Lessons from KonMari on Global Expansion
Inspired by Brandon K. Hill and Yasuko Katsumata
It’s no longer a phenomenon. It’s a movement.
“What sparks joy?”
It’s been two years since Marie Kondo debuted on Netflix, and America is still captivated by her charm. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is more than just about cleaning and organizing your belongings; it’s also about being intentional in how you choose to live and think. Who would have ever imagined that America would obsess over tidying up?
Kondo has written an award winning book about her method, KonMari, that has been translated into 44 languages and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
How KonMari successfully expanded globally
A Human-Centered Process for Cultural Difference
Through a thoughtful process with a profound human impact, Marie Kondo has successfully captured millions of American hearts. As her magic transforms both the home and lifestyle, her key to success lies in understanding American’s needs and pain points.
In Japan, the desire for a tidy home stems from an issue of space. However, in comparatively large homes in America, space is not so much the issue. Even if Kondo pushed to “use space effectively,” the results would disappoint.
Instead, Kondo emphasizes American homes have excessive things that clutter the original intent of living. In this way, she channels her message to emphasize the existing pain points while staying true to her mission.
It is a beautiful example of a human-centered process designed to transform our relationship with physical possessions and invite us to lead more intentional lives.
Target Niches on a Global Scale
Learning the art to be “organized” or “tidy” is a niche field, especially in the United States. However, as Kondo showed us, on a global scale a niche can become a movement. Niches tend to result in higher loyalty and return rates, by creating a sense of a private community. Once your company finds their niche, think globally.
Mac used to be the flower child of technology and popular among creatives. Now, it’s common, almost demanding, for corporate companies to use Mac and Apple products.
Businesses tend to expand by aiming for sectors of large quantity; but when expanding globally, it is better to focus on the niche needs of the core users.
Where Is She Now?
Marie Kondo has a new focus: Joy at Work. Kondo teams up with organizational psychologist, Scott Sonenshein at Rice University, to write her new book, “Joy at Work,” to overcome challenges of workplace mess. Although we no longer have a “workplace,” in the era of Work From Home (WFH), her book couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Kondo was able to leverage her new lifestyle and share her tips to boost joy and productivity while working from home.
Her movement still lives on, and has adapted to our newest challenge. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of KonMari is the transformation of the “act of tidying up” into “a mindset”. This shift allows KonMari to be embraced as a lifestyle, rather than a short-lived phenomenon.
Don’t stay in 4% of the world
Marie Kondo took the plunge out of Japan and played a larger game with the world, which changed her brand and life significantly. It’s about the infinite possibilities in the other 96% of the world.
btrax is proud to serve as a cultural liaison between Japan and the US. We help companies bridge market opportunities by localizing the experience, content, and product, sparking some joy into the world.
btrax can help your brand expand to Japan. We provide comprehensive support including market research, UI/UX design, and growth marketing. Click here for more details!
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