| HELLO KITTY| | Obsah Introduction3 1. Hello Kitty4 1. 1 History4 1. 2 Hello Kitty in Japan5 2. Globalization – localization6 3. Famous brands create for Hello Kitty6 3. 1 Forever 21 (US)7 3. 2 Sephora (Francie)7 3. 3 Swarovski (Austria)8 3. 4 Vans (US)8 3. 5 Eva Air (Taiwan)9 Conclusion10 Bibliography11 Appendix I. : Hello Kitty Story12 Appendix II. : First product with Hello Kitty motive – 197413 Appendix III. : Hello Kitty Products14 Appendix IV. : Hello Kitty a celebrities19 Appendix V. : Hello Kitty products in magazines20 Introduction
Lately I have been noticing many articles in the shops carrying a name Hello Kitty with the typical oversized-head kitty image. To be quite honest until I started looking for information I did not know anything about this brand, where it is coming from, what is its main product, who is its targeted group, nothing. But it got my attention because I have been spotting the Hello Kitty image on so many different products and in such an amount that I started to feel like it is everywhere and I cannot escape. This essay is about one Japanese brand, that was invented as a new Sandio? company design for coin purse that turned into a global brand, presenting her as a western brand and not carrying so much about its origin. Introducing the company secret about such a popularity of Hello Kitty brand – licensing. Starting by introducing the brand and saying few details about its history, continuing by describing the Japanese market and some cultural differences. Naming few categories of products that are available in Hello Kitty design concentrating more on chosen famous brands that decided to provide its good name, quality and prestige to this Japanese cartoon brand. . Hello Kitty The reason for this name is expressed in this statement, made by Bill Hensley, marketing director of Sandrio? s company: “Gift-giving is an important part of the Japanese culture. In Ja-pan, ‘Hello’ communicates the idea of open communication. That’s why she was named Hello Kitty. ” Since Sandrio? s motto is “Small gift, big smile” it explains very well the statement and the character? s name, as it is all about gifts and making other people happy even with small things. (ICMR, 2007, online). 1. 1 History This Japanese brand Hello Kitty founded in 1974.
When we look for more details about this brand, nowadays very famous one, we can found out, that the company is not really associating Hello Kitty with its home – Japan, but with England, where it was “born”. The official story behind this character is as follows: “Hello Kitty was born on November 1st and she lives in London, England with her parents and her twin sister, Mimmy. They have a lots of friends at school with whom they share many adventures. Her hobbies include travelling, music, reading, eating yummy cookies her sister Mimmy bakes, and best of all making new friends.
As Hello Kitty always says, you can never have too many friends. ” (Sandrio. com, 2011, online). Hello Kitty is not, as many other characters (Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Pikachu, etc. ) a cartoon figure. At appeared as mysterious cat, that nobody knew. The reason why she was created was that Sandrio – the company that owns this brand, needed a new motive to use for their change purses. Back into 1970s Hello Kitty was originally used on popular little merchandise – toys and stationary like coin purses or pencil boxes and other small gifts targeted at small girls – mainly at the age of 4 to 6.
And in those days the prices were quite low so it would be affordable for most of the kids. (ICMR, 2007, online). . It was not Yuko Yamaguchi, who created Hello Kitty, but she invented the story of Kitty? s life and since then she has been responsible for this product, and very successful one have to say. She was also responsible to extend the brand to a wide variety of products – clothes, accessories and even electronic goods. Yoko was very concerned about making the product up to date, so she was constantly asking customers what they want, what are their expectations from Hello Kitty etc.
For example in mid 1980s company received a letter from a high school student, asking for products with Hello Kitty targeted at customers her age, so the company did so and changed positioning of the brand targeting on girls from about 5 years old to teenage. Sandrio soon realized that Hello Kitty is growing with her original customers, little girls, in 1970s who were teenagers in 1990s and adult women in 2000s but they still kept on buying Hello Kitty stuff so nowadays the targeted group is said to be from 4 years old girls to women in their 30s. ICMR, 2007, online). Thank to voluntary endorsement by celebrities, as during 1990s Hello Kitty became very popular in US, the brand develop into a fashion symbol in early 2000s and turned into a “premium brand”. We can name few celebrities who were (maybe still are) big Hello Kitty fans: Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Kate Perry, Lady Gaga and others like Cameron Diaz, Heidi Klum, Carmen Elektra, Madonna etc. that posed for fashion magazines wearing Hello Kitty products. (See Appendix IV. ).
