soap, pore cleansers, and hand/foot cream. Technology in Japan is very abundant, so creating a Japanese website in representation of Burt’s Bees will increase its’ popularity, as well as its’ sales if we offer products to order from the website. We will do it almost identical to the US website, except of course the variety of languages offered on the website for comprehension. We will provide free shipping after a certain amount is spent on the website, and we will have many promotions, as well as providing an account to set up, so the consumers who choose to do their shopping online can choose to be loyal customers to our website as opposed to physically buying our products at stores.

Products

Burt's Bees materials and ingredients originate from around the world, and we are proud of having accepted Responsible Sourcing. Burt’s Bees products are purely natural, to work in harmony with skin's natural chemistry. Japanese businessmen are anticipated to put a large amount of value in natural care, therefore, our mission is to introduce Burt's Bees' Natural Skin Care for Men range. This includes shave products with only natural shaving skin care, a wide range of soaps and washes, for especially demanding skin. For babies and their loving mothers, we can proudly present a range of natural mother-and-baby skin care products. We will do our best to satisfy our customer wishes and expectations, and we recognize that safe and natural products for your loved ones are an obligation to attend to. For this reason, our customers will receive all products that are 100% pediatrician tested, among them, washes, soaps, lotions, and much more. We have extensively thought about the most feasible ways to protect your skin outdoors, and came up with natural outdoor skin care. Starting from the early stages of our production, we tested extensively and found out the best solutions to help repair and protect your skin that becomes sensitive, when exposed to varying weather conditions. We assure that you can fully trust us in the elements within our natural skin care. Our product line is always personalized for you, starting from facial treatment products, up to body care natural nourishment. Additionally, we are proud of our classics, with Beeswax Lip Balm, Coconut Foot Cream, Shea Butter Hand Repair and, even, Lemon Butter Cuticle. (Burt's Bees)

Implementation

Our budget for implementation of the marketing plan is sufficient and not severely limited. Initially, we hired a contractor to help us with doing preliminary research. We have also gone great lenghts to think about the timeline, as another important issue to keep track of each activity we do. Our timeline is flexible, and we are realistic about all the activities with implementation. Implementing the plan in steps can bring certain benefits and eliminate big losses. Initially, we are going to start in the ATC Town Outlet Mall, in Osaka, and then add more locations, as we expand our natural product business. We are prepared to launch our social marketing program step-by-step. We also anticipate more adjustments during the process to improve the current plan. Similarly to a pilot plan, in this case, we will have a chance of getting feedback from our contractors and make susequent changes before implementing our plan further and expanding in wider geographic locations. (cdc.gov)

Business Deals/Hiring Employees

Being that our Japanese consumers are very highly educated (99% literacy rate), the ability to read, and interpreting the information provided on the website ranging from our product line descriptions, and pricing will be natural. English and Japanese will be the two languages provided, so this means that we will need to hire Japanese speaking writers to provide our information in Japanese. Also, among other hiring prospects, we will look to Japanese translators, as well as promotional employees to advertise, and expand the awareness of our products. We will then set up a series of meetings. Due to the collectivism of Japanese culture, personal contacts are preferred over cold-calling. When arranging a meeting, punctuality is highly regarded but don't be caught off guard if the meeting itself does not keep with scheduled time. Japanese work hard for successful meetings, therefore, expect disruptions and extended meetings. Overtime is considered virtuous, therefore, early morning or late evening meetings aren't can be customary or even highly regarded. The Japanese work hard and expect business partners to do the same. Showing indifference to Japanese culture can show lack of commitment. Japanese society is complex, structured, and hierarchal and group oriented. Direct confrontation should be avoided.
There are many things to consider, and really grasp when introducing our product proposal, and marketing plan to Japanese Executives, and their company. The first visit to a Japanese company serves as a courtesy call to introduce U.S. executives and their company, as well as evaluate the target company and its executives as potential business partners. Meishi - the exchange of business cards is an extremely important show of status, seniority and respect, the least important is their name. On our business cards, we will provide out new logo, as well as our contact information. Business cards should be printed in both English and Japanese and should be given and received with both hands. A hand shake followed by a slight bow is appreciated. Politeness is appropriate. Translators or bilingual assistants are useful due to the Japanese being weak at hearing and speaking English. They are much more adept at reading and writing. During negotiations, Japanese will expect an interpreter, which can cost from $400 - $900 a day. Bringing an interpreter to a meeting indicates the seriousness of the business deal. When entering a meeting, take cues from colleague as to the seating arrangement, which occurs with highest seniority at the head of the table, and lesser seniority descending from the member with most seniority. The head of the table may not be clear, therefore, follow seating instructions or wait to be instructed. Do not address Japanese associate by their first name in front of their colleagues. As an example, the preferred address is Mr. Kanecko sans; (pronounced 'suns' should follow male or female colleague. Relationships are highly important within Japanese culture. Connections and referrals are invaluable for doing business in Japan. The best choice is to make connections with the same status or slightly higher. The salesman should not expect to meet with the president.
Negotiations with the Japanese are highly stressful for Japanese business professionals. Group decision making is important. Because of this, one must perceive whether the Japanese businessman is speaking individually or collectively. This is best approached by being able to read between the lines. Japanese are very humble and are not direct. Their culture is one that values modesty. During negotiations, if one can be indirect in order to avoid pressure, this will ease any tension during negotiations. Light humor before negotiations is acceptable in order to ease tensions. Showing confidence, trust, loyalty and commitment prior to a sale is beneficial. Follow-up after the visit is vital, and U.S. businesses need to recognize its’ importance. Written contracts are essential to meet legal and tax customs and acct. reg. Contracts represent long term relationships and should be considered carefully.

