Q&A with Watanabe Koji, Executive Officer of Honda Motor

expert perspective

Koji Watanabe
Operating Executive
Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

The passion of each and every employee has created the Honda brand. Honda Philosophy is at the core. The basic principles of “Respect for the individual” and the “Three Joys” are not merely “words,” but are shared as individual values and serve as the standard for behavior and judgment. This accumulation is the brand’s asset.

In 2017, in light of the significant changes in the business environment, we announced the “2030 Vision.” Currently, we are working on “solidifying existing businesses” and “preparing for future growth” to realize the statement “Serve people worldwide with the ‘joy of expanding their life’s potential’” that is declared here. We will further strengthen our brand as a driving force in these activities.

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?

Achieving the aforementioned 2030 Vision is essential to achieving brand growth. To achieve this, we have defined the direction of our activities from 3 perspectives: “Creating the Joys”, “Expanding the Joys” and “Ensuring the Joys for the Next Generation.” In particular, we are focusing on the “realization of a carbon-neutral society” and “realization of a zero-traffic accident society” from the perspective of “Ensuring the Joys for the Next Generation.” These are extremely challenging issues, but we will continue to boldly address them by taking advantage of Honda’s unwavering original points of “joys that are useful to society” and “joys of realizing a dream.”

As our customers’ values diversify, we will listen to the voices of many stakeholders, especially the next generation who takes an important role in the coming decades, and respond to the needs of the times with a sense of speed.

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

Unique products that combine design and merchantability have created the Honda brand, but I feel that this is no longer enough to differentiate us. In the future, it will be necessary to consider “How to deliver new value.” I think it is more important to communicate than to send messages.

The key to achieving this goal may be to highlight Honda’s strengths in the areas of closely supporting each individual and in making people happy through technology.

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

First of all, it is extremely important to make our employees even bigger fans of Honda. If we can feel that our corporate activities are contributing to society, we can be proud of them and each and every one of our employees could become a brand disseminator. We believe we can further strengthen our engagement with each and every stakeholder.

By making the most of Honda’s diverse brand assets, Team Honda will work as one to communicate with customers in a way that conveys the thoughts of each and every one of them.