About Us

NamiWave, LLC was founded January, 2010. As a new type of business development agency, NamiWave is positioned as a keystone in a worldwide ecosystem of entertainment content providers, retailers, distributors, and technology companies. Our goal is to manage, facilitate, and grow the ecosystem from conception to completion through two main lines of business: future retail and new product distribution. Our first priority is to create new markets in Japan for distributing entertainment content and new technologies.

About NamiWave

The name NamiWave represents a new wave of business. Nami is the Japanese word for wave. NamiWave creates a ripple effect within our business ecosystem where new technologies influence new lines of business and ripple out to consumers globally to create new waves of opportunity.

Gateway to the Japanese Market

Through our partnerships with established, well-aligned companies in Japan, we have the ability to give businesses immediate access to the Japanese market. We can help our partners develop new business lines in Japan anywhere in the value chain: from content holders through distributors and retailers down to consumers. NamiWave breaks down barriers of entry to create customized product for Japan.

Business Development Services

NamiWave has developed and continues to grow an ecosystem of mutually-connected businesses. We share knowledge of innovative business models worldwide with our partners and advocate mutually-beneficial technologies and revenue models. Together with our partners, we grow new markets for retail, technology, and new content.

As a keystone of this ecosystem, we offer our partners access to new markets, business incubation services, executive-level contact, innovation, and expert insights to better manage their strategic initiatives.

Lines of Business

NamiWave develops new business models for traditional operators in our ecosystem. Our two main lines of business are Future Retail and New Product Distribution.

Future Retail

Following the trends in entertainment retail, we see the shift away from traditional brick and mortar stores toward automated retail and eventually digital content. We are testing some of the new technology on the market in order to create a perfected business model for each of our partners.

New Product Distribution

NamiWave has initiated low-cost sourcing of new and used products from the US into Japan. We have partnerships with the largest entertainment retailers and distributors in the world and will focus on continually expanding the introduction of new products into global markets.

Case Studies

Case Study: Music Distribution to Japan

Client: Largest Packaged Entertainment Distributor in Japan (Company Confidential)

Problem/Need: High cost of Western CDs when purchased from Japanese record labels.  Despite declining demand in the US, demand for CDs in Japan remains high. 

Solution: NamiWave connected with major Western music distributors to export CDs from the country of manufacture at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the Japanese-licensed version, even including shipping cost.  This win-win solution benefits not only the Japanese distributor, but also the North American record labels and distributors—whose domestic sales are down but still get strong sales now from Japan—as well as the Japanese retailers (including the largest entertainment retailer and rental chain in Japan) and end consumers—who get the same quality product at a fraction of the cost.

Case Study: Movie Kiosks for 7-Eleven Hawaii

Client: 7-Eleven Hawaii

Problem/Need: Brick-and-mortar retailers are always looking to increase sales per square foot as well as increase foot traffic into their stores.  Massive closures of traditional video stores left customers searching for new retailers.  Consumers value convenience and price.

Solution: NamiWave provided the NamiWave Media kiosk solution to 7-Eleven Hawaii for a two-year pilot test, maintaining and stocking self-service kiosks in multiple locations, which provided customers with affordable new release DVD rentals.  Customers were able to use the kiosks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to rent new movies and return them to the same or any other kiosk location of their convenience.  Customers were also able to make online reservations and pick up their movie at the store. 7-Eleven Hawaii received a share of sales revenue without having to expand their operational support for the service.  We provided weekly new releases, driving customers to the store weekly, once to rent, and again to return.  Additionally, we were able to offer customers special deals and cross-promotions through email marketing.

Case Study: Movie Solution for Hotel Chain

Client: Miyako Hotel Los Angeles & Miyako Hybrid Hotel

Problem/Need: The Miyako Hotel chain had undergone hotel and room renovations. Each room is equipped with a DVD player but no on-demand movie service. LodgeNet and other hotel movie networked services are very expensive to install and hardly ever realize a profit, as LodgeNet recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Customers crave convenient access to movies, and the hotel needed movies for their rooms.