At the present time Hello Kitty products can be found in many magazines recommending them as one of the thing the modern, cute and sexy girl or woman has to have (See Appendix V. ). 1. 2 Hello Kitty in Japan As it was said above, Hello Kitty started as a brand in 1970s targeted at little girls. But they grown and in 1980s and 1990s they turn into teenage girls who mostly stayed faithful to their childhood toy. The company realized that and changed the positioning of the brand on teenagers, found a Hello Kitty a boyfriend called Daniel and helped its brand to be even more popular by focusing on a larger group of customers.
As a result, nowadays is Hello Kitty loved and adored by girls age of approximately five to women in their thirties. Even though a significant number of Hello Kitty fans are male it is still considered as a female brand in Japan. (ICMR, 2007, online). The huge popularity that is Hello Kitty receiving in Japan can be explained by many factors actually. First of all, Japanese women love cute things and Hello Kitty is said to be a “cutie queen”. It is her sweet, cute, friendly and innocence appearance in the Japanese female customers represented by its big head, small black-dot eyes, yellow nose, red or pink ribbon and no mouth.
The motionless expression in Hello Kitty? s face is actually big advantage of this character as every single person can give her the motions they feel like – sad, happy, thoughtful, angry, etc. , so it will be the way they need. (Wai-Ming Ng, 2011, online). Since Sandrio gave to its character Hello Kitty a London identity, it is considered as a western brand in Japan. So being a Japanese brand, it has, funnily enough an exotic appeal in Japan. It actually represents a Western or dreamlike world and that is way, Hello Kitty is not very liked in local characteristic ways – for example Hello Kitty dressed up in Kimono.
The popularity of this brand is supported by the fact that mostly anything can be found with Hello Kitty motive on it. We talking about products starting from office & school stuff (pens, pencils, sell tapes, stickers, etc), clothes, shoes, kitchen & bathroom things, electronics, as well as wedding stuff (dresses, rings, invitations) or as famous brands? collection – Sephora for Hello Kitty, Swarovski Hello Kitty collection, Hello Kitty MasterCard, Forever 21 fastion collection and much more (see Appendix III. ).
Only in Japan are about 90 companies possess a Sandrio? s licence allowing them to use Hello Kitty design on their products. Just a little comparison with Singapore? s customers as even though it is an Asian country and not that far from Japan, many attitudes and believes are completely different. In Singapore is Hello Kitty considered as a Japanese brand, not as a western or English one as it is in Japan. So it does not look any exotic to them. Asian versions of Hello Kitty – in traditional costumes and so are very popular here, which we cannot say about Japan.
And last difference between these two countries is that very little variety of Hello Kitty products are imported into Singapore. (Wai-Ming Ng, 2011, online). 2. Globalization – localization American cartoons like Donald Duck or Mickey mouse can be considered as one of the tools to spread American ideology all over the world, we cannot say the same about Hello Kitty and propagate Japanese culture. First of all the company wanted Hello Kitty to be a western brand, so they created a life story about the character coming from London.
As it was mentioned, Japanese customers prefer the western Hello Kitty, but it does not bother Americans to promote Asian series in US. So surely Hello Kitty is a global brand available all over the world but with local differences to suit the particular needs. This fact we can illustrate on another Sandrio? s move in order to be liked by more customers, by making a special blue Hello Kitty collection in the US to make look Hello Kitty less childish. (Wai-Ming Ng, 2011, online). 3. Famous brands create for Hello Kitty In 1976, Sanrio started licensing the Hello Kitty image to many different companies for use on their merchandise.
The Hello Kitty brand success, and other character brands too, made Sandrio one of the leading companies in this area. But Hello Kitty has become a “global licensing phenomenon” as nowadays it is possible to buy almost everything with Hello Kitty design. The only exceptions, that were not permitted from Sandrio to use Hallo Kitty images from Sandrio are producers of guns, cigarettes and alcohol. (ICMR, 2007, online). But it is possible to get Hello Kitty wine, so I am not really sure, what they consider as alcohol. In Appendix III. re examples of some products that are available in Hello Kitty design. As the most “unexpected” things to find decorated whit Hello Kitty motives, in my opinion, are: vegetable peeler, hair drier, shower curtain, frying pan, chopping board, kitchen sponge, iron, sewing machine, wedding dress/rings, car, wine, sleeping bag, shoes and adult stuff – vibrator or condoms. Now I would like to present few companies that success of Hello Kitty impressed so much and saw such a potential in this brand that asked for a license and produced many products under their names, giving them the quality and prestige.
