HELLO KITTYBc. Martina BrtnickáCase study2011
2ObsahIntroduction ..........................................................................................................
3IntroductionLately I have been noticing many articles in the shops carrying a name Hello Kittywith the typical oversized-...
41. Hello KittyThe reason for this name is expressed in this statement, made by Bill Hensley,marketing director of Sandrio...
5old to teenage. Sandrio soon realized that Hello Kitty is growing with her original customers,little girls, in 1970s who ...
6Japan. It actually represents a Western or dreamlike world and that is way, Hello Kitty is notvery liked in local charact...
7made Sandrio one of the leading companies in this area. But Hello Kitty has become a “globallicensing phenomenon” as nowa...
8Noir collection. It symbolize cinematic Hollywood romance. This limited edition is muchricher in the number of offered it...
9“chose” the design she wanted, but there is no representative of Sandrio´s company butactually a person dressed up as Hel...
10ConclusionHello Kitty is a cute little kitty with oversized head and ribbon over her right ear. Eventhought it was not s...
11BibliographyForever21.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-09]. History & Facts. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.forever21.com/Co...
12Appendix I.: Hello Kitty Story(Source: http://www.sanrio.com/characters/HelloKitty/?chr=HelloKitty)
13Appendix II.: First product with Hello Kitty motive - 1974(Source: http://houseofkittyblog.com/)
14Appendix III.: Hello Kitty Products1. Bathroom:Hair drier, towel, shampoo, hand cream, mirror, shower curtain, tooth bru...
153. Room:Bed sheets, drawers, alarm, shoe cabinet, lamp shade,…4. Electro:Headphones, keyboard, computer mouse, CD, DVD, ...
167. Car – Mitsubishi8. Car accessories:Seat belts covers, window sunshade, in car sign, car seat barrier, air freshener, ...
1711. Accessories:Watch, necklace, badges, earrings, bracelets,..12. Shoes:13. Babies:Bib, bottles, babies dummy, baby car...
1815. School & office:Calendars, diaries, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, scissors, sell tape, highlighters, schedulebook...
19Appendix IV.: Hello Kitty a celebrities(Course: http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittyblog/)Lady Gaga Ben Affleck´ daughter Ad...
20Appendix V.: Hello Kitty products in magazines(Source: http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittyblog/)
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Brtnicka martina case_study_hello_kitty

  1. 1. HELLO KITTYBc. Martina BrtnickáCase study2011
  2. 2. 2ObsahIntroduction ................................................................................................................................ 31. Hello Kitty.............................................................................................................................. 41.1 History.............................................................................................................................. 41.2 Hello Kitty in Japan.......................................................................................................... 52. Globalization – localization ................................................................................................... 63. Famous brands create for Hello Kitty .................................................................................... 63.1 Forever 21 (US)................................................................................................................ 73.2 Sephora (Francie) ............................................................................................................. 73.3 Swarovski (Austria).......................................................................................................... 83.4 Vans (US)......................................................................................................................... 83.5 Eva Air (Taiwan).............................................................................................................. 9Conclusion................................................................................................................................ 10Bibliography............................................................................................................................. 11Appendix I.: Hello Kitty Story................................................................................................. 12Appendix II.: First product with Hello Kitty motive - 1974 .................................................... 13Appendix III.: Hello Kitty Products......................................................................................... 14Appendix IV.: Hello Kitty a celebrities.................................................................................... 19Appendix V.: Hello Kitty products in magazines .................................................................... 20
  3. 3. 3IntroductionLately I have been noticing many articles in the shops carrying a name Hello Kittywith the typical oversized-head kitty image. To be quite honest until I started looking forinformation I did not know anything about this brand, where it is coming from, what is itsmain product, who is its targeted group, nothing. But it got my attention because I have beenspotting the Hello Kitty image on so many different products and in such an amount that Istarted to feel like it is everywhere and I cannot escape.This essay is about one Japanese brand, that was invented as a new Sandio´s companydesign for coin purse that turned into a global brand, presenting her as a western brand andnot carrying so much about its origin. Introducing the company secret about such a popularityof Hello Kitty brand – licensing. Starting by introducing the brand and saying few detailsabout 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 moreon chosen famous brands that decided to provide its good name, quality and prestige to thisJapanese cartoon brand.
