Japan Postcard: The Soft Sell. There is a concept in Japan called Kawaii; it means cute with strawberries on! Japanese people love cute, they especially love cats and kittens and are mad about cute kittens. But Kawaii goes far beyond what we think of as cute.
Before we go any further than you need to look at this:
Even after watching that you probably have no more idea about the power of cute in Japanese society than you did yesterday. Here though is the killer line, here is the soft sell; in the local arcade there are kittens for sale for a minimum of 250,000 yen and that is about £1800. But if you want something more than a moggy in this market of status accesories then open your wallet and let at least £4000 slap down on the table. Yes, folks, if you want a bengal cat kitten then it is going to cost you close on £3000 just for its fluffy little arse. However, if you think that is all you need then think again. You will need a heated pad for it to lie on when the weather is cold, it will need toys and a cage, sorry not a cage but a specifically designed kitten shelter.
Now you may think that you need shelter from this imposition on your softer side but all I see here is business genius. There are people out there selling double glazing, cars, insurance policies, health care, pensions, washing machines and god knows what else. They bust their balls every day trying to make a sale and earn some income to put bread on their table. We have to say that our hearts go out to them as long as they do not arrive at our front door. They have to deal with the hard sell, they have to push the punter into a signature, they have to hammer the deal home, they have to sweat and they have to deal with all sorts of regulations which mean that after they have made the sale it can be rescinded within a statutory period.
Get ready and be prepared to sit back and watch what seems to me like the almost perfect business model and sales pitch. This is the soft sell that is a fluffy kitten wrapped around an iron fist. Take a good look at the sales team, look at their position. Look at the potential customers. Look at the window display. You are looking at a business that has a soft sell close to die for.
Sell it soft, sell it fluffy. When the customers come in get a kitten in their hands straight away. If it is a man with a women just get that kitten in the woman’s hands. Do not stand, kneel before them talking about how beautiful the kitten is as they sit on a comfortable sofa with a fluffy bundle of joy bouncing around in their arms. Tell them it is cheaper than a baby, it has been vet checked, it comes with one years pet insurance and if it dies within the first year you can get another one. Most importantly you can buy on a finance plan over 10 months and we can sign you up here and now.
Tell me Mr Boyfriend, just how much do you love your girlfriend? Go on, now your girlfriend/child/mummies boy has that soft fluffy kitten in their hand how are you going to explain you are going to have to put it back in the cage? You can pay monthly, there is no reason to reject this fluffy bundle of love.
Sold all the way down the river.
And tell me, after they take the kitten away who exactly is going to return it within the statutory limit claiming they were the victim of a hard sales technique? Surely not, this is the softest sell you will ever see.