Q&A with Akihiro Nagaya, Chief General Manager of the Design Center and Executive Officer at Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

expert perspective

Akihiro Nagaya
Chief General Manager of the Design Center
Executive Officer
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced its Medium-Term Management Plan in 2019 and named it “Make Waves 1.0,” with the brand name Promise. As symbolized by this, “Sustained growth of the brand” is the core of management, and we will continue to focus on “increasing corporate value with the brand.”

A brand is a guide to internal and external activities. As the coronavirus pandemic has limited our external activities, we are strengthening our internal efforts as an opportunity to increase internal engagement. What is important is that each employee can think and act on his or her own initiative about what kind of contribution he or she can make to the company. We intend to create an environment in which our employees can demonstrate their creativity as leaders of the brand, and to use our employees as the driving force to strengthen our ties with society.

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?

Under all circumstances, the purpose of supporting “thrills”, “an affluent life” and “self-actualization” through sound and music will not change. But now that the coronavirus pandemic has left musicians in poverty and limited even their ability to enjoy music, simply providing good product functionality will not be enough to fulfill the social responsibilities. We would like to contribute to the realization of an affluent lifestyle by solving social issues through music, while focusing on the customer experience, thinking about what Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. can do.

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

To deepen relationships with people through self-realization through music and by cultivating a rich spirit. Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is going to further embody what only Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. can do.

“SYNCROOM”, a remote ensemble service that enables users to connect with music even when they are away from each other, and “Charlie”, a communication robot that communicates by putting words to a melody are some examples. We tend to get into technology, but what’s important is not the technology perspective, but the customer perspective. We will seek to differentiate ourselves by creating an emotional “sensation” rather than a unique and outstanding technology.

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

We will further strengthen activities to provide places where people can enjoy music, such as the “LovePiano Project,” where pianos are installed in open spaces such as train stations, airports and commercial facilities so that anyone can enjoy music freely.

In addition, we will globally develop medium to long-term activities, such as sustainable resource procurement through forestation for the wood used for musical instruments and supporting music education in emerging countries where playing musical instruments is not popular. I would like to consider a system that enables employees to participate in social contribution activities more actively.