SAVU whisky glass’ first visit to Japan
On the airplane from Finland to Japan I am feeling excited! And a bit nervous, I must admit, as I am landing into Haneda airport with a luggage full of SAVU glasses and whiskey bottles from Helsinki Distilling Company. I am a little worried about what they will say at the customs, but especially about the reception that SAVU glass will receive in Japan? This is my first marketing trip to Japan.
Japan is a whisky country; I know that very well. They may like SAVU glass, why not. But you never know until you’ve tested it. Luckily the arrival and customs went just fine after which I head directly to the hotel for clothes change where I also pack a bag with to take some SAVU glasses with me. The “SAVU glass event” is planned for the evening, to which various whisky people has been invited – importers, glassware people, bloggers, managers, distillery people, and other “whisky lovers” types. I was a little nervous again, whether anyone would come.
First, I couldn’t find the whole place; Harry’s bar in Omotesando. I arrived to Harajuku by train and then decided just to ask the locals for directions, since I knew that the Japanese are generally very helpful and polite people. Naturally, getting directions was made easier by the fact that I can actually speak some Japanese. So, finally I managed to find the bar.
I entered and to my relief there was already a full party going on and people were waiting for me. I opened my laptop and tuned to my show. The only problem was how to display it on the wall. Luckily, it did not take long before an IT expert from the audience offered to take care of the job.
Then the rush started – busy, busy and busy. More people kept arriving and I still didn’t have my situation under full control. No panic, I thought and quickly set up my base at the corner table set a side table for SAVU Solo tubes and Helsinki Distillery Company’s whiskey bottles. I started pouring whiskey over the ledges into SAVU glasses simultaneously instructing how to use the glass. At the same time, I also ran the presentation and explained what was shown on the slides. I was pleased to notice that the majority of the audience really seemed to like the information they were getting from my show.
After my slides the event got even more hectic as people wanted to personally experience the glass and its functionality. The EGAN distillery had provided whiskeys for the occasion. Yes, it was admittedly extremely pleasing to witness all the “WOW!” shouts as the aromas of the whisky reached the noses of the people. In a word, they were astonished and wondered how this glass could work so well. Obviously, I was more than happy to elaborate how SAVU glass functions.
At the bar counter, some people wanted to also try out SAVU glass with other whiskies. The reactions were a mixture of awe and disbelief as they started to find both pure raisins and green grass and other aromas their chosen whiskies. Many times, I had to sniff it myself to experience these aromas. The place was full of people and the whisky was flowing. It was wonderful. People came to chat and told me about all the aromas they had smelled and experienced. The SAVU glass was praised so much that it was really embarrassing. But on the other hand, it was true.
I also established several new and valuable contacts. Time will tell how we will best enter into the Japanese markets. It will take some hard work, but somehow the feeling that SAVU glass has its place in Japan was strengthened. A couple of new things positively surprised me: the Japanese truly like science and facts behind the glass. In addition, the design of the glass was praised and especially how comfortable it is to hold the glass in the hand. It’s good to move forward from here!
Doomo arigatou gazaimashita. Sayoonara.