How to Build Customer Trust in Japan


With Japan being one of the largest markets in the world, the competition is stiff.

If you want to find your place in the Japanese market, building and gaining trust is necessary. People want reliable companies and entrepreneurs. Their behavior will change depending on whether they trust the brand or not. So your company starts building trust before your branch out in Japan.

Why Trust Matter in Japan

The Edelman Trust Barometer is helpful for companies as it analyzes the market and can compare it with other countries. Of course, trust matters in Japan and it has an impact on consumers’ behaviors

In 2016, for a distrusted company, 34% refused to buy a product and only 6% paid more than they wanted. On the other side, for a trusted company, 51% chose to buy and 28% paid more than they wanted. 

Half of the respondents agreed with the statement, ‘A good reputation may get me to buy a product, but unless I come to trust a company, I will soon stop buying it.’ So it is not just about reputation. Even if the product is high quality, if the company does not respect their customers or build a relationship with them, then the company will not succeed in Japan. So communication is a decisive element.

On the other hand, if your company is trustworthy, your company will be rewarded with time. Trust is a buying factor – or a deal-breaker factor – for 70% of Japanese consumers. They are more eager to buy a product once they trust the company, but also to buy other products from the same brand in the future.

How to Build and Maintain Trust

Now we know trust is essential between business and customer. The question now is how to gain and maintain it?

In Japan, the most trusted media course are online search engines. Consumers also look at other people’s reviews to see how well a product is graded and how many people bought it. Companies can invite their customers to leave reviews on different websites by giving them incentives such as free samples or a discount for the next purchase. So check on these reviews now and then to see how people review your goods or service. People will not believe your marketing campaign without verifying on the Internet if your brand or products are reliable.

Japanese customers often buy products that many others have bought, too. So you can show a list of your top sellers. Their way of buying is more peer-oriented than in other countries. This can be used to your advantage as the trust and opinion of your family, friends, and colleagues are better than online reviews. Also, a sense of familiarity in your customers’ minds thanks to celebrities or influencers. Which influencers? Check out our articles on the top 10 Japanese tech influencers. Of course, these influencers should fit your company’s image and have a similar target audience.

Remember that it is better to launch a brand, not a product. If people trust your brand, they will trust your products better. However, note that even if people know your brand, they might prefer buying a higher-end product, according to an Adobe study.

If your company wants to attract customers, global discounts do not work as much in Japan. They prefer emails and personalized promotions to reach them. A Salesforce study showed that these emails should be sent in the evening since this is when people check their emails after work. In addition to this, whatever is written in Japanese should be perfect. So do not copy and paste your advertisements or promotions into translation software. Your message should adapt to Japan, so try to opt for more images and less text.

If you are using social media to promote your product, use pictures and videos to draw in potential customers. As a source of information, Japanese consumers prefer media channels that show pictures and videos such as TV, or look for reviews using search engines or social media. Japanese consumers need to see that the brand is reliable and offers high-quality products.

Surround sounds also increase trust according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. The more they hear the advertisement, the better they trust it.


Of course, for a marketing campaign to succeed, you need an understanding of Japan and Japanese culture. So, it is essential to follow Japanese etiquette with the correct form of polite language and respect your customers. Check out this article here for Japanese business etiquette if you want to communicate better in a professional setting.

Above all else, you can not build trust and make people believe in your brand if you do not have high-quality products and excellent attention to detail. You can follow every piece of advice in the world; however, if your products do not correspond with what you are promoting, people will buy from another company.