Distribution Channels &Shipment

Similar to U.S., high-prestige brands are sold at independent beauty counters and specialty boutiques and general distributorship uses the most conventional channel of distribution, with products moving from manufacturer to wholesaler, to retailer.  However, direct market is increasing in volume due to its relative ease and quick access.  See Fig. 1 Japanese key suppliers are among Approx. 4000 cosmetic companies, with 130,000 brands. These are known as the “Big Three” - (Shiseido, Kanebo, and Kose') Foreign competition being (Avon,-direct channel) Estee Lauder (Chain store), Loreal, Revlon, (Dist. channels) LNMH. See Fig. 8
Because the headquarters are located in North Carolina, identifying a shipment process from North Carolina to Osaka is a necessity. Borderlinx is a shipping website which allows for the shipment of goods from the US to Japan. It provides “package forwarding” of products and it requires you to register in order to go through with these actions.

Political Economy

Japan’s population is shrinking annually by 800,000 causing a decreased workforce. Three options are to increase birthrate, allow massive immigration or/and allow women into corporate environment. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is suggesting easing barriers and restrictions for women entering the workforce. Coined "womenomics", Abe set a goal of having 30% women in senior management by 2020 (Tokyo is holding Summer Olympics in 2020) compared to 9% that exists today. Japan comes in last for gender diversity in developed nations. By not allowing women in higher management levels, Japan is using only ½ its resources. (Factor endowment) Generational shifts occurring are that households consist of mainly singles, known as “family refugees”. Forty year olds are entering senior level management, carrying with them possibly new attitudes that are more accepting of diversity and are becoming more global.
Japanese culture consists of a "Keisha Club" which has no place for outsiders. They tend to blocks immigrants. A well-known Japanese saying is “The nail that sticks up will get hit the hardest.” Due to their collectivity, they lack diversity. Japanese have been resistant to globalization. They aren’t able to copy manufacturing and production as they did in the 70’s and 80’s. “Womenomics” appears to be a very sound direction to shed stagnation. This won’t be too much of an effect on our business proposal to Japan, because although we are Americans coming into a Japanese Industry, we will also be coming in with an open mind, and making it so there is no language barrier between our new consumers and our products. The products will speak for themselves, being all natural, and beneficial to all age groups and all cultures. It will become a common interest between our two very different worlds. Even with all of that being said, The US and Japan are very powerful economically when it comes to the trading of goods and investments. “Together they account for over 30% of world domestic product, for a significant portion of international trade in goods and services, and for a major portion of international investment.”(fas.org). for each other’s exports and sources of imports, they are very large markets for one another.

Competitors

Toms of Maine is a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care. Their motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.” The firm's flagship toothpaste is responsible for more than half of company sales, and their products are made from natural ingredients and distributed in environmentally-friendly packaging. Tom's of Maine gives 10% of its pre-tax profits to charitable organizations and encourages its employees to use 5% of their paid time doing volunteer work. CEO Tom Chappell and his wife, Kate Chappell founded the company in 1970. Seeking entry into the specialty toothpaste market, Colgate-Palmolive bought Tom's of Maine for about $100 million in 2006. In his interview with Mainebiz magazine dated January 12, 2015, Toms of Maine founder, Tom Chappell said about the Japanese market, "We have a very large account in Japan with the large department store, Isetan. We're on the main floor of their men's fashion and we've been for two years and that business is growing nicely. We'll be exhibiting in Europe this January, and we hope to go there, but for now Japan is our primary export market."
Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc. is considered one of the nation's largest manufacturers and marketers of supplemental health care products. It produces more than 700 different products, including herbal supplements and vitamins. Nature's Sunshine Products also sells essential oils and personal care items. The company has operations and distribution agreements in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Its Synergy Worldwide multi-level marketing division sells the company's products in the US and selected Asian and European countries. In japan, Nature’s sunshine products have a branch named Nature's Sunshine, Japan Co., Ltd.
Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is another big competitor for Burt’s Bees. It produces many different brands for home, hair, and health. The website of the company explains its activities and identifies it as "the world's largest maker of consumer packaged goods divides its business into five global segments. The company also makes pet food, water filters, and over-the-counter acid-reflux medication. About two dozen of P&G's brands are billion-dollar sellers, including Always, Braun, Crest, Fusion, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Mach3, Olay, Oral-B, Pantene, and Wella in the beauty and grooming segment, as well as Bounty, Charmin, Dawn, Downy, Duracell, Gain, Pampers, and Tide in the household care segment. P&G's hundreds of brands are available in more than 180 countries" (hoovers.com) As competitor to Burt's Bees, P&G produces many different skin and beauty care like Wella, SK ll and Olay, however, none of them presents its products as being natural like Burt's Bee.

