Flying Tiger Case Study

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A very clear example that Flying Tiger is using country-of-origin branding in communicating to their Japanese customers is visible when approaching the huge Flying Tiger shop by the south exit of the worlds biggest train station, Shinjuku station in Tokyo. One is met by two meters high letters on the shop front saying “Halløj Shinjuku” [Hello Shinjuku]. Very few Japanese probably understand the meaning of this colloquial Danish expression, but they do know that the letter Ø and Æ are Scandinavian, maybe even Danish. They seem to think the letters are pretty cool as well, as you will see young Japanese walking the streets of Tokyo with tote bags from Flying Tiger saying “Kærlighed” [Love] or “Halløj” [Hello]. This shows that Flying Tiger is …show more content…
EQT, the owner of Flying Tiger, describes the products as “Scandinavian design-inspired product” (EQT, 2016). When Flying Tiger entered the Japanese market, they experienced huge media coverage (Pedersen, 2014). The media told the story of Flying Tiger, but always connected to the story of Danish society and Danish values (Japan Times, 2012). Kai Paludan-Müller describes how Scandinavia was experiencing intense hype in Japan at the moment of the entry of Flying Tiger. The market-entry of Flying Tiger made the perfect occasion for the media to tell the story of Denmark. Flying Tiger was used as the example of Danish mentality and lifestyle in numerous articles and even a 14 minutes long TV spot in the best hour, reaching millions of Japanese homes. This way, says Kai, Flying Tiger reinforced the hype and became the picture in Japanese minds when thinking ‘hip Scandinavian lifestyle’ (personal communication, date). The timing of entry couldn't have been better, as it was perfectly in line with positive intangible benefit the Japanese consumers felt through shopping at a Scandinavian …show more content…
Claus Falsig explained, in order to hold on to the height of interest among Japanese consumers it was necessary for Flying Tiger to continuously re-tell and develop the story and the brand of Flying Tiger, as the Japanese market is very trend based and moves incredibly fast. As such, just being a ‘hip Scandinavian design brand’ was not enough in the long run. It is argued that the Japanese have a positive perception of ‘made in Denmark’ and the place-of-origin branding is a favorable strategy (Asklund, 2014; Okamura & Heiberg, 2009). Due to the huge attention to brand image and story telling in Japan, this further makes Japan the obvious market to position the brand through Danish heritage. On basis of the Flying Tiger case, we will however, argue that a branding strategy solely based on Place branding and the place-of-origin effect is not sufficient to create long-term competitiveness, as the perceptions among consumers are not static, but ever changing and therefore the made-in-Denmark advantage is not persistent, but must be developed and renewed through continuous marketing

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