Nestle’s KitKat chocolate snacks undergo a magical transformation in the hands of Japanese marketers. Unique flavors like roasted corn, baked potato, and apple vinegar delight (or disgust) many visitors to Japan.
Clearly, the KitKat brand extension strategy is aiming for both publicity and micro-segmentation of target audiences in hopes of creating a “boom” hit product.
The Japanese consumer has been conditioned to expect a constant stream of “new” products – industry sources tell InvisibleGaijin that new products must cycle every 2.5 months or you can’t get shelf space at 7-11 convenience stores in Japan!
InvisibleGaijin has obtained a top-secret list of proposed KitKat flavors that failed. Here are some favorites.
“Ethnic” Flavors Series
(5) 豚キムチ (Kimchi Fried with Pork)
(4) Aussie Tiger (Meat Pie with Mash, Mushy Peas, and Brown Gravy)
“Oyaji” (old guy) Flavors Series
(3) Nama Shirako (raw cod testes)
(2) Pseudo-Beer + Cigarettes
“Celebrity” Flavors Series
(1) Noriko Sakai Signature Series: Roasted Crystal Meth (comes with 42 straws)
If you could propose a new KitKat flavor, what would it be?
Now you can design a custom box for your KitKats!
Taking the idea of consumer-generated content to the extreme, Nestle Japan’s www.chocollabo.com site lets you choose design templates, add your own photos, and write your own copy.
Japan is one of the most successful markets for KitKat and the brand is a cultural touchstone for many people. Nestle Japan very cleverly and adroitly aligned the KitKat brand with wishing students good luck on their entrance exams using a play on the Japanese words, “kitto katsu” (you will certainly win!).
The Japanese love for “kawaii” cuteness, personalized photos/messages (think “purikura”), and sending seasonally themed gifts will make this a sure hit. Price? JPY 2100 (about US$22) for a set of 10 boxes.
KitKat is also renowned for its incredibly diverse selection of flavors. Wisely, Nestle has included links to online shops where you can get the latest flavors like baked potato and roasted corn!
Too bad you can’t create your own flavors!
Or maybe that’s next?
Bigots and Baguettes. You’ll find both in Tokyo.
Bigots come in all colors.
Gaijin who are convinced the Japanese are little children who need tough love from their colonial masters. Ah, the white man’s burden.
Nihonjin who are equally convinced Gaijin are teenagers with guns who must be placated lest they go postal on everyone, disrupting the “wa” of society. Leave that to the unemployed, under-employed, otaku-outsiders, or any other Nihonjin who dares to be different.
News media who inflame the racist in all of us. Gaijin-baiting remains an avocation of certain media – and the Gaijin fall for it every time.
Politicians who think they can score easy points with the “we the Japanese” riff – until nihongo-speaking Gaijin tip off the New York Times. Ah, gomensai.
Advertising that hammers the consumer with messages like “Gaijin use this product, it must be good!” 新登場 indeed.
And, of course, there are baguettes. Ah, les baguettes!
There are more French bakeries per square kilometer in Tokyo than in Paris. Some of the best baguettes in the world are baked here.
You can even get Baguettes in Bigot Bags!
I love this place.