I want to talk about brand power. When I say brand power, I am thinking of premium earning power. Even among similar products, there are differences in value among products with a brand and those without one. Made in Japan, for example, is a brand, and one that I think still has value, although not as much as it used to have. One reason for that is the widespread proliferation of IT networks. Global gaps in information and design are closing.
Beyond that, and separate from product brands, there is the brand value of Japan. This can be measured by how many tourists visit each year, how many global companies base their headquarters here, and how attractive Japan is as a country. If many tourists visit and many companies build their headquarters in Japan, then the image people have of Japanese products will rise as a matter of course, and people will also start to feel greater attraction to Japanese fashion. I feel like we often think of the brand value of countries and brand value of products as different concepts, but in this way, I think the two values are synchronized.
How can we tie together the brand of a country with product brands? At New Economy Summit 2013 held by Japan Association of New Economy, many of the foreign participants told us about their love of Japan. But if we look at the big picture, such favorable feelings are not being reflected in the value of Japanese products. ...