GLOCOM has an interesting interview with NY Times reporter, Ken Belson, who also wrote the new book profiling Sanrio and Hello Kitty, “Hello Kitty – The Remarkable Story”, a half-a-Billion-dollar-a-year cat character.
Here are some details from the interview:
– 22,000 Hello Kitty products are on the market at any time.
– Hello Kitty and Sanrio products are sold in over 40 different countries
– Sanrio has sales of over $1 bil./yr
– Hello Kitty has a twin sister, “Minnie” (sp?) who has the bow in her hair on the other side.
– Products are designed to be cheap enough to be good gifts
– Sanrio was started as a silk company and in the early 1960s
– Sanrio has over 425 characters other than Kitty-chan
– Kitty is 3rd most famous brand in Asia below Sony and Cathay Pacific
– 15% of Sanrio sales are overseas
– Sanrio is expanding stores into the US, Germany, Italy, UK, Latin America, Russia (!), and China
– May be the best-known modern Japanese cultural export
– Sanrio does not need to advertise new characters; tremendous distribution network
– $30,000 platinum Hello Kitty pendants were issued for the 30th anniversary of Kitty-chan
– Kitty-chan personifies the “kawaii” culture of Japan (obvious but important)
GLOCOM Platform – Inrweviews – “The Remarkable Story of a Billion Dollar Feline” Ken Belson (Co-Author, HelloKittyTheBook)
Paul Baron has compiled a great list of online resources for Japan’s kawaii culture.
IN-duce: DE-duce: Kawaii – Cute references