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Hop the Pond

What you can learn from an overseas master of marketing

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This story appears in the April 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In Japan, the word Uniqlo is easily identifiable as a casual clothing super-brand with about 700 locations across the country. In the U.S., it could easily be mistaken for another language. Formed as a hybrid of the words unique and clothing, the Japanese megabrand is a new language of sorts, but if the successful opening of its flagship store in New York City last November is any indication, it's one that consumers will soon learn. We spoke with Uniqlo's chief marketing officer for the U.S., Shinichiro Shuda, to find out how he created the buzz.

Shuda aimed to bring Tokyo's pop culture to the U.S. and did so by targeting New York City's cutting-edge influencers through PR, advertising and brand building. Says Shuda, "It was classic advertising where you start with getting attention, getting interest, getting desire, [then] motivation and action."

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