Chapter 36. Find the market maven, and the rest is gravy

As Cold Stone Creamery expands to Japan, the ice cream store projects a somewhat different image than it has in the United States. The chain wants to be ultra cool by generating a buzz among fashion-conscious “office ladies,” as the Japanese call young, single, female professionals. These women are very influential in Japan; their reactions to a new product can make or break it. To woo this group, Cold Stone sponsored a fashion show for young women (assuming the models can fit into the dresses after sampling a few of the chain’s caloric creations), and fashion magazines staged photo shoots at the stores.

Although consumers get information from personal sources, they do not usually ask just ...

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