The evolution of characters business models in Japan: Duffy, Hello Kitty, and Kumamon

Kazuhito Isomura, Kazunori Suzuki, Katsuyuki Tochimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to clarify how to develop characters business models by utilizing new business concepts. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines three cases in Japan to innovate characters business models: Duffy, Hello Kitty and Kumamon. Findings – The paper suggests that utilizing experience-based promotions, open innovation and a royalty-free strategy enhances customer loyalty to characters, expands customer targets and encourages autonomous collaboration of stakeholders. Originality/value – These case studies clarify how new business models aim to increase customer loyalty to characters and widen customer targets beyond generation, industry and country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalStrategic Direction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 9



  • Autonomy
  • Collaboration
  • Customers as media
  • Experience-based promotions
  • Open innovation
  • Royalty-free strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management

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