May 19 – Company Meetings

Following the return from the Tsukiji, the students were joined by four senior executives of Dentsu, the largest advertising and marketing communications agency in Japan.  The firm represents many significant Japanese companies (such as Toyota and Sony) on a global basis as well as the interests of firms such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola in the Japanese market.  Koichi Fukumoto presented a detailed view of Dentsu’s business, including a strategic assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.  Fukumoto-san also shared three significant client case studies concerning US firms in Japan (Coke) and a Japanese firm in the US (Canon), presenting and analyzing examples of Dentsu’s awarding winning creative work.

The afternoon was spent with Keiichirou Wada, R&D Officer of Tomorgawa, a traditional Japanese firm with roots in the pulp and paper industry.  Wada-san reviewed the firm’s transition to a technology-based business strategy that had special relevance for Maine companies in that sector.
The final briefing was a visit with Noriyuki Yachi, store manager of one of Maine’s LL Bean‘s stores in Japan.
The day concluded with a trip to Tokyo’s fabled Akihabara district, also known as “Electric City”, where you can experience and purchase some of the most advanced electric and digital products manufactured.
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