  4. 4. 41. Hello KittyThe 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 Japaneseculture. In Ja-pan, ‘Hello’ communicates the idea of open communication. That’s why shewas named Hello Kitty.” Since Sandrio´s motto is “Small gift, big smile” it explains very wellthe statement and the character´s name, as it is all about gifts and making other people happyeven with small things. (ICMR, 2007, online).1.1 HistoryThis Japanese brand Hello Kitty founded in 1974. When we look for more detailsabout this brand, nowadays very famous one, we can found out, that the company is not reallyassociating Hello Kitty with its home – Japan, but with England, where it was “born”. Theofficial story behind this character is as follows:“Hello Kitty was born on November 1stand she lives in London, England with herparents and her twin sister, Mimmy. They have a lots of friends at school with whom theyshare many adventures. Her hobbies include travelling, music, reading, eating yummy cookiesher sister Mimmy bakes, and best of all making new friends. As Hello Kitty always says, youcan 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 reasonwhy she was created was that Sandrio – the company that owns this brand, needed a newmotive to use for their change purses. Back into 1970s Hello Kitty was originally used onpopular little merchandise – toys and stationary like coin purses or pencil boxes and othersmall gifts targeted at small girls – mainly at the age of 4 to 6. And in those days the priceswere 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´slife and since then she has been responsible for this product, and very successful one have tosay. 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 productup to date, so she was constantly asking customers what they want, what are theirexpectations from Hello Kitty etc. For example in mid 1980s company received a letter froma high school student, asking for products with Hello Kitty targeted at customers her age, sothe company did so and changed positioning of the brand targeting on girls from about 5 years
  5. 5. 5old 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 kepton buying Hello Kitty stuff so nowadays the targeted group is said to be from 4 years old girlsto women in their 30s. (ICMR, 2007, online).Thank to voluntary endorsement by celebrities, as during 1990s Hello Kitty becamevery 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 Kittyfans: 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 HelloKitty products. (See Appendix IV.).At the present time Hello Kitty products can be found in many magazinesrecommending 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 JapanAs it was said above, Hello Kitty started as a brand in 1970s targeted at little girls. Butthey grown and in 1980s and 1990s they turn into teenage girls who mostly stayed faithful totheir childhood toy. The company realized that and changed the positioning of the brand onteenagers, found a Hello Kitty a boyfriend called Daniel and helped its brand to be even morepopular by focusing on a larger group of customers. As a result, nowadays is Hello Kittyloved and adored by girls age of approximately five to women in their thirties. Even though asignificant number of Hello Kitty fans are male it is still considered as a female brand inJapan. (ICMR, 2007, online).The huge popularity that is Hello Kitty receiving in Japan can be explained by manyfactors 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 femalecustomers represented by its big head, small black-dot eyes, yellow nose, red or pink ribbonand no mouth. The motionless expression in Hello Kitty´s face is actually big advantage ofthis 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 awestern brand in Japan. So being a Japanese brand, it has, funnily enough an exotic appeal in
  6. 6. 6Japan. It actually represents a Western or dreamlike world and that is way, Hello Kitty is notvery 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 foundwith 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 KittyMasterCard, Forever 21 fastion collection and much more (see Appendix III.). Only in Japanare about 90 companies possess a Sandrio´s licence allowing them to use Hello Kitty designon their products.Just a little comparison with Singapore´s customers as even though it is an Asiancountry and not that far from Japan, many attitudes and believes are completely different. InSingapore is Hello Kitty considered as a Japanese brand, not as a western or English one as itis in Japan. So it does not look any exotic to them. Asian versions of Hello Kitty – intraditional costumes and so are very popular here, which we cannot say about Japan. And lastdifference between these two countries is that very little variety of Hello Kitty products areimported into Singapore. (Wai-Ming Ng, 2011, online).2. Globalization – localizationAmerican cartoons like Donald Duck or Mickey mouse can be considered as one ofthe tools to spread American ideology all over the world, we cannot say the same about HelloKitty and propagate Japanese culture. First of all the company wanted Hello Kitty to be awestern brand, so they created a life story about the character coming from London. As it wasmentioned, Japanese customers prefer the western Hello Kitty, but it does not botherAmericans to promote Asian series in US. So surely Hello Kitty is a global brand available allover the world but with local differences to suit the particular needs. This fact we canillustrate on another Sandrio´s move in order to be liked by more customers, by making aspecial 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 KittyIn 1976, Sanrio started licensing the Hello Kitty image to many different companiesfor use on their merchandise. The Hello Kitty brand success, and other character brands too,
