OLs and Salarymen

OL = Office Lady. Originating from Japan, the term is a loan word, or katakana word.

Typically, OLs are female office workers in Japan who perform tasks such as serving tea, secretarial or clerical work. OLs are usually a fashionable lot, with a lot of time and a fair bit of extra money on hands. They usually live with their parents and pay little or no rent and thus have disposable income to spend on cosmetics, fashion and luxury name items. Often, they are also the face of the company, in reception jobs so they always look immaculate and beautiful. OLs typically remain in these positions until they get married. Thereafter, they will resign and leave the workforce.

These days, however, any woman working in an office is an OL. Due to pop culture influences from Japan, people around Asia began using the term to refer to any woman working in a 9-5 job.

I think the OL crowd is interesting because they are always on the pulse of the best restaurants, shops in town and tend to keep up with the latest trends and fashion.

Salarymen are professionals, or white-collared businessmen. Originating from Japan, these office workers are the epitome and ubiquitous face of Japan. Clad perennially in black or grey suits, these businessmen slog an average 12-hour day in their jobs.

Like the OL crowd, Salarymen are a well-travelled, well-informed lot with good disposable income.

I think that luxury-brand companies would find it easiest to reach out to this group. There is a crowd mentality with them and if a particular product or service is garnering popularity with the OL and Salarymen crowd, it often serves as a good indication of reliability and quality.






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