Talking about LIFULL
President and CEO,
LIFULL Co., Ltd.
POOL inc. CEO
A company with a motivational vision is great.
In April 2017, we made a fresh start under the name LIFULL.What should we believe in? And where should we be heading in the future? The roadmap for that move was based on our Master Brand Strategy, which sets out the thinking behind the LIFULL brand. CEO Takashi Inoue met with Toshiyuki Konishi, Creative Director of POOL inc., who worked on the new LIFULL branding, to talk about the various different ideas that went into the LIFULL brand.
Founder of POOL inc., Toshiyuki Konishi works as a creative director, copywriter, and web and interactive communication developer, as well as being involved in urban and facility development. He has received countless awards, from the likes of Clio, New York ADC, The One Show, TCC and ACC. He also serves as a judge for TCC and the Sendenkaigi copyrighting contest, as well as being a member of the ENJIN 01 Cultural Strategy Meeting.POOL INC. http://pool-inc.net
Deciding to change our name to concentratebrand value
Before we start, I would just like to touch on the question of why we changed our company name. LIFULL used to be a brand when the company was called NEXT, used particularly for our overseas business. We later began to use the name LIFULL for other new domestic businesses other than LIFULL HOME’S, which led to the idea of integrating all of our operations under the LIFULL brand in the future. In the last few years, however, the number of subsidiaries under the LIFULL brand has increased faster than we had anticipated. From the standpoint of the company’s growth in the future, we decided that now was the right time to integrate under the brand name LIFULL and concentrate our brand value. That’s what clinched the decision to change the company’s name. Having set out a Master Brand Strategy based on bundling “100 companies in 100 countries” under the LIFULL brand, we felt that we needed a partner who could come on board and work with us to think through our branding. That was when we came across Mr. Konishi from POOL.
Making “LIFE” “FULL” = LIFULL. That simplicity is the brand’s biggest advantage
When you first approached us, I thought the name LIFULL was brilliant. It combines two excellent words – “LIFE” and “FULL” – and it’s immediately apparent what it means. It felt like the corporate message “Make every LIFE FULL” just flowed straight from that. That message captures the guiding principles at the heart of LIFULL. The entire concept is linked directly to the company’s name. That’s why it’s such an incredibly strong brand.
I’ve had to tell countless people that we’ve changed the name of the company recently. When I tell them that we’re now called LIFULL, the initial reaction is one of confusion. As soon as I explain that it’s an amalgamation of “LIFE” and “FULL” however, it all seems to make sense. It’s a name that people are very quick to understand.
The very best communication relies on speed. That’s why I think LIFULL is a truly superb name for the company. It was a good move to use the word “every” in the corporate message “Make every LIFE FULL” too, rather than using “all.” This was something we talked about at great length. “All” is more of rough way of putting it, grouping all people together. “Every” on the other hand includes a sense that you are specifically catering to individuals. There’s also a sense that it poses the question we continue asking ourselves, “Can we make every LIFE FULL?” I think we ended up with just the right wording.
The word “LIFE” encompasses two meanings as well. It means both “life,” as in living to a ripe old age, and also “lifestyle,” as in what you do on a day-to-day basis. “Every” signifies that we’re including both of those meanings. As people have different lives and lifestyles, we want to focus on each of them. That’s how we intend to move forward.
Creating a call to action by using the bold phrase “best in the world”
Indeed. The corporate message is a declaration saying “our activities enable to make every LIFE FULL in every sense.” To achieve that, I felt that you would have to make three pledges. What we came up with was a slogan, the LIFULL Act, and a statement.
A slogan first of all should express what you intend to do. It should show the company’s stakeholders and employees “this is the sort of company we are going to be.” It is essentially an inward-facing message, to get the company’s employees on the same page.
Setting out the aim of becoming “the best life-event database and solution company in the world” is a clear declaration of intent, saying that “we will be the world’s best company when it comes to using life-event databases to provide solutions.” That is the point where you have seriously marked out your aim to make LIFULL the best in the world.
This is the first time we have used the phrase “best in the world” based on this philosophy. Now that we’ve used those words, we will have to do our best to achieve that. We have always had a vision of becoming the best in the world, but having put that into words, it feels like we have a new source of power and determination to forge ahead. I’m excited to get stuck in and give it all we’ve got.
