Table Speech

Market Revitalization through Excellent Manufacturing and Cultural Investment

June 10, 2015

Mr. Motoki Ozaki
Senior Adviser, Kao Corporation

 I had worked for Kao Corporation over 40 years in different fields of marketing, sales and management until I retired last year. Currently, I serve as President of the New National Theater, Tokyo (NNTT) as well as President of the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts.

 Kao produces and provides toiletry goods and cosmetics under the corporate philosophy of “excellent manufacturing of products leads to wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of the lives of people.” As we provide products for daily living, it is imperative to grasp our customers’ changes in lifestyle that reflect their changing values.

 Consumers seek “functional values,” “emotional values” and “social values” from a product, of which “social values” have come to assume increasing importance lately. Products that contribute to solving various social issues, including global warming or aging-related health problems have become the leading products. For example, a new liquid laundry detergent for water-and-power-saving has become very popular. Survey results show that majority of senior citizens are active and wish not to be lumped together as the aged, while they seek after “safe and reliable” products with “easy-to-understand and easy-to-choose” labels and explanations. To respond to such needs, fabric softener liquids these days have clear labels in big letters to prevent accidental ingestion and TV advertisements have explanatory subtitles to assist the elderly in understanding and making choices.

 Now let me touch upon how to “revitalize the Japanese economy.” The Abenomics measures were implemented over two years ago to pull the country out of the long overdue deflation and they are achieving some positive results. I believe we must “change our mindset” dramatically to further revitalize the Japanese market. To be more specific, let me highlight some initiatives taken by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts. Based on the principle that “culture is a capital that revitalizes the market,” I believe the time has come to make a drastic paradigm shift from “making contributions” to “making investments” in cultural activities. Giving support to stimulate the cultural and artistic activities will enrich our sensitivity and susceptibility, stimulate our customers’ “emotional needs” for goods and services, strengthen companies to provide high value-added business and eventually lead to further revitalize the Japanese market.

 Companies are urged to commit themselves to “cultural management” and to establish a consistent measurement framework (“cultural accounting” etc.) to evaluate their cultural activities.

 It is my sincere wish to be of some service in “building a more spiritually affluent society” together with you all.