Freshness Burger is a company in Japan, which noted a culturally significant marketing gap, and took a very creative approach to fixing their unique problem. The video below will provide some insight into the issue as well as detail Freshness Burger’s innovative marketing strategy.
In case you didn’t watch the video, here’s the summary I got off of The Daily What; “Ochobo, or “small and modest mouth,” is regarded as an attractive trait for women in Japanese culture. This expectation makes it difficult for women to take large bites of food without breaking this long-held expectation. Freshness Burger, a restaurant chain throughout Japan, took this on as a challenge to free their female customers from taking only tiny bites.”
Having lived on the Korean Peninsula for four years, I can say that ochobo does play a large factor in the everyday social life of women in or around Japan. By integrating this long held cultural tradition into a marketing platform, Freshness Burger has done what no other restaurant in Japan could do in a sociably acceptable manner and let women chow down on massive hunks of beef, bread and lettuce.
The results of the marketing dynamic were immensely successful. The video above notes that the problem facing Freshness Burger was that women were simply not buying the largest burger on their menu, which I’m sure, like any menus largest burger, is incredibly delicious. The company realized that the uniquely Japanese cultural perception on ochobo was likely the culprit, and introduced a burger wrapper complete with its own ‘small and modest mouth’ printed directly on it. The video notes that sales of this ‘Classic Burger’ to women after the introduction of what Freshness Burger’s supporters have deemed the ‘Liberation Wrapper’ was up 213% from the previous month. Letting women all over Japan indulge in the burgers.
This is the type of market research I can get behind; the kind that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. I enjoy hamburgers myself, and nothing satiates my carnivorous appetite more than taking a monstrous bite out of a huge burger. The Liberation Wrapper is aptly named, as it allows for Japanese women to enjoy the same experience.
The idea itself is amazing as well. Not only have women been using the wrapper to overcome the ‘spell of ochobo in public places’, but it has also gained traction in the media and social networking sites; driving brand awareness and customer satisfaction. I would not be surprised if we were to see more of these types of wrappers coming out of Asia. As I mentioned before, though ochobo is a Japanese cultural norm, it extends to other parts of Asia as well.
While it’s doubtful that the Liberation Wrapper will work its way over to the Western market, I find it interesting to see a fast food company incorporate cultural beliefs into its marketing solutions. It will be interesting to see if Freshness Burger will develop anymore innovative ways to tackle its marketing as tradition and modernity continue to intertwine in Japan.