Q&A with Ryoji Yamada, Executive Director, Corporate Communications Division at Bridgestone

expert perspective

Ryoji Yamada
Executive Director
Corporate Communications Division
Bridgestone Corporation

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

Bridgestone regards the brand as a unifying force and important element to protect and nurture its 140,000 global teammates.

Our company is celebrating its 90-year anniversary this year, and we have always been conscious of the importance of nurturing our brand. In particular, “Serving Society with Superior Quality” was established as a corporate motto in 1968, and has been passed down from generation to generation as the Mission of our Corporate Philosophy to return to today. Its importance has become even more important in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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?

When our company, which was founded in Kyushu, made tires for the first time in 1931, there was only 1 car in Kyushu. On the eve of the advent of motorization, the founder stepped forward to produce tires, overcoming the opposition of those around him, because he was driven by his desire that “It is a good thing for society to make domestic tires.” That mission of “Serving Society with Superior Quality” was born from that spirit and it is our foundation. It will not change going forward.

However, the “superior quality” which we will provide does not necessarily mean tires. As the environment surrounding automobiles changes drastically, customers just want to move comfortably, not to buy tires. In that sense, what we need is not change, but to keep evolving. Bridgestone will really continue to pursue what society and our customers need.

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

While the perspective of social contribution is essential, it is clear that customers will not support CSR activities that are not directly related to the business. It is vital that we work to resolve social issues through our business activities, to provide specific products and services, and to gain sympathy. As a result, we create value that is meaningful to both society and our customers.
Our company has been promoting the reduction of tire raw materials and the retreading of used tires, but we need to further pursue and achieve a system where the business is operated around the ecosystem.

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

Last year, we announced our Mid-Long Term Business Strategy with a vision of providing social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company today, tomorrow and toward the future in 2050.” This marks the start of our third foundation, “Bridgestone 3.0,” following our establishment in 1931 and our second foundation that took a giant step toward globalization with the acquisition of Firestone in 1988.
Under the banner of a new brand message, “Solutions for your journey,” we will take specific actions and drive them throughout the entire value chain toward the realization of our sustainable business vision.