As well as I want to demonstrate of the international act as none of the companies are Japanese so it helps give the brand the global appearance. 3. 1 Forever 21 (US) It all started in 1984 as a 900 square ft. Shop in Los Angeles, originally named as Fashion 21. Now quickly growing clothing design and accessories producer at affordable price having 120 locations in 25 states. This company targeting at teenagers and young people in their 20s decided to entice more customers by buying a Sandrio? s license to use Hello Kitty motives.
In November 2011 Forever 21 introduced New Hello Kitty Exclusive collection containing items like: T-shits, bags, socks, tights, sweaters, raincoats etc. With the new collection Forever 21 organized for their customers and Hello Kitty fans a party in US on 18th November to celebrate the new collection. (Forever21. com, 2011, online). 3. 2 Sephora (Francie) This company was founded in 1970 in France and now, forty years later is leading chain of perfume and cosmetics in France and selling in another 24 countries. In July 2011 Sephora introduced Hello Kitty Graffity Collection.
Limited edition of cosmetics and accessories including suitcase, brush set, eye shadows, compact mirror and perfume. In November 2011 new collection was introduced by Sephora: Hello Kitty Noir collection. It symbolize cinematic Hollywood romance. This limited edition is much richer in the number of offered items then the previous one presenting: eye shadows, perfumes, powders, held and compact mirrors, make up bags, brushes, combs and nail polishes. (Sanrio – blog, 2011, online), (Sephora, 2011, online). When looking at Sephora? webside, it looks like that the company is very please to co-operate with Sandrio: “She’s iconic. She’s adored. She’s known around the world. Now, Hello Kitty is bringing her playful spirit to a new beauty line presented exclusively at Sephora. This sophisticated collection mixes the essence of Hello Kitty with a touch of style and fun. With charming designs and luxurious formulas infused with ingredients she loves, Hello Kitty Beauty is the ultimate must-have. Hello Kitty. Hello Pretty. “ (Sephora, 2011, online). 3. 3 Swarovski (Austria)
An Austrian company, in these days very successful and known worldwide, founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. Celebrating over 100 years on the market Swarovski could be spotted in James Bond movies, wore by celebrities or seen in popular music videos – lately Swarovski used product placement in Jennifer Lopez song called On the Floor which was seen over 445 million times on youtube. com, so the fame of this brand is undisputed. In July 2011 Swarovski launched the first Hello Kitty Collection including necklaces, rings, earrings, glass statues, handbags, key chains etc.
For Hello Kitty fans there is a Limited Edition also available offering only 88 pieces worldwide to ensure its exclusivity. 3. 4 Vans (US) Earlier on this year (March, 2011) was announced that Sanrio teamed up with famous Californian shoe producer Vans, founded in 1966, to create a new Hello Kitty shoe collection for its fans. Vans used Hello Kitty design on several kinds of their footwear – Slip-on, Authentic and Sk8-Hi – offering different types and sizes for Toodlers/Infants, Kids and Adults – both women and men. (Sanrio – blog, 2011, online). On the official Vans. om website there is a promotion video to be found out about how the Vans ; Hello Kitty story started. There is a meeting recorded where Hello Kitty “chose” the design she wanted, but there is no representative of Sandrio? s company but actually a person dressed up as Hello Kitty so she is kind of “alive”. And as it is said in the promotion spot as well, it might not be the last time when Vans ; Hello Kitty comes together. (Vans. com, 2011, online). 3. 5 Eva Air (Taiwan) Eva Airways Corporation is second largest airline in Taiwan founded in 1989. In 2005 the company decided to buy a Sanrio? license to use Hello Kitty motives and dedicated one of their planes completely to this cartoon. By word „completely“ it means everything you can think of while flying in plane. Apart from huge pictures on the Airbus itself everything changed: boarding passes, flight crew uniforms, food and its packaging, seats design, tissues, sick bags, entertaining system – program on aboard TV etc. As crazy as it sounds it was a huge success for the company was booked more than 90% on average. (Salman, 2011, online). Conclusion Hello Kitty is a cute little kitty with oversized head and ribbon over her right ear.
Even thought it was not successful from the right beginning and had ups and down during its 30 years history, it is now very famous worldwide known Japanese brand. I am sure that most of the people do not know that the owner of this brand – Sanrio – created a story for this character to be coming from London, where its family lives as well. They did not want to associate the brand with its home – Japan. Nowadays we can find Hello Kitty products everywhere and this is thanks to Sanrio? s marketing policy, selling the license allowing the owner to use Hello Kitty motives on their products. It is actually very good as it has many advantages.
