Dentsu Inc has released its “2012 Hit Products in Japan” report. Produced as part of a series that has been chronicling hit products since 1985, the latest report examines and generalizes major trends that represented the consumer mindset in 2012.
It is based on an Internet survey of Japanese consumers carried out in November by Dentsu Marketing Insight.
Two summers have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Although the deflationary trend this year shows signs of slowing, and the consumer quest for low prices has started to wane, 2012 can be described as a year in which consumers enjoyed extravagance with reserve. Smartphones came in at number one for the third year in a row, but the fact that twelve items made their first appearance on the list shows that times are moving to a new phase.
The following top 20 products (including celebrities and social phenomena) were selected from 55 popular items and services by 1,000 Internet survey respondents aged between 20 and 69. The total scores in three categories — “recognition,” “attraction and interest” and “topicality/buzz” — were calculated to determine the top products of 2012. The figures in parentheses are last year’s rankings.
Features shared by the top-ranking products and services are their nationwide appeal and broad support base. Tokyo Sky Tree, the local mascot characters and the London Olympic Games energized the nation; Sugi-chan and AKB48 cheered people up; and products such as robot cleaners, salted rice malt, non-alcoholic beer and Type 3 eco-cars gave people the opportunity to discover new value.
2012 Hit Products - Previously unranked products are indicated with (-)
No. 1: Smartphones (1)
No. 2: Tokyo Sky Tree (3)
No. 3: SNSs such as Facebook that require real name registration (27)
No. 4: Robot cleaners (21)
No. 5: Salted rice malt (127)
No. 6: Sugi-chan (popular comedian) (-)
No. 7: Local mascot characters (-)
No. 8: AKB48 (5)
No. 9: London Olympic Games (-)
No. 10: Low-cost carriers (39)
No. 11: iPS cells (Dr Shinya Yamanaka) (-)
No. 12: Healthy recipe books produced by health companies and nutrition colleges (-)
No. 13: Non-alcoholic beer (-)
No. 14: Tokyo station (-)
No. 15: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (popular model, singer and fashion blogger) (-)
No. 16: Japanese athletes who are active on the international stage (-)
No. 17: Packaged instant fresh noodles (-)
No. 18: Apartment/house sharing (-)
No. 19: Type 3 eco-cars (28)
No. 20: Collaborative product promotions that span industry segments (-)