Interbrand
Thinking

Q&A with Naho Kono, CMO of Rakuten

expert perspective

Naho Kono
Group Managing Executive Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Senior Vice President, Commerce Company
Rakuten Group, Inc.

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

The brand can be used continually with trust and confidence even in the midst of change, and while our lifestyle changes into a new way of life. We believe that it is an important element to gaining an understanding as a company that brings about change, to have expectations that will enrich our lives, and to gain greater support for our services. At the same time, we believe it is also important for companies in difficult circumstances to expect us to be a platform partner from Japan that can be relied on for business continuity, such as the “Rakuten Ready” service provided by the restaurant industry.

As you strive for brand growth in this new era, what are your viewpoints that you need to consider and what viewpoints haven’t changed compared to the past?

Since the first wave of the pandemic last year, the Rakuten Group has worked closely with the national and local governments to create social distancing logos, promote awareness activities, promote the introduction of COCOA applications, match the use of COCOAs in hotels for people with mild infections, provide financial support for stores and support for users at home, such as e-books, and deliver messages to essential workers in collaboration with sponsored athletes. Going forward, we will continue to provide the measures required by a rapidly changing society by making the most of the power of the “Rakuten Platform,” in various directions, and by helping to enrich daily life as much as possible, we hope to make as many people as possible feel a new attraction to the comprehensive power of the “Rakuten Brand.”

What do you feel is the most important when it comes to further increasing the value of the corporate brand?

Because of the uncertain future and the need for change, we believe it is important to demonstrate the value provided by the “Rakuten Brand,” in concrete form both in Japan and overseas, based on our mission of “empowering society through innovation”, which has been our philosophy since our founding.

For example, Rakuten Mobile has adopted the world’s first fully virtualized cloud native network with the aim of revitalizing Japan by reducing the communication cost of Japanese households and supporting the consumption cycle, and we achieved a low cost.

In addition, we have common understanding inside the company that it is important for us to empathize with our commitment to overcome “Together” (Walk Together) rather than eliminating businesses or monopolizing the industry.

Are there any specific actions you plan to take in order to grow your brand?

Take Rakuten Mobile’s new mobile phone pricing plan, which is the world’s first to adopt a completely new technology called complete virtualization of networks as an example. We are not simply competing with other companies on price, but we are working to provide something previously unimaginable and think out of the box as a “Rakuten Brand” for all stakeholders (Customers and Business Partners), whose lifestyles have changed in a society that’s “With Corona, After Corona”. By maximizing the benefits of Internet technology in a variety of industries, we will continue to create solutions that enable the continued use and direction of the “Rakuten Brand,” both economically and emotionally.