While we bring out the first issue of GEMS for 2011, the Journal of Rapidly Growing and Emerging Markets, our heart goes out to the stoic citizens of Japan, who have borne indescribable misfortune with such fortitude and dignity.
GEMs: Insights from Emerging Markets - March 2011
Apart from the human toll and suffering, the economic blow is also staggering and recovery will be a long uphill battle. However, the economic recovery of Japan will not only be fuelled by the reconstruction efforts in the country; the emerging markets with their growing demand for Japanese cars, electronics, and other products will also come to Japan’s aid. Japanese goods enjoy significant levels of success in emerging markets – their relatively modest success in China has historical origins. But even in China Japanese products are highly respected and desired. According to our research among Chinese consumers, Japanese goods are valued as the third best in the world after German and American products. Particularly appreciated are Japanese consumer electronics, cars and computers. Japanese products are considered the most good-looking in the world, and also believed to embody great craftsmanship and attention to detail (second only to Germany on these aspects). Japanese industry needs to build on this goodwill towards their expertise, and attract the growing spending of emerging market consumers to help it stand back on its feet.
Elsewhere in a part of the emerging world, the last few months have seen some remarkable events, which we all hope will end in more freedom and a better life for its citizens. Thanks to the film “The Social Network” we are all familiar with the rather practical and even dubious need which prompted Mark Zuckerberg to start writing the code for Facebook. One cannot help wondering what must be going on in his mind when he sees his creation being used as an instrument of protest and freedom. Nevertheless it is clear that the Internet in emerging markets is bringing people together in ways that one would never have imagined, including sending them to Tahrir Square to demand freedom. A few months earlier, TNS had conducted the Digital Life study in 46 countries around the world, to try to understand how consumers use the Internet and what factors – both rational and emotional – drive their usage. It does seem a bit eerie when we see that the study had shown that the Egyptians are the most engaged Internet users in the world. Unlike their counterparts in the developed world, who tend to look at the Net more as a functional tool, which brings simplicity and efficiency to their lives, the emerging market consumers view the Internet in many more and deeper layers – including as an important tool for self-expression.
We have a number of interesting articles in this issue of GEMS – some of them touch upon the unique influence that the Internet is having on our lives. Others reflect on the complex nature of the emerging markets and share some insights that we have garnered during our many years of researching them.
We hope you enjoy these gems from emerging markets.
Download GEMs: Insights from Emerging Markets (March 2011)
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