Licensing other companies to use Hello Kitty character on their product helps Sanrio to spread its brand all over the world by not investing a penny, actually getting very large amount of money for the license. Secondly, the licensed companies are well chosen so they do not undermine Hello Kitty image, the other way around, they actually add more value because they invest their name, prestige and quality. Thirdly, the fact that it is possible to buy mostly anything with Hello Kitty character it encourage its fans to buy more and more in order to be surrounded by this little cutie they love so much.
Since Sanrio co-operate with companies all over the word, it gives Hello Kitty really multicultural look – Eva Air (Taiwan), Vans (US), Swarovski (Austria), Sephora (France), Samsung (Korea) etc. And obviously there are cultural differences between states where is Hello Kitty sold, which is being considered in the selling strategy and cooperating with local companies – like Swarovski in Austria helps to get local people as well as Swarovski customers all over the world.
The only thing which I am worried about is, that one fine day, there will be too much of Hello Kitty everywhere and all the success, madness and obsession about this brand will turn into disaster presented by hate and disgust. Bibliography Forever21. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-09]. History ; Facts. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. forever21. com/Company/history. aspx? br=f21;. SALMAN, Maya. Scribd. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty – The Iconing Japanese brand. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. scribd. com/doc/49138163/Hello-Kitty;.
Sanrio. Sanrio. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. sanrio. com/characters/HelloKitty/? chr=HelloKitty;. Sanrio. Sanrio. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty Blog. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. sanrio. com/hellokittyblog/;. Sephora. Sephora. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. sephora. com/browse/brand_hierarchy. jhtml? brandId=5988;. Shop. vans. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-09]. Collections: Hello Kitty. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://shop. vans. om/catalog/Vans/en_US/category/collections/hello-kitty. html;. The Icfai Center for Management Research (ICMR). Scribd. com [online]. 2007 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty – Japanese Superbrand. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. scribd. com/doc/19584011/Case-Study-Hello-Kitty;. WAI-MING NG, Benjamin. Scribd. com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. The Hello Kitty Craze in Singapore:A Cultural and Comparative Analysis. Dostupne z WWW: ;http://www. scribd. com/doc/46952018/Hello-Kitty-Asian-Profile;. Appendix I. : Hello Kitty Story (Source: http://www. sanrio. om/characters/HelloKitty/? chr=HelloKitty) Appendix II. : First product with Hello Kitty motive – 1974 (Source: http://houseofkittyblog. com/) Appendix III. : Hello Kitty Products 1. Bathroom: Hair drier, towel, shampoo, hand cream, mirror, shower curtain, tooth brush, make-up removal cream, sunbathing cream, manicure, bath cap, nail file, cotton swabs, soap holder, dental floss, soap,… 2. Kitchen: Chopping board, kitchen sponge, pan, kettle, kitchen cloth, pots, water battle, vegetable peeler, bowls, plates, lemon juicer, oven mitt, kitchen paper towels, sandwich maker,… . Room: Bed sheets, drawers, alarm, shoe cabinet, lamp shade,… 4. Electro: Headphones, keyboard, computer mouse, CD, DVD, cover for monitor and keyboard, mobile… 5. Household: Doormat, clearing mop, iron, ironing board, air freshener, sewing machine,… 6. Wedding: Wedding invitations, rings, wedding dresses, wedding glasses,… 7. Car – Mitsubishi 8. Car accessories: Seat belts covers, window sunshade, in car sign, car seat barrier, air freshener, tissues holder, rearview mirror, steering wheel cover,… 9. Other stuff:
Contact case, jewel case, dog leash, sleeping bag, mobile charm, weighing scale, beach stuff, wet tissues, fondue,… 10. Obleceni: Underwear, T-shirts, pyjamas,… 11. Accessories: Watch, necklace, badges, earrings, bracelets,.. 12. Shoes: 13. Babies: Bib, bottles, babies dummy, baby carriage, car inside sticker,… 14. Bags ; luggage Luggage, bags, handbags, purse,… 15. School ; office: Calendars, diaries, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, scissors, sell tape, highlighters, schedule books, file folders, clip boards, stamps, water color pens, oil pastel, calculator, paper clips,… 6. Toys: Soft toys, playing cards, trampoline toys, plastic purse toy, robot, board games… 17. Happy meal? s toys (McDonald? s): 20. Swarovski: Glass figures, card holders, bag charms, pens, earrings, rings, necklaces,… 19. Aduls? stuff: Vibrators, condoms,… Appendix IV. : Hello Kitty a celebrities (Course: http://www. sanrio. com/hellokittyblog/) Lady Gaga Ben Affleck? daughter Adam Sandler? s children Heidy Klum? s daughterAvril Lavigne Megan Fox