Table Speech


Initiation Speech

August 22, 2007

Mr. Masahiko Uotani,
Mr. Nobuaki Sato

“Marketing to Create Brand Value”

Mr. Masahiko Uotani,
Chairman,
Coca-Cola (Japan) Company Ltd.

The markets in the advanced countries have matured, and it is now an era where you can sell whatever you have produced. Technology differentiation is short lived. With the advances in information communication, a great deal of information is instantaneously shared. The consumers will pay even if it is expensive, if it is an item that they value. On the contrary, there are those who still insist on low prices. In general, the needs as an individual are significantly greater than that of the masses.

 Consumers will choose items that match their values and that they truly want. Companies need to formulate a marketing strategy that builds brand value that will adequately recognize the values of the buyers and which leads to the selection of that brand.

 The brand that is ranked as the top in the “Best Global Brands” announced by the Interbrand in the United States every year is said to have a value of \8 trillion. It can be said that enhancing brands which are intangible assets leads to increase in enterprise value.

 The value of brands for the consumer can be categorized into basic value and sentimental value. The basic value is the form, functions, and convenience of the product and the sentimental value lies in the image, associations, and degree of shared sentiment.

 A brand embodies a promise from the company to customers. If customers recognize this value, it would become one of the company’s strengths, but regardless of how wonderful the company considers the product to be, if the consumers do not recognize such value, then the brand would have no value.

 There is a concept that “everything is communications”. The actions and words of the management, actions and attitudes of the employees, advertising, and point-of-sales service need to be conveyed to consumers as a consistent message. If all contact points are concentrated on the same message/point, the image of the brand among consumers will be enhanced.

 I intend to engage in my profession in the future under the belief that the creation of brand value is the essence of corporate management. In the future, I hope to take on a major theme of how the creation of brand value should be in Japan.

“About ROTEX Activities”

Mr. Nobuaki Sato,
President of Rotex 2006-07(D2580)
Student of Keio University

 I studied abroad in Germany for 1 year under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Tokyo. I have also served in the capacity of the President, Rotex 2006 – 07 for the RI District 2580.

 This year I am participating in the usual committee-sponsored events. I planned monthly field trips for foreign students studying in Japan. Last summer, Japanese language classes and a summer camp for foreign students in Japan was held at the Higashiyama Lodge at the Gotemba YMCA, and in March of this year a Japan tour was implemented.

 While I was studying in Germany, my most vivid memory is participating in the European tour that visited 7 countries with students from around the world. I wanted to etch a page in the hearts of foreign students in Japan that they would remember forever and that was the Japan tour. The objective was not simply a tourist trip around the sight spots in Japan, but was to provide the students an opportunity to think about Japan.

 In Hiroshima, on the eve of the day we were to visit the atomic bomb dome, we held a discussion on the topic of creating peace. In Fukuoka, we arranged to have the local Rotarians to give a tour of the cherry blossoms in full bloom to the ROTEX and the visiting foreign students. At the beach in Yakushima Island, we enjoyed ourselves diving into the summer sea. At Shiratani Unsuikyo, we were able to drink miraculous water that is said to be too clean for even fish to live in. We were greeted by snowing on the straw-thatched roofs at night at Gokasho Village. The students saw with their eyes, walked on with their feet, and felt with their skin the wonder of Japan. The biggest treasure gained in the trip was “emotional bonds”. I do not know what impression was left upon them, but if they felt the same emotion that I had experienced during my studies abroad, I will be very happy.

 On the eve of my departure for home, I cannot forget my German home stay mother saying to me, “I wish we could set the clock back in time”, and being saddened by my departure. I wish I can present to the visiting students coming to Japan the same emotions that I had been blessed with. This is why I intend to continue on with ROTEX activities.