Solution: NamiWave provided the NamiWave Media kiosk solution to the Miyako Hotels and continues to maintain and stock self-service counter-top kiosks at multiple locations, providing customers with a variety of DVDs to rent. The counter-top model was perfect for the hotel chain due to the space limitations in their business centers. Customers are able to use the kiosks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to rent movies and watch them in their hotel rooms.

Case Study: Localized Entertainment Software for Japanese Market

Client: Hokuryou Photo

Problem/Need: Hokuryou Photo has photo-printing kiosks in 25,000 convenience stores throughout Japan and were looking to add an entertainment service to their existing kiosks.

Solution: We took the entertainment software tested in NamiWave Media kiosks in Hawaii and California and customized it for the Japanese market for integration into Hokuryou Photo’s kiosks.  We conducted market research to determine appropriate pricing models, ideal inventory mix, and multi-faceted marketing campaigns.  We translated the user interface into Japanese and localized it for the market.  We worked closely with our technology partner in the US as well as with movie studios and distributors in Japan to merge the cutting-edge technology with a unique, local product mix.

Case Study: Customized Japanese Website

Client: Hokuryou Photo

Problem/Need: Hokuryou Photo needed to re-vamp their website for ordering prints online.  They were also looking for cross-promotional opportunities, branching off from our entertainment partnerships (see case study above).

Solution: We created a brand-new website, complete with unique branding and a customized mix of products and services.  The website, branded Rakko Media, combines the online print ordering (Rakko Print) with an e-commerce service (Rakkommerce) and will eventually include entertainment products (Entertainment Rakko).  The website boasts the ability to combine personal prints with premium products for a customized gift-giving experience.  NamiWave leveraged our existing network in the US and Japan to find technology, merchandising, and marketing partners to create a dynamic website with a rotating product mix.

Company History

1/2010

NamiWave, LLC incorporated

4/2010

Begin export of new and used foreign music CDs to Japan

8/2010

Begin pilot test of NamiWave Media kiosks at 7-Eleven stores in Hawaii

1/2011

Deliver Japanese books and DVDs to Los Angeles County Public Libraries

2/2011

Install NamiWave Media kiosks in Miyako Hotel chain in Los Angeles, CA

11/2011

Begin 24/7 customer service

5/2012

Japanese subsidiary NamiWave Japan Co., Ltd. incorporated

9/2012

Execute development and pilot test contract with Hokuryou Photo for entertainment service in Japan

4/2013

Complete development for Japanese entertainment service and digital ad display

10/2/2013

Launch Rakko Media website

Team

Our team has been working together for over 5 years. Company President Minoru Takada formed a small but dynamic team of young, innovative entrepreneurs with experience in new media, technology, mobile, and entertainment. 

 

Minoru Takada, Founder | President

·         Formerly President of TSUTAYA USA and Corporate Director of TSUTAYA Online Corporation, leading TSUTAYA Online to become the #1 accessed site through mobile devices in Japan

·         Formed the first 24/7 live TV shopping network in Japan as CFO of Shop Channel.  Grew business from $100 to $700 M in 5 years

·         10+ years of experience in the US as a CPA for Ernst & Young and Arthur Anderson

 

Francine Beppu, Co-Founder | Director of Business Development

·         Formerly Director of Business Development of TSUTAYA USA

·         Experience in Integrated Marketing and Advertising Sales at MTV Networks, launching the first LGBT network channel, LOGO.  Grew viewership from 0 to 30 M in 2 years.

·         Formerly Senior Consultant at Sony Electronics, responsible for North American launch of Qualia, luxury line of consumer products

 

Katie Conlon, Co-Founder | Director of Research & Operations

·         Formerly Director of Market Research and Japan Relations at TSUTAYA USA, managing market research projects and communications among corporate HQ, subsidiary, and US partner companies and major Hollywood movie studios

·         Led research and tour organization on behalf of Japanese executives in US while employed at Kintetsu International

·         Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University

Blog

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Contact Us

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