Ivey Publishing

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Innovating Tradition at Hosoo (Simplified Chinese Version)
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12 pages (10 pages of text)
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Case (Field)
Hosoo was a kimono and textile company, established in 1688 as a traditional Nishijin weaving company. The 11th generation president of the company, Masao Hosoo, had transformed the business from a producer of premium kimono fabrics and kimonos for the luxury market in Japan to a globally respected textile producer for some of the world’s top brands. A great deal of the company’s success in the global market could be attributed to the master craftspeople of Japan. This innovative spirit guided endless improvements to weaving and textile development, allowing the highly specialized Nishijin textiles to be woven for use beyond the kimono market. Inspired by the results of their innovation and their global success, and driven by the collapsing kimono market in Japan, Masao and his son, Masataka, set a goal in 2018 to establish Hosoo as an iconic, international house of kimono, relying on innovation to reinterpret what a kimono was, how it was used, and what it meant within a global fashion market.
Learning Objective:
The case was designed for an introductory course on marketing or innovation at the graduate level. Because the case involves issues related to fashion brands, the case can be used in courses on brand management, global fashion, and new product development. The case is also appropriate for executive education courses dealing with innovation and brand management. Finally, because the case introduces a number of insights into Japanese consumer behaviour, the case can be used in courses or modules dealing with business in Japan or Asia. The case provides students with the opportunity to consider three concepts critical to effective marketing and innovation management today:
  • The nature of a heritage business and the role of innovation in a business plan that sustains an enduring business
  • The importance of a value system in creating innovative products and services and an ecosystem of partners who work together to ideate, create, sell, and service the innovations
  • The merits of a non-Western, holistic spirit of innovation, and how to leverage this spirit of innovation to rewrite how business is done within a specific industry and recreate fundamental techniques and systems used to create traditional products and services
Marketing,  Entrepreneurship,  International
Japan, Small, 2018
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$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Digital Download
Associated Materials
Translations: English (12 pages)
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