Improving quality by continually asking, ”Is that really amazing? ”
- For All
- Are you deeply focused on LIFE?
- Will it benefit everyone?
- Will it benefit everyone?
- Is it pursuing true essence?
- Does it make you go “wow”?
You could say that the LIFULL Act is like a product development policy. It’s essentially an index saying, “This is the sort of service and value that we offer.” It consists of these five criteria (see figure on left). As an index, I would say that this more or less covers everything. It is nonetheless difficult to meet all five criteria. Even if something satisfies four out of five of the criteria, for example, it would still fail if it didn’t satisfy the one remaining criteria. The barrier may be set high, but if you keep on working with this in mind on a daily basis, the quality of your technology and services will undoubtedly improve.
If you keep on having meetings as usual, you tend towards the conclusion that you should just keep on doing the same as you have done in the past. If someone were to stop and ask, “Is this really amazing?” I suspect most everyone would be taken aback. I think things like that have a profound effect.
Absolutely. I think it applies to “Happy” too. It can encourage people to think things through a little further too, by asking, “Is there anyone who would be unhappy about this idea?” for instance.
Yes, it’s a case of continuing to think things through. One of our guidelines for LIFULL is “Continue searching for the truth.” I know it’s not always easy to comprehend the truth, but if we continue questioning ourselves – “Is this really good enough?” “Is there a better way of doing this?” – and keep on thinking, I believe that will get us closer to the truth. The LIFULL Act is basically the same. It’s important to keep on asking, “Is this really for all?” or “Is this really simple?”
The word LIFULL is the essence of the Future. If we can achieve our goals, we can make the world a better place.
A statement should be something you publicize widely to the outside world, saying, “This is what we pledge to you.” At the time of the launch, we decided to add a line to the end of the statement, reading “The future that is ‘LIFULL’ starts now.” Personally, I think the word “LIFULL” itself captures the future. That’s why I love the phrase “The future that is ‘LIFULL’.” It’s a simple phrase, but it is written with passion, so that people across a broad age range can get the message “let’s start a new future.”
Based on various data from the past, LIFULL’s core users tend to be people who seek out new information for themselves, “people who like to take a step toward the future,” so to speak. It is our role at LIFULL to effectively support that sort of positive outlook. That’s what we are trying to express. We want to support positive people like that, who want to make their “LIFE” “FULL,” who want to do something amazing.
Reading this, I can visualize situations in which we connect with partners who could share inspiration using our world-leading life-event database solutions, or come up with winning ideas to make everyday life better. It reminds me just how much I want to continue creating things like that. It’s almost like it hits me, and makes me absolutely determined to push ahead.
And we think all LIFE can shine brighter.
So we want to be creators.
Of the information and encounters sought.
Of connections with people you can be emotionally moved with.
Of ideas that make every day richer.
Utilizing life-event data from throughout the world,
turning every day into a rich one,
we continue to orchestrate encounters and discoveries.
With age, gender, language, and nationality no obstacle,
we are spreading LIFE solutions for all the people the world over.
Make every LIFE, FULL.
The future that is “LIFULL” starts now.
The challenge of creating the ultimate “badge of trust”,with individual employees playing a central role
The message I wanted to get across with the branding was “a company with a vision is a great.” Real strength is about always staying true to your vision, and truly believing in that vision.
The principles outlined in the corporate message and statement aren’t intended to restrict your actions. They are criteria for making decisions through trial and error, based on the question “Would this be more appropriate for LIFULL?” I hope they will serve as a reference point that people can come back to.
We will continue to come up with branding that instills a sense of pride in everyone involved with LIFULL. If you keep on making people’s LIFE FULL, I’m sure we can make the world a better place.
Based on ideas such as these, the LIFULL brand essentially acts as a “badge of quality.” Providing services bearing the name LIFULL is a sign. It symbolizes our intent to “Make every LIFE FULL.”
It is going to be tough going forward however. We need to really pull together as one and take LIFULL to the highest level, so that we can live up to the philosophy that we have set out. When we achieve that, I’m confident people all over the world will be genuinely impressed. That may sound like a monumental challenge, but personally, I’m really excited to get to work.
I want each and every one of us to realize that we have a central role to play in making every LIFE FULL. I want us all to work together as we shape this company called LIFULL.