Costs, Regulations & Documentation

Pharmaceutical Affairs Law governs the cosmetic industry.  A license must be obtained from local gov’t. Offices for each business location.
Importing goods through Osaka’s port customarily takes 11 days with an average cost of $862 U.S. currency. Clearing customs and inspections takes 2 days at a cost of $135, preparing required documentation takes 5 days at a cost of $277, and 2 days each for inland transportation and port and terminal handling at a cost of $200 and $250 respectively.
Five documents are required for importation: Bill of Lading, cargo dispatch document, commercial invoice, customs import declaration and a packing list.

Political Economy

Japan’s population is shrinking annually by 800,000 causing a decreased workforce. Three options are to increase birthrate, allow massive immigration or/and allow women into corporate environment. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is suggesting easing barriers and restrictions for women entering the workforce.  Coined "womenomics", Abe set a goal of having 30% women in senior management by 2020 (Tokyo is holding Summer Olympics in 2020) compared to 9% that exists today. Japan comes in last for gender diversity in developed nations. By not allowing women in higher management levels, Japan is using only ½ its resources. (Factor endowment) Generational shifts occurring are that households consist of mainly singles, known as “family refugees”. Forty year olds are entering senior level management, carrying with them possibly new attitudes that are more accepting of diversity and are becoming more global.
Japanese culture consists of a "Keisha Club" which has no place for outsiders. They tend to blocks immigrants. A well-known Japanese saying is “The nail that sticks up will get hit the hardest.” Due to their collectivity, they lack diversity. Japanese have been resistant to globalization. They aren’t able to copy manufacturing and production as they did in the 70’s and 80’s. “Womenomics” appears to be a very sound direction to shed stagnation.

Employment Regulations

Labor laws are not consistent throughout the country; rather, they are specific to a city. Osaka’s labor laws allow fixed term contracts for permanent tasks with a maximum length of 36 months, and there is no limit on renewals. The minimum wage in U.S. dollars is $1682.62 monthly. Fifty hours is allowed up to 2 months a year due to seasonal increases in workloads. The maximum workweek is 6 days. A premium is paid for nights of 25% and a premium is paid for working on rest days of 35%. Ten vacation days are allowed with more than 1 year tenure, 16 days for 5 years tenure and 20 days for 10 years tenure.
Health insurance, a hearing board for labor disputes and employment protection scheme is available to employees within Osaka. Dismissal of an employee is allowed by law and doesn’t require a third-party notification or approval.

