National | CHUBU CONNECTION

Consultancy for firms seeking to expand overseas taps Japanese wives living abroad

Chunichi Shimbun

A consulting agency based in Nagoya is hiring Japanese mothers living abroad as market researchers for companies aiming to expand overseas.

More companies are showing interest in these women, who are well-versed in consumption trends in their country of residence.

Global Stage Inc., a product development consultancy, currently employs as researchers about 60 mothers living in 17 countries, including the United States, Thailand and France.

The women are asked to write reports based on clients’ requests on topics ranging from feedback from local consumers on a company’s products, to colors that are popular in the local markets.

The service, which started three years ago, is currently used by four companies, including an advertising agency in Nagoya and a Tokyo-based manufacturer.

In March, Global Stage launched a website that provides regular reports on various trends abroad, including sweets popular with children in New York and baby showers.

The company plans to increase the number of researchers to several hundred by the end of this fiscal year to cover the needs of more companies.

At present, 80 percent of the researchers are Japanese women married to non-Japanese men.

“Even for large corporations, there are still few cases where firms have an accurate grasp in detail of overseas markets by regions, and I think such a market research service has a lot of potential,” said Saori Osu, 36, president and CEO of Global Stage.

This section, appearing Tuesdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on July 30.