Japanese toys and what you can learn

Japanese toys will increasingly be marketed to adults, say Japanese toy makersĀ (rapidly decaying link). Faced with an aging Japanese population and falling birth rate, Japanese toys would only enjoy small successes if marketed to children. Instead, toy makers will set their sights on older technology enthusiasts, known as otaku.

Otaku — grown-up gadget geeks — love playing with toys, so look for more gadgets to appear on the shelves of your local stores. Meanwhile, in women’s markets, toy makers will license characters for use on everthing from toilet seats to hand bags.

As a consultant, you can learn a lot from what’s going on with the Japanese toy industry. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to chase a dying market. Instead, you should look for ways to broaden your scopes and use your core competences in new ways.

For example, when automobiles appeared, people who specialized in bicycle repair soon realized that the bike market would drop while the car market took off. So many bike repairmen started fixing cars.

As a consultant, don’t be blindsided by what you do. Just because you’ve always thought of yourself in one way doesn’t mean you couldn’t change. You have transferable skills that would be useful in many markets. Some of the people I know who have changed careers include:

  • a lawyer who now uses her research and writing skills as a freelance writer
  • a high school English teacher who uses her training and writing skills as a technical writer and trainer for high tech companies
  • a pharmacy technician who applies his detail-oriented approach to a career as a web developer
  • a flight attendant who uses her people skills as a medical doctor (after some years of school!)
  • a hospital cafeteria worker who taps her love for routine as the owner of a house cleaning and home care business

So, think like a Japanese toy maker. Consider all the ways you could apply your skills, then choose something you’ll enjoy while still turning a profit.

“Japanese toys and what you can learn | Japanese toy companies” from Become a Consultant at ConsultantJournal.com.