We provided comprehensive support for the marketing activities of the foreign multinational client “AEye” upon their initial entry into Japan. How did the local strategy for this global client lead to success?
AEye is a company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in rider sensing technology that is effective for applications such as autonomous driving. The company decided to embark on a public relations campaign in Japan with the aim of entering the key automotive market in the country. However, for the company, the Japanese market represented their first entry, and they lacked a dedicated marketing team in Japan. As a result, all PR activities had to be coordinated through their headquarters in San Francisco. PR activities in a market where Japanese media characteristics and brand recognition were lacking began with the establishment of a strong trust relationship with the headquarters’ PR team.
How to convey a one-of-a-kind technology to the world.
The initial challenge was how to convey a one-of-a-kind technology without direct competition. They used a concept similar to how Apple created the iPhone, emphasizing the appeal of the concept rather than just the product features.
How to generate interest in an unknown company in Japan.
They conducted a media briefing with the top management team visiting Japan, reached out to the US Embassy, and presented the company’s connections with the latest US technology companies to the industry, among other efforts.
Flexible problem-solving and strong teamwork were achieved through the overwhelming trust from the headquarters’ PR department and the “interpretive” support of global partners.
To smoothly take various actions, client understanding and strong collaboration are essential. This project involved members of PRGN based in San Francisco, and the collaboration between the client, the US agency, and our team was crucial.
PR tools cannot be used as is in Japan
All tools such as the website, SNS, and company information are available only in English. In addition, most of the existing tools could not be used in the American market, where we had already won various awards, and in the Japanese market, where we were completely unknown, so we needed to develop tools that were suitable for Japan.
Letting the American headquarters know about Japanese media
The public relations department conducted media training on the characteristics of Japanese media for top management who would be interviewed.
Main PR activities
Maintenance of PR tools
We created basic materials such as press releases, websites, SNS, company information, etc., including an intro for the Japanese market.
Holding briefing sessions for the media
AEye’s top management invited media from specialized fields such as economics, technology, automotive, and ITS to give a detailed presentation about AEye’s unique technology.
Event for the automotive industry held at the U.S. Embassy
A reception party was held at the US Ambassador’s residence to sponsor the latest technology from three companies, including AEye, for the automotive industry.
At the media briefing session, each of the six managers received four individual interviews, for a total of 24 individual interviews, and we achieved 39 exposures in a wide range of media, from general newspapers to industry publications and digital media, over the three days. The U.S. Embassy event was attended by 280 industry representatives and related ministries. This has had a major impact not only on AEye’s American headquarters, but also on AEye’s overseas PR strategy.
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