adopt & adapt

September 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve never enjoyed apartment-style living, so it was nice to know that my new place would come furnished with 12 other housemates. There are no elevators (due to frequent earthquakes, buildings with less than 5 stories are limited to stairs) and floors are separated by gender. There are a couple lounge areas and a communal kitchen, throw in a couple class rooms and break out meeting spots and you’ve got the ideal graduate residence.

Within minutes of my first marketing class at KBS we learned about the concept of “Adopt & Adapt”. As supported by many Japanese corporations and companies, they take popular Western ideas and tailor them to suit Japanese needs and wants.

Here are a few examples I’ve seen since I’ve arrived:

While this toilet is more Western than traditional style (the hole in the ground that requires squatting, eww), the buttons on the side provide functions that aren’t required in the west. Manners are first and foremost in Japanese society and the “peeing” sound can be easily masked with the press of a button that simulates a flushing noise to avoid offending others. There are also options to warm the toilet seat and bidet functions to keep you fresh & clean.

Ignoring the fact that his shirt happens to read “LOSER” the guy in the bucket hat takes flyering to the next level. In Japan, rather than passing our leaflets of information that usually end up on the ground steps after receipt, flyers are distributed in the form of tissue packets. This is a convenient way to get consumers to take the flyer and probably encourages lasting impressions from a marketing perspective since tissues/napkins aren’t readily offered by most restaurants and bathrooms.

You gotta love white boards but I’m sure you agree with me that it sucks pretty bad when you spend all of your time brainstorming and getting all of your ideas on the board only to have them erased. Sometimes you take a picture of it to trigger your memory but most of the time you rely on your notetaker to get every point down in Word. Depend on the Japanese to make your white board efforts incarnate. After you’ve finished writing everything down on the board, a simple press of a button and your work is scanned and printed by the attached printer. If you’re worried about wasting paper, a USB port is available to save a PDF version of your doodles. Amazing.

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