  7. 7. 7made Sandrio one of the leading companies in this area. But Hello Kitty has become a “globallicensing phenomenon” as nowadays it is possible to buy almost everything with Hello Kittydesign. The only exceptions, that were not permitted from Sandrio to use Hallo Kitty imagesfrom Sandrio are producers of guns, cigarettes and alcohol. (ICMR, 2007, online). But it ispossible to get Hello Kitty wine, so I am not really sure, what they consider as alcohol.In Appendix III. are examples of some products that are available in Hello Kittydesign. As the most “unexpected” things to find decorated whit Hello Kitty motives, in myopinion, are: vegetable peeler, hair drier, shower curtain, frying pan, chopping board, kitchensponge, iron, sewing machine, wedding dress/rings, car, wine, sleeping bag, shoes and adultstuff – vibrator or condoms.Now I would like to present few companies that success of Hello Kitty impressed somuch and saw such a potential in this brand that asked for a license and produced manyproducts under their names, giving them the quality and prestige. As well as I want todemonstrate of the international act as none of the companies are Japanese so it helps give thebrand the global appearance.3.1 Forever 21 (US)It all started in 1984 as a 900 square ft. Shop in Los Angeles, originally named asFashion 21. Now quickly growing clothing design and accessories producer ataffordable price having 120 locations in 25 states. This company targeting atteenagers and young people in their 20s decided to entice more customers bybuying a Sandrio´s license to use Hello Kitty motives. In November 2011Forever 21 introduced New Hello Kitty Exclusive collection containing itemslike: T-shits, bags, socks, tights, sweaters, raincoats etc. With the newcollection Forever 21 organized for their customers and Hello Kitty fans a party in US on 18thNovember 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 leadingchain of perfume and cosmetics in France and selling in another 24countries. In July 2011 Sephora introduced Hello Kitty GraffityCollection. Limited edition of cosmetics and accessories includingsuitcase, brush set, eye shadows, compact mirror and perfume. InNovember 2011 new collection was introduced by Sephora: Hello Kitty
  8. 8. 8Noir collection. It symbolize cinematic Hollywood romance. This limited edition is muchricher 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 nailpolishes. (Sanrio - blog, 2011, online), (Sephora, 2011, online).When looking at Sephora´s webside, it looks like that the company is very please toco-operate with Sandrio: “Shes iconic. Shes adored. Shes known around the world. Now,Hello Kitty is bringing her playful spirit to a new beauty line presented exclusively atSephora. This sophisticated collection mixes the essence of Hello Kitty with a touch of styleand 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, foundedin 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. Celebrating over 100 years on the market Swarovski could bespotted in James Bond movies, wore by celebrities or seen in popularmusic videos – lately Swarovski used product placement in JenniferLopez song called On the Floor which was seen over 445 million times onyoutube.com, so the fame of this brand is undisputed.In July 2011 Swarovski launched the first Hello Kitty Collectionincluding necklaces, rings, earrings, glass statues, handbags, key chains etc. For Hello Kittyfans there is a Limited Edition also available offering only 88 pieces worldwide to ensure itsexclusivity.3.4 Vans (US)Earlier on this year (March, 2011) was announced that Sanrio teamed up with famousCalifornian shoe producer Vans, founded in 1966, to create anew Hello Kitty shoe collection for its fans. Vans used HelloKitty design on several kinds of their footwear – Slip-on,Authentic and Sk8-Hi – offering different types and sizes forToodlers/Infants, Kids and Adults – both women and men. (Sanrio - blog, 2011, online).On the official Vans.com website there is a promotion video to be found out abouthow the Vans & Hello Kitty story started. There is a meeting recorded where Hello Kitty
  9. 9. 9“chose” the design she wanted, but there is no representative of Sandrio´s company butactually a person dressed up as Hello Kitty so she is kind of “alive”. And as it is said in thepromotion 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 2005the company decided to buy a Sanrio´s license to use Hello Kitty motives and dedicated oneof their planes completely to this cartoon. By word„completely“ it means everything you can think of whileflying in plane. Apart from huge pictures on the Airbusitself everything changed: boarding passes, flight crewuniforms, food and its packaging, seats design, tissues, sickbags, entertaining system – program on aboard TV etc. As crazy as it sounds it was a hugesuccess for the company was booked more than 90% on average. (Salman, 2011, online).
