On Wednesday, January 25, Risa Sasaki of Yoroshiku Fantastic, KK introduced the FEW Women’s Start-Up Club to the world of branding. A successful brand gives a strong first impression of a company’s unique offerings, personality and values. Risa shared her experience in starting her own business, along with her expertise on building a memorable brand that represents you, your company, and your product/service.
What is Branding?
The online business dictionary defines branding as “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
Risa simplified branding by explaining that it involves communicating and visually presenting your “WHY.”
She covered several layers of branding: branding yourself, your company, and your product/service.
First impressions matter, as do the second and third. Therefore, we need to be aware that we brand ourselves daily, in each unique setting. Risa posed several questions for us to consider:
- Why do you dress the way you do?
- Why do you dress a certain way when you are with friends and differently when you meet clients?
- What does your style say about you?
- Why do you choose your particular style colors?
- What image do you want to portray and does your style choice work?
Ultimately, branding is being conscious of WHY we do something and to be able to control the impact we want to have on our environment.
Branding your company and your product/service
Memorable names, logos and taglines immediately come to mind when we think of a company’s brand.
However, to successfully brand a company you must be very clear about of what you want to achieve. Your branding should built on your elevator pitch and business plan, including:
- who you are;
- what you offer;
- your target audience; and
- how you want to present your company and how you want it to be seen.
Based on these factors, use colors and images you think will best represent your brand. Creating a logo is a good place to start, including a logo of just the company name.
Colors, shapes, and even textures of paper (glossy, matte, special paper) all can influence the impression of your brand. Different fonts can also express different feelings: for example, a handwritten font or hand-drawn design represents a human touch. Combining handwriting and hand-drawn designs, however, throws your message off balance and can appear to fight for attention. Balance in design is key.
Risa recommends consulting a designer or branding agency if you need help with developing any of the elements above. “A designer exists because there is a client. If there is no client, then we are just artists expressing ourselves as we like. A designer needs to listen to what the client wants and then deliver. If you do not know what you want, a designer is there to make suggestions, and listen carefully to how it resonates with you,” said Risa.
Branding agencies like Yoroshiku Fantastic also have specialists to help with market research, including interviewing potential target audiences and conducting focus groups.
Once you have developed your brand, it is important to spread the word. For instance, network to get both your personal brand and company brand out there and working for you.
Risa believes a website should be straightforward, saying, “show who you are and what you do.” This is especially important since people only spend an average of 3-5 minutes on a website to obtain the information they want.
In recent years, short (30-90 second) introductory movies/slide shows have become increasingly popular and proven effective for websites.
Japanese style websites tend to be very busy, cramming a lot of information onto one page. While accommodating your target audience is important, Risa believes that conveying your own personality is more important. This way you will attract the clients you want to work with.
Successful brands have personalities. A personality is what will get you noticed and remembered. Be aware of your WHY. It will make telling your story so much simpler.
May 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 2nd May 2018
Special Event Recap: Japanese Business Etiquette Workshop with WaNavi Japan
FEW’s latest Strategic Partner WaNavi Japan hosted a workshop on Japanese Business Etiquette in the evening of April 4 at the Wesley Center in Omotesando, providing insights in Japanese culture and business culture in particular, as well as practical phrases commonly used at the workplace making communication with Japanese co-workers smoothly. Motoko Kimura, Founder and […]Published on 2nd May 2018
April 2018 Monthly Meeting Recap: Female Pioneers in Law in Japan
At FEW’s monthly meeting in April, we heard from two dynamic women working in law in Tokyo: Naoko Matsuzaki, Director, International Anti-Corruption and Global Intelligence for PwC Japan’s Forensic Services Group, and Catherine O’Connell, Founder and Principal of Catherine O’Connell Law and the first foreign female to set up as a sole legal practitioner in […]Published on 2nd May 2018
March 2018 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Online Presence Part II- Social Media
On March 22, The FEW Women’s Start-up Club held its fourth meeting of the FEW year on the topic of “Online Presence Part 2 – Social Media,” in a hands on social media workshop style event. And hands-on it was indeed – and not only related to social media! Those who attended may remember the police invasion! […]Published on 2nd May 2018
Strategic Partner Spotlight: Lumina Learning Japan Partner, Elizabeth Handover
Lumina Learning is a global learning and development company representing the latest innovation in professional development and assessment. As a pioneer in organizational development with over 3,500 certified trainers globally, we offer services in 30 languages. Lumina Spark is our flagship psychometric tool. The key to every organization’s success is its people. This philosophy underpins our partnerships […]Published on 2nd May 2018
May 2018 Women's Start-Up Club: The Importance of Cyber Security to Entrepreneurs
The next WSC meeting will focus on Cyber Security, with Nicola Vote of McAfee shedding light on how entrepreneurs can protect their customers and also protect their reputation and business online.
May Midweek Lunch Mixer at Citron
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. In May, we'll be meeting again at Parisian-style salad bar, Citron, in Gaienmae!
FEW 20th Career Strategies Seminar (CSS): AMPLIFY!
Join us on June 2 for AMPLIFY, a transformational and inspirational day-long event full of seminars, workshops and networking opportunities to help you elevate your career to new heights.
Radical Boundaries Workshop with Sarah Furuya: How to Say No to Make Way for YES
Due to its high popularity, we are offering the Radical Boundaries Workshop again. Join us for an exclusive workshop with Sarah Furuya on developing techniques to say 'no' in order to devote your time and attention to the things and people you truly love.