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What is essential is invisible to the eye

What is essential is invisible to the eye

Toshimitsu Sekii

Head of Media & Digital

Kantar

Toshimitsu.Sekii@kantar.com


The title is a line from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” - but these words also apply to the Japanese brands, and specifically its move towards greater digitalization in the wake of COVID-19.

For example, the brands have begun to rely more on ad retargeting and optimization using A/B testing. These are methodologies that pursue visible outcomes. And they can be useful in short term. But an over-reliance on technology – combined with a failure to consider the nuances of audience mind - can result in damage to long-term brand’s perception. Considering the more “invisible” elements of the human mind alongside digital data can make all the difference.

Last year’s BrandZ™ results showed us that while Japanese brands are highly esteemed for their technological expertise, there was still room to improve Innovation in the pursuit of growing brand value. Innovation means more than just new technological breakthrough – creativity and leadership are also essential components of Innovation in the minds of consumers. When brands deliver on this more holistic approach to Innovation through communications and experiences, Brand Love starts to form.

Japan’s most successful businesses have proven that when a brand improves its reputation for Difference by delivering on multiple forms of Innovation, it also tends to become more Meaningful in consumers’ minds. Or to put it another way: Innovation that reaches the heart, not just the eyes, is what seems to be most important.