NRI Papers
No.84 December 1, 2004
  The Group from a Business Perspective: Revaluation of Enthusiastic Consumers  
Ken KITABAYASHI
      The otaku group is no longer a niche market. According to a survey conducted by Nomura Research Institute (NRI) that targeted the five major otaku fields (comics, animation, idols, games and PC assembly), the total number of enthusiastic consumers, known as otaku, in Japan is estimated to be 2.85 million with a market size of 290 billion yen. Thus, the existence of the group is becoming increasingly measurable in the consumer market.
        A common aspect of these enthusiastic consumers is that their consumption behavior is driven by admiration, sympathy, and pursuit of their "ideals." In addition to their extreme patterns of consumption, the behavioral principle of otaku is also characterized in that they devote themselves, with strong passion for their ideals, to creating fan fictions (fanfics) based on their own peculiar arrangements and interpretations.
       Their passion and creativity will be the driving force for bringing about industrial innovation. Businesses should not treat enthusiastic consumers merely as "loyal customers" but rather study their consumption behavior to find seeds of innovation.
Contents
I Attempt to Reevaluate Enthusiastic Consumers
II The Otaku Group Is No Longer a Niche Market
  1 The Total Number of Enthusiastic Consumers in Japan Is 2.85 Million
  2 Enthusiastic Consumers Acting in More than One Field
III Behavioral Principles of Enthusiastic Consumers
  1 Spiral of Consumption, Creation and Passion
  2 Enthusiastic Consumers Are Not Merely Heavy Users
IV The Otaku Group as a Base for Testing Innovation
  1 Fanzine Publishing Integrated into the Comics Industry
  2 Digital Home Appliances Created by Otaku
  3 Recommendation on the Use of Otaku and Their Activities

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