  10. 10. 10ConclusionHello Kitty is a cute little kitty with oversized head and ribbon over her right ear. Eventhought it was not successful from the right beginning and had ups and down during its 30years history, it is now very famous worldwide known Japanese brand. I am sure that most ofthe people do not know that the owner of this brand – Sanrio – created a story for thischaracter to be coming from London, where its family lives as well. They did not want toassociate the brand with its home – Japan.Nowadays we can find Hello Kitty products everywhere and this is thanks to Sanrio´smarketing policy, selling the license allowing the owner to use Hello Kitty motives on theirproducts. It is actually very good as it has many advantages. Licensing other companies to useHello Kitty character on their product helps Sanrio to spread its brand all over the world bynot 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 otherway around, they actually add more value because they invest their name, prestige andquality. Thirdly, the fact that it is possible to buy mostly anything with Hello Kitty character itencourage its fans to buy more and more in order to be surrounded by this little cutie theylove so much.Since Sanrio co-operate with companies all over the word, it gives Hello Kitty reallymulticultural look – Eva Air (Taiwan), Vans (US), Swarovski (Austria), Sephora (France),Samsung (Korea) etc. And obviously there are cultural differences between states where isHello Kitty sold, which is being considered in the selling strategy and cooperating with localcompanies – like Swarovski in Austria helps to get local people as well as Swarovskicustomers 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 disasterpresented by hate and disgust.
  11. 11. 11BibliographyForever21.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-09]. History & Facts. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.forever21.com/Company/history.aspx?br=f21>.SALMAN, Maya. Scribd.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty – The IconingJapanese brand. Dostupné z WWW: <http://www.scribd.com/doc/49138163/Hello-Kitty>.Sanrio. Sanrio.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.sanrio.com/characters/HelloKitty/?chr=HelloKitty>.Sanrio. Sanrio.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty Blog. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittyblog/>.Sephora. Sephora.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-08]. Hello Kitty. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml?brandId=5988>.Shop.vans.com [online]. 2011 [cit. 2011-12-09]. Collections: Hello Kitty. Dostupné z WWW:<http://shop.vans.com/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. Dostupné 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 KittyCraze in Singapore:A Cultural and Comparative Analysis. Dostupné z WWW:<http://www.scribd.com/doc/46952018/Hello-Kitty-Asian-Profile>.
  12. 12. 12Appendix I.: Hello Kitty Story(Source: http://www.sanrio.com/characters/HelloKitty/?chr=HelloKitty)
  13. 13. 13Appendix II.: First product with Hello Kitty motive - 1974(Source: http://houseofkittyblog.com/)
  14. 14. 14Appendix III.: Hello Kitty Products1. Bathroom:Hair drier, towel, shampoo, hand cream, mirror, shower curtain, tooth brush, make-upremoval 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, vegetablepeeler, bowls, plates, lemon juicer, oven mitt, kitchen paper towels, sandwich maker,...
  15. 15. 153. 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,…
  16. 16. 167. Car – Mitsubishi8. 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. Clothes:Underwear, T-shirts, pyjamas,…
  17. 17. 1711. Accessories:Watch, necklace, badges, earrings, bracelets,..12. Shoes:13. Babies:Bib, bottles, babies dummy, baby carriage, car inside sticker,…14. Bags & luggageLuggage, bags, handbags, purse,…
  18. 18. 1815. School & office:Calendars, diaries, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, scissors, sell tape, highlighters, schedulebooks, file folders, clip boards, stamps, water color pens, oil pastel, calculator, paper clips,…16. 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,…
  19. 19. 19Appendix IV.: Hello Kitty a celebrities(Course: http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittyblog/)Lady Gaga Ben Affleck´ daughter Adam Sandler´s childrenHeidy Klum´s daughter Avril Lavigne Megan FoxKaty Perry
  20. 20. 20Appendix V.: Hello Kitty products in magazines(Source: http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittyblog/)

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