In this era of material abundance, the commoditization seen in many industries hampers companies from differentiating their individual products. For this reason, brand power is becoming increasingly more important. When people select products or services, they are not only conscious of quality, but they are also informed on the ideas and activities of the company offering them.
Consistent customer experience
With creation of a consistent policy (“brand core”) for company ideas, branding builds customer experience based on it, and this is an area where European manufacturers particularly excel. While Daikin has sold products worldwide, designs are usually optimized individually to meet regional needs. With a growing trend of customers valuing brand when making a purchase decision, we have started an initiative to provide customer experience based on a consistent policy.
Thoughts on our “brand core”
At the beginning of the initiative, we spent one year identifying keywords to create a guiding principle for designer work. We studied Daikin from many different aspects, such as past employee questionnaires, comments from overseas bases, the public brand image survey, designer’s thoughts, comments on future expectations of Daikin, and workshops using the five senses such as smell and touch. Consequently, we identified four keywords that describe the core of the Daikin brand.
Four concepts that describe the core of the Daikin brand
“Profundity” and “consideration” express what we have developed so far, whereas “exploration” and “passion” indicate the aim that further drives our inner ambitions. These concepts represent Daikin’s consistent policy that serves as the framework of our design activities.
In the second year, we tried to visualize the brand core. The aim of this activity is to translate the brand core that comprises the four keywords and several words that explain the keywords into design works. We identified the elements of product design, our main area of work, and then created a video, logo animation, and a statement that describes the brand core to deepen our understanding.
When identifying the elements of product design, we created prototypes assumed to be sold across several regions and held discussions. Daikin has created locally optimized designs over years. Recognizing this as a unique characteristic of Daikin, we defined the elements of Daikin’s unique product design that meets regional needs, rather than creating one universal design.
Discussions about the video and animation also helped us increase the understanding of the worldview of the brand core. The statement has been communicated internally and externally in order for us to work with pride and responsibility.
While the aim of this “brand core” initiative was undoubtedly to provide customer experience, it was also important to ensure that the brand core does not impose limitations on design but helps designers increase their understanding of Daikin and stir the imagination so that they can work even more freely.
As a company that takes on challenges to achieve growth
My image of Daikin before the initiative was a company that works diligently as an air conditioning expert. However, having discussions made me realize that Daikin was an innovative company that pursued growth without the fear of change and allowed employees to do what they wanted to do. I hope that customers notice—through our products and services—the spirit to challenge that Daikin exhibits as it constantly tries new things in a forward-looking manner.