The chief theme of this issue is the terms “Digital” and “brand,” based on our fundamental question of how brands are growing under the current digital environment. Consistent with this theme, we would like to consider two recent upheavals with respect to brands. The first is so-called “Core Marketing,” which advocates focusing on core customers who account for approximately 80 percent of total sales, based on the Pareto principle. This is quite persuasive, if the underpinning assumption is right. However, Sharp (2010) has recently reported that in most industries, these core customers are responsible for only about fifty percent of a brand’s sales. If this is correct, the fundamental logic of fan marketing is compromised. The second upheaval relates to the emergence of many “Digital Native Vertical Brands (DNVB)”, such as WP, Bonobos, Everlane, Glossier, etc. Our question is: from the perspective of the relationship between brands and their customers, what are the key differences between these DNVB and traditional brands? Our contributors to this issue discuss these highly important concerns.
This article aims to pursue the following two questions: (1) What is imagination related to brand? (2) How can we build a new research paradigm based on brand and imagination? Based on a review of the literature in various fields, we found that while imagination is regarded as a critical concept in understanding human conduct, consistent and firm theories have not yet been established. We also found some commonalities on the concept of imagination. Imagination is considered to be a concept that overlaps with thought, emotion, perception, and memory. It was also pointed out that imagination functions as a force of integration of these concepts. As recent neuro-brain studies have suggested, recursion is a notion that contributes significantly to understanding the essential part of imagination. Based on these theoretical explorations, we advance a new definition of brand, adding the element of imagination and propose a new research paradigm with a consumer behavior model that includes imagination and brand as key variables, and is further expected to be empirically examined.
We consider branding in the digital era, which will be further developed, based on existing brand studies. This study proposes “Collaborative creation of brand value,” which incorporates Brand Incubation Third-party (BIT), the third entity that contributes to branding, but whose importance is often overlooked. Furthermore, we suggest that brand engagement, which is a concept that shows social relationships beyond economic relationships, is important in the “collaborative creation of brand value” among the three entities.
With the rapid improvement of the Internet environment and the spread of smartphones, the number of potential touchpoints between companies and consumers has grown. As a result, companies need to offer consumers a superior experience to differentiate themselves from their competitors. While the notion of providing consumers with “experiences” through products and services is a part of current management techniques, there is still little scientific research on the impact of user experience (UX). This study analyzed the essential elements and impact of e-commerce websites’ UX on brand attitude through a review of prior research concerning UX and brands. Six UX elements were selected from those proposed by Peter Morville’s “User Experience Honeycomb” (2004), and the impact of each on brand attitude was examined. The results confirmed that, even when viewed scientifically, these elements are essential factors in actual UX design. Additionally, four of these six elements have a positive impact on brand attitude, which can provide suggestions from a management perspective.
It is very important to consider brand strategy in the digital society from a broader perspective. However, in order to do so, it is necessary to first accurately recognize how the consumption environment changes due to digitization. Based on this thought, this research will examine the consumption environment in the digital society. Specifically, the published research will initially be reviewed and trends in the consumer environment in the digital society confirmed. Next, the concept of “liquid consumption” described by Bardhi and Eckhardt (2017) will be discussed. Furthermore, using temporal data, whether or not liquidization actually penetrates society will be examined. The discussion of this research will be carried over to Kubota (2020), and will be developed into a brand strategy that can be adapted to the liquidity of the consumption environment.
Digitization is one of the key elements that characterizes the modern consumer environment. The use of digital technology in various areas of social life and economic activities has greatly changed the consumption environment. Consequently, what direction should the brand strategy of a company or organization aim for as digitalization advances? Based on these issues, the brand strategy in the digital society is considered from a bird’s-eye view, using “liquid consumption”, presented by Bardhi and Eckhardt (2017), as a key concept. Specifically, liquid consumption will be reexamined from the perspective of brand consumption behavior based on the discussion in Kubota (2020). The importance of comfort brought about by contextual fit and easy consumption is then pointed out. Next, two brand strategies corresponding to liquid consumption are proposed: “Strategy of expand the range” and “Strategy of blending in with the daily life”. Finally, reflection upon the entire thesis, limitations and future issues are discussed.
The Japanese cuisine industry has developed through a series of innovative ideas over a long time. As such, skill transfer has always been an issue and should be achieved effectively to the next generations. Moreover, it is necessary to find a way to expand the business to overseas countries in this global age. While many investigations have focused on Japanese haute cuisine under a wide variety of academic fields, as “eating” can be widely applicable, there has been little examination in the field of business administration and management. Based on the perspective of the professional chef organizations in the Japanese cuisine industry, this article will review previous research, with the view of dish structuring, organization and skill transfer, and essential ingredients, and will clarify issues related to the diffusion and reproducibility of the cuisine.
The main objective of this research is to formulate a new theory that comprehends the various types of price change strategies from the short-term to the long-term. In general, the theory of price in the field of marketing deals with pricing of new products/services and price changes of existing products/services. The analysis of price changes, however, has been limited to instant tactics, price cutting and rising in the short-term. Consequently, there has been no integrated theory of price changes. In order to overcome this limitation and to break through such theoretical circumstances, this research applies the prospect theory and identifies the short- and middle-term price change strategies at the first step. Furthermore, at the next step, the higher-pricing and lower-pricing (in other words, “selling at the market plus” and “selling at the market minus” in the context of a traditional marketing theory) that companies should achieve through long-time brand strategies or structural cost advantages are determined as a higher dimension of price change strategies respectively. Through these steps, the comprehensive price change model (CPCM) is derived by adopting two dimensions, “variations of the difference between the reservation price and the selling price (ΔPr−ΔPs)” and “variations of the average cost (ΔC)”. CPCM can divide several types of price increases and reductions into four quadrants and identify eight types of long-term price change strategies and four types of short-/middle-term price change tactics, of which the examples and characteristics are also explained in this research.
In a brand community study, it is important to understand the change of the community caused by the appearance of social media. The marketing strategy depends significantly upon whether we understand social media as a brand community or brand public. The two concepts can be used to understand the dimensions of brand public and can coexist empirically with the dimensions of brand community, and/or one might be more pronounced than the other in particular cases. However, previous studies have not considered coexistence. In addition, brand public is likely to be dependent on platform property. Therefore, in this paper we confirm the previous findings of the two concepts, and we research consumer behavior in Facebook pages managed by the firm. The conclusion suggests that there are properties of both brand community and brand public on Facebook pages managed by the firm.
Nitori, a Japanese major furniture sales company, took the opportunity of a large-scale recall incident in 2007 to implement a strategy change, with product safety and quality management as its biggest theme, and actively conducted management and technological consulting for foreign manufacturers, in addition to promoting reformation of its corporate culture. As a result of these efforts, the company was able to increase sales and profits for the 32nd consecutive year, while achieving an overwhelming quantitative expansion to 576 stores worldwide. It has also won the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (the highest award) consecutively. From the perspective of how companies and their products and services coexist with society beyond the era of product liability, we can see the true figure of Nitori, that is different from its past image.
In recent years, many companies have used data-based marketing to understand customer insight. In this article, we focused on Ricoh, which uses customers’ data to conduct efficient customer retention. We revealed that Ricoh has been carrying out efficient customer maintenance activities using a data collection system called “@Remote” related to the use of MFPs (Multifunction peripherals). In addition, through interview surveys, we confirmed that the knowledge of sales representatives was aggregated and utilized together with the data. This aggregation contributes to the success of customer retention activities. This article indicates the importance of the role of sales representatives that serve as a bridge between data and customers when companies conduct data-based marketing.