Business Culture

      Japan's population is 127 million, and it ranks 23rd highest per capita GDP.   Japan's limited resources have made it very dependent on imports. The U.S. was the second largest importer in 2013, and Japan is the 4th largest market for the U.S.   The 2008 global recession has the Japanese becoming more price conscious, and with the aging population, consumers, especially women, have become more focused on health and wellness trends. Japanese, especially women, are health conscious. Optimum time for Burt's Bees due to its natural ingredients, environmentally friendly, women entering workforce. Laggard economy has Prime Minister attempting change at the level of incorporating women into man's world.  Business attire is more lax for men than women. Businesswomen should not wear jewelry, make-up or perfume. 
The first visit to a Japanese company serves as a courtesy call to introduce U.S. executives and their company, as well as evaluate the target company and its executives as potential business partners. Meishi - the exchange of business cards is an extremely important show of status, seniority and respect, the least important is their name. Business cards should be printed in both English and Japanese and should be given and received with both hands. A hand shake followed by a slight bow is appreciated.  Politeness is appropriate.  (Translators or bilingual assistants are useful due to the Japanese being weak at hearing and speaking English.  They are much more adept at reading and writing.  During negotiations, Japanese will expect an interpreter, which can cost from $400 - $900 a day.  Bringing an interpreter to a meeting indicates the seriousness of the business deal.  When entering a meeting, take cues from colleague as to the seating arrangement, which occurs with highest seniority at the head of the table, and lesser seniority descending from the member with most seniority.   The head of the table may not be clear, therefore, follow seating instructions or wait to be instructed.  Do not address Japanese associate by their first name in front of their colleagues.  As an example, the preferred address is Mr. Kanecko sans; (pronounced 'suns' should follow male or female colleague.   Relationships are highly important within Japanese culture.  Connections and referrals are invaluable for doing business in Japan.   The best choice is to make connections with the same status or slightly higher.  The salesman should not expect to meet with the president.
Negotiations with the Japanese are highly stressful for Japanese business professionals. Group decision making is important. Because of this, one must perceive whether the Japanese businessman is speaking individually or collectively. This is best approached by being able to read between the lines.   Japanese are very humble and are not direct.  Their culture is one that values modesty.  During negotiations, if one can be indirect in order to avoid pressure, this will ease any tension during negotiations.  Light humor before negotiations is acceptable in order to ease tensions.    Showing confidence, trust, loyalty and commitment prior to a sale is beneficial.   At the close of the visit,  gifts should be given in private and offered with both hands and with modesty, state that the gift is trivial, no matter how expensive or thoughtful the gift. But take care that the gift is of high quality.  Packaging is as important as the gift itself.  Lastly, avoid gifts containing sets of four.  The number four spoken in Japanese is the same as 'death'. Additionally, avoid gifts meant for the feet. Gift exchanges' purpose is to help develop the relationship.  Follow-up after the visit is vital and U.S. businesses need to recognize its importance.   Written contracts are essential to meet legal and tax customs and acct. reg.  Contracts represent long term relationships and should be considered carefully.

Work Ethic

  The Japanese place high value on harmony and conformity.  They are hierarchal and extremely loyal to the company. The Japanese would be more willing to commit fraud in order to protect their company than pad their own wallets. Their reaction to fraud is passive, media doesn’t investigate, but turns a blind eye, and Japanese laws do not protect whistleblowers.
They are also known for their volunteer spirit.  Vacations or taking needed time off is looked upon as shuffling responsibility to one's co-workers and because they fear resentment from co-workers, the Japanese miss very little work.  Approximately 22% employees work 49+ hours per week compared to the U.S. of 16%.  Younger workers feel uncomfortable leaving work before their bosses, and consequently, service overtime, called "sah bee-soo zahn-gyo" occurs regularly.   Settai is Japanese for "networking after hours".  However, production is negatively affected and burn-out occurs. Japanese work long hours but are inefficient, often sitting around together because of team spirit with questionable performance or productivity.   "Karoshi" is the Japanese term for literally working oneself to death.  It is estimated that approximately 200 karoshi deaths occur each year caused from cerebral hemorrhaging.  Overwork problems have increased during the last two decades.   Laws are being implemented forcing time off.  Japanese normally have 9 vacation days per year and most take less than half.  Vacation days are used as sick days where the employee will save 2 or 3 till the end of the year as a safeguard. 
Japanese consumers differ from the U.S. in that 50% of distribution is through 'Mom and Pop' stores.  Customers are accustomed to convenience, variety and flexibility.  The Japanese prefer domestic goods, but due to a slow economy, have become more price sensitive.  Note, price is not the sole indicator.  Large distribution centers are becoming more popular, but with the aging population, connections and relationships are of great importance.   

Appendix

Cosmetic shipments per unit have continuously decreased in deflationary trend since the 1990’s; however, they have turned to rising in recent years. (Fig. 1)
The value of cosmetics exports and imports was increasing for years before the economic crisis in 2008. It once turned to decrease in 2008, however, up warding again in 2010. Recently both import and export have increased (Fig.6).
Among the destinations of exports from Japan recently, Taiwan, Hong Kong has increased significantly. On the other hand France and U.S. have remained the leaders; the growth of import from Asian countries such as Thailand made a considerable increase. (Fig.7, 8).
Japan experienced a significantly bad six year depression in 2014, and is currently emerging. (Fig. 8).
Works Cited
www.globaledge.msu.edu
www.globaltrade.net         
www.jcia.org                     
www.businessdoing.net      
http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/competition
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32649.pdf -
Japanese Investment and Business Guide Book (online version)
http://econintersect.com/b2evolution/blog1.php/2015/03/10/japan-s-economy-loses-steam-7-year-depression-continues -
https://www.boj.or.jp/en/announcements/press/koen_2013/ko131105a.htm/ -
http://www.burtsbees.com/Our-Philosophy/story-philosophy,default,pg.html –
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/socialmarketing/training/pdf/course/Implementation_6.pdf
http://www.burtsbees.co.uk/

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