Connecting the world with all the best Japan has to offer


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Branding × Business

Branding New businesses Cool Japan Inbound travel


Leveraging cutting-edge branding strategies to connect Japan’s best businesses with global markets, provide the world’s coolest retailers with unique access to Japan’s finest products, and ensure more people than ever enjoy visiting Japan.


Branding the essence of Japan, for the eyes of the world
Building profitable platforms for the Japan brand

Focused on branding, heart and soul

I first encountered branding as a science and an art at Interbrand. Branding addresses much more than the material elements ? the things the eye can see. It also deals with intangible elements such as the reputation and stakeholder assessment of an organization or product. It’s about transforming both those visible and invisible things into value. So, how does one create, and then manage, that value? This is the question I’ve been wrestling with, and I think I’ve found some pretty good answers. Branding that moves people, that makes them want to get things, go places, get involved ? that’s where my heart’s at. In my view, sharing this kind of branding with the world is worth a lifetime.

Opening the eyes of the world once more to the value of Japan’s crafts, cuisine, traditions, culture and travel experiences

In this process of discovery, I ultimately saw that what I wanted to “brand” was Japan itself. It’s been more than 25 years since I first visited the United States at age 17. I’ve been fortunate to travel and live all around the world, but in all these years, nothing captivated me more than the wonder, pride, and joy I feel about Japan. Amazed by the place I was born and raised, I found myself full of gratitude. Yet, somehow, I had to admit that, from the perspective of Japan alone, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to grasp the full impact of that wonder. That’s where I got the dream ? and I’m still living it today ? to start a business that would not only give the world the chance to re-appreciate the value of Japan, but also increase the pride and confidence of local people all over Japan.

A business model that opens doors to profitability for business owners

We can talk all we want about putting the global spotlight on the value of Japan, but if we can’t turn that into a viable business, our efforts won’t be sustainable. We don’t believe in thinking of “branding” and “bottom-line profitability” separately ? they’re two sides of the same coin. But it has not been an easy task to translate this concept into concrete projects. Our ideas got ahead of us, we seemed to spend money with no results, and sometimes the doors to profitability we were trying to open seemed too narrow, or stuck on their hinges. In the crucible of these failures, though, we haven’t stopped refining the business model we believe in.

Embracing challenges, empowering everyone to keep growing as a person

After launching the company in 2008, we started thinking in 2010 about how to open the eyes of the world again to the value of Japan. In the next few years, we hit the wall in various ways. People didn’t always understand what we were proposing. We ran up against various challenges while trying to uncover overseas demand for the Japan brand and working to develop new international sales channels. We’re still solving puzzles like these today. I was hoping all this would just get easy one day, but now I’ve come to think that embracing challenges is the key to meaning and success.

My goal is to create a company where each member of our outstanding team can keep growing as we brand the essence of Japan for the eyes of the world and overcome every obstacle to build platforms for the Japan brand that open new doors to profitability for our clients.

  • Katsunari Sawada
  • Branding director, president & CEO
  • id10 japan corporation

id10 japan ? Taking on 6 challenges

Creating and establishing new businesses by working behind the scenes to discover global demand, develop sales channels worldwide, and attract visitors to Japan
Creating infrastructure services that connect Japan’s best businesses with global consumers, regardless of their business scale
Conceiving and delivering original plans that leverage simultaneous branding of local areas, manufacturers, products, and services
Developing global demand for Japanese craftsmanship, cuisine, tradition, culture, and travel by rediscovering their appeal in light of unique Japanese values
Helping to create services which generate repeat visit demand and strengthen the brand of Japan as a “nation of tourism”
Creating services that help bring life back to local areas by facilitating human resources development and assisting local businesses to thrive

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