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Why a Branding Business Graduate Decided to Devote His Life to the Sake Business.

I, Katsunari Sawada, founded id10 japan corporation in October 2008, which is now in its 14th year of operation.

At id10 Japan, we are trying our best to “deliver” in terms of “logistics,” such as distributing Japanese sake around the world in small quantities, and “communication,” such as using smartphone applications to communicate with markets that have not yet received the sake.

(You can learn more about our efforts to date by visiting my social networking sites.)

What is branding?

When you hear the word “brand,” what image comes to mind?

Whether it is clothing, accessories, or food products such as beef, a brand is a promise from the sender and a major factor in why we buy their products.

Products and services are chosen not only for their price (expensive/cheap), but also for the story of the creator, the special feeling of satisfaction, surprise, and emotion when you hold the product in your hand. Brands function to strengthen this power of selection.

Branding” refers to adding value to a product as a brand.
In other words, it is the work of believing that each product has its own appeal, discovering and expressing it, and developing the “infrastructure” to make it strongly memorable.

Brand marketing” is more than the ability of the sender to convey information; it is a measure that uses the “power of attraction” to empathize with the user’s mind to induce purchase.

Spreading Japanese craftsmanship to the world

Since I was in my 20s, I have traveled abroad every month to interview people in more than 30 countries, asking them why they choose Japanese products. I have interviewed people in more than 30 countries to find out why they choose Japanese products. In addition, I have lived and experienced life in several countries (the Philippines, the Netherlands, Canada, and China).

Through these experiences, I have become more and more convinced year by year that Japanese craftsmanship has an unparalleled appeal.

Products produced by the spirit of Japanese craftsmanship are “works of art” that should be recognized worldwide as a brand.

In 2010, we launched the “Japanpage: Project” to brand Japanese regional products, with the idea of reevaluating Japan’s attractiveness from a global perspective and refining it in the marketplace through a branding approach that finds individuality and attracts fans with that individuality. This is how we came up with the idea of the “Japanpage: Project” to brand Japanese regional products in 2010.

A brand is a brand only when it reaches the market.

In recent years, we have experienced a period in which it has been difficult for people to meet face-to-face due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

This major change in the environment provided me with an opportunity to reconsider the social significance of our company and the purpose of our activities. It was an opportunity for me to reconfirm the thoughts I have had since the founding of the company and to confirm that we need to change course now for the future that we should be heading for.

Looking back, from 2015 to 2016, id10 japan participated in a project supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to communicate the appeal of Japanese craftsmanship and crafts to the world.

The storybooks produced through this project were distributed to more than 150 diplomatic missions abroad around the world and received high praise, including requests from some of the world’s top luxury brands to send additional copies. Through this experience, we were able to experience firsthand how much Japan’s regional and artisanal strengths are valued by the world’s top class.

We also actively participated in sake events held overseas.

However, we realized a certain issue here.
Even with successful branding, we still had to ask ourselves, “So, where can I buy this product? How much can I buy it for? When it comes to the actual buying and selling stage, the responsibility is divided among the various businesses.
At each stage, problems with language, purchase terms, delivery, and other issues can result in a situation where the product does not reach the person who “wants” it.

No matter how great the story is, if the product does not actually arrive, if it is not accepted by the market, it will end up being nothing more than a picture.

Creating a Service to “Deliver” Japanese Sake

Sake, shochu, and other Japanese alcoholic beverages are representative of regional products, and they convey the charm of Japan to the rest of the world.

However, these alcoholic beverages face the same challenges as other regional products.

The global reputation of Japanese alcoholic beverages, especially sake, whose exports continue to reach record highs, is growing every year.
Stories backed up by Japan’s unique natural environment and craftsmanship are never empty and superficial, but move the hearts of people around the world.
There are more and more opportunities for people around the world to “want” sake that is announced at overseas tasting events and exhibitions, as well as through online promotions.

But when a customer asks, “Where can I buy it?” but when asked, “We can’t buy it in your country yet. We are looking for a local business partner.
There are customers who say, “I want it,” but we can’t sell it.

Why is this?

In conventional liquor exports, in order to reduce shipping costs, importers generally purchase large quantities at a time and deliver them to the local market by sea, and local retailers sell them based on their inventory.

Therefore, it is a high risk for importers and retailers to purchase large quantities of sake that is not well known and is not sure if it will sell.

Even if they decide to purchase sake in small quantities until it sells, shipping by sea is not an option for small-lot shipments, and using air freight is expensive and carries a high risk of damage.

In order to spread the appeal of Japanese products, it is necessary not only to enhance the sense of value through branding, but also to solve problems in distribution and sales and establish a system that actually “sells.

This is why we created a service called “Japanpage:Sake,” which delivers sake from a single bottle to anywhere in the world via airmail. https://sake.japanpage.jp

Making Japanese Sake a Global Brand

Even though id10 Japan is in the business of branding, we do not intend to be just another piece in the traditional distribution chain of trading companies and stores.
In order to raise the market level and create new markets, we need to understand the bottlenecks and build new services to solve them.
That is our mission.

If the work of Japanese alcoholic beverages, created by the beautiful climate of Japan and the skills of our craftsmen, is not reaching the people of the world as we would like, what should we do?

In the next article, we will discuss how the world would change if we could deliver sake in small lots. I would like to talk about Japanpage:Sake’s efforts and the future that will be realized.

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