Q&A with Kazuhisa Horikiri, General Manager of the Fujifilm Design Center

expert Perspective

Mr. Kazuhisa Horikiri
General Manager of the Fujifilm Design Center

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

If we consider our products to be the expression of our corporate brand, then the brand itself serves as a declaration. Fujifilm was formerly a photography film company. Because our products and our company name were originally nearly synonymous with each other, the brand declaration was easy to express. The company has since grown to encompass a wider range of businesses, with everything from digital cameras to medical equipment, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

When viewed from within the company, the changes we have gone through seem natural, because of the businesses we are now involved are based on the technologies that developed out of photographic film. From the customer’s perspective, however, there might be a sense that the changes were abrupt and disjointed. As a result, the corporate brand is indispensable because it now declares who we are and want to be as a company as well as our promises. The corporate brand therefore serves as a driver to lead our work forward.

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

With the technologies that have resulted from our years in the photography film business as an asset, we will not change the corporate posture of advancing our business. Furthermore, the scope of our business will continue to expand. We want to foster a corporate brand image that represents our ceaseless progress forward.

We believe it is necessary not only to embody the corporate philosophy: to contribute to the growth of culture, science, technology, and industry for society, as well as increased health and environment protection, by providing the highest quality products and services with advanced and proprietary technologies, but also to convey this to society. Communication will proceed carefully, following along in the style of the Never Stop global branding campaign we developed a few years ago.

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

In recent years there has been a tendency to overlook craftsmanship, but we believe it will continue to be important to value both the conceptual and the practical. Practical things always have stories associated with them. And within the practical we find the personal connections and textural sensations that are critical for the user experience. The feelings that result from this connect directly to the corporate brand.

And we know that forecasts are important, but we are also aware that the concept of back-casting will grow in importance. This is because no one can predict the future. Rather, it would lead to improving the brand value by thinking and acting upon understanding what we should do and now what we should change now after looking at the present based on decision for the future to target.

Are there any concrete action items being planned for future corporate brand growth?

Fujifilm’ s original company name was Fuji Photography Film. When we removed photography from the equation, everyone, from leadership on down acquired the ability responded to our new environment without fearing change or failures. That said, diversifying our business has brought more and more new people into the company. As a result, we run the risk of losing the sense of what makes Fujifilm unique that has been shared as tacit knowledge. Moving forward, we have to do more to strengthen our internal branding, particular overseas. This is because products alone cannot create a brand. We think corporate brand can be akin to a magnet tor our employees.