Corporations are in business to make money and being popular is good for business, which is why we have advertising to hammer brand names into our minds and keep us buying and buying. But sometimes along comes a company which loves its product so much that it’s willing to sacrifice some revenue to give more consumers the pleasure of using or tasting its creation. Asahi Shuzo, the Japanese brewer behind the extremely popular Dassai sake, has resorted to a full-page ad in the country’s most read newspaper to kindly ask of people not to pay so much for its sake.
The price of goods and services is dictated by the market demand for them. Dassai has become one of Japan’s best-selling sake brands, and retailers are trying to squeeze as much profit as they can from the drink. However, Asahi Shuzo boss Kazuhiro Sakurai was anything but happy with the price tag of Dassai in most retail stores, so he decided to take a stand by directly instructing people not to spend so much money on their favorite sake. He did id by running a full-page ad in the Yomiuri Shimbin newspaper that read “A request. Please do not pay a high price for our sake”.
Photo: Dassai Sake/Facebook
It’s understandable that buyers would be unhappy with the steadily rising price of Dassai, but apparently so is the brewer. Asahi Shuzo has suggested retail prices and would like vendors to stick to them but can’t really force them. To give consumers a fair chance, the company has included in the ad a list of the officially supplied retailers that follow the price recommendation. There is also a list of the three most popular Dassai varieties and their suggested prices.
Besides the price issue, Sakurai wants to make buyers aware of another thing: the impact on quality. Asahi Shuzo sells its sake directly to a limited number of wholesalers and retailers. However, other vendors can still buy the drink at the recommended price and then inflate it as much as they want. But as the bottles spend more time in the distribution chain, the flavor of the drink suffers. “This is nothing for customers to be happy about and we ran this ad to inform people of the situation,” Sakurai says.
— 本の虫 (@hiro_akasaka) December 10, 2017
The company could expand its official dealer network to ensure that more outlets offer Dassai at reasonable prices. But Sakurai doesn’t seem to think this is a viable solution.
“I’m not interested in selling Dassai to companies that have no love for the product and are just chasing after profits. What I really want is for customers to buy Dassai at a reasonable price,” says the company leader.
— sakamobi (@sakamobi) December 10, 2017
I can’t help but be impressed by this sake brewer. Most companies couldn’t care less what price their products sell at as long as it doesn’t affect their bottom line, but here’s a responsible business who genuinely cares about its consumer base. You don’t see something like this every day, that’s for sure.