Solid methods meet new approaches

We find inspiration in looking at business challenges from multiple angles. Whether our clients need to redefine their business purpose, establish their relevance and customer value, or adapt their global DNA to a local lifestyle, our motto is ‘be helpful’.

Our work ranges from figuring out the optimal shapes and designs for Japanese kitchen appliances to deconstructing how ‘value for money’ is understood in Vietnam; from redefining the purpose of an outdoor fashion brand in an urban Chinese context to creating a five-year blueprint for the beauty device innovation pipeline in East Asia; from six weeks of research into the travel habits of Japanese, Chinese and Korean millennials to long-term partnerships, such as the recovery strategy for a global restaurant chain as it rebuilt consumer trust.

To tackle such cases, Yuzu Kyodai combines traditional methodologies with new approaches, uncovering the subconscious cultural codes that underlie people’s decision-making. Different components of sociology, semiotics and anthropology help us to map cultural preconceptions and to comprehend fully their nuances.

Cultural Intelligence

Fundamental to our work is our culture mapping: understanding the wider lifestyle spaces and their cultural codes, within which every brand is located. This combined approach of semiotics, cultural analysis and sociology is key to our approach. When professionally analysed, visuals, aesthetics and vocabulary of everyday life phenomena can teach us an enormous amount about how categories function.

Market Research

We integrate traditional approaches – focus groups, in-depth interviews, workshops, quantitative surveys – with wide sectoral expertise. This ranges from technology, FMCG, healthcare and finance to fashion and design. Skilfully moderated and methodically examined, these help us to decipher the relationship between people and brands. Ultimately, the things that we hear, touch and see every day are a core component of how we all generate and decode meaning.

Field Research

Some insight is best generated directly at the places where customers and brands meet, to see first-hand how products are being experienced, lived and utilised. As part of Consumer Deep Dives, Expert Salons or Cultural Safaris, Yuzu Kyodai does everything from shop-alongs with consumers in their local travel agency, to setting up test kitchens; and from in-home trials of vacuum cleaners to immersion tours that explore the future of retail in China and Japan.

Market Entry

To launch more than just another option on the shelf requires a thorough mastery of categories and consumer behaviour, as well as of their cultural setting. Yuzu Kyodai’s assistance allows its clients to identify both their purpose in new markets, and how best to become a part of people’s everyday life. We help companies to build a network of relevant influencers and channels that can create or enhance brand awareness. We also partner with businesses in East Asia that would like to establish an international presence, and to adapt their brand DNA for a global audience.

Futurology

Yuzu Kyodai combines clients’ industry knowledge and intellectual capital with our creativity and cultural acumen. By translating insight into action, we generate strategies that give brands lifestyle relevance, and produce ideas that can inform our clients’ innovation pipelines. We believe this is how the best new ideas are born, drawing together a brand’s purpose and its value to customers.

Cultural Collaboration

Global businesses are constantly questing after a language and set of values that consumers will find meaningful. Yuzu Kyodai believes that artistic and cultural projects are vital to this: at their best, they tangibly illuminate and deepen core brand messages. Our strategy is to provide a more holistic and resonant context for the relationship between our clients and their customers.

Marketing

Sustainable cultural commitment allows businesses to identify themselves credibly as good corporate citizens, and as opinion leaders on social responsibility.This provides a new marketing platform from which to reach influencers and experts with creative settings and dynamic cultural events. Corporate communications can be catapulted well beyond advertising messages, to a rich and compelling narrative that engages new and loyal customers.

Art Thinking

Innovation and disruption are vital to any company’s success. Developing fresh ideas and methods of design thinking with creative artists allows businesses to look at the familiar from very new and surprising perspectives.

Consistent with this ethos of looking at business through the prism of culture, in 2019 we launched the Yuzu Residency. This is a collaborative cultural project between Yuzu Kyodai and Mart Stam Gesellschaft, the fellow association of Berlin’s Weißensee art school. Both founders strongly believe that dialogue between business and the arts can be both enriching and enlightening.