Case 05

Nippon Computer Dynamics Co., Ltd.

(October 2016 –)

First product PR for a B-to-C business. We provided ideas for branding and PR, thinking about the connection between their product and social issues.

Nippon Computer Dynamics (hereinafter, NCD) develops bicycle parking projects and IT services throughout Japan. It was when their Parking Systems Department took a turn to B-to-C (Business to Consumer) from B-to-B (Business to Business) that they consulted us. We interviewed Mr. Yukitaka Horie of the Parking Systems Department, Sales & Promotional Sales, Product Sales Division.

“It was our first B-to-C project. We didn’t know what to or how to promote our products, to which you gave us a great support.”

Mr. Yukitaka Horie of the Parking Systems Department, Sales & Promotional Sales, Product Sales Division

Mr. Yukitaka Horie of NCD (hereinafter, Mr. Horie):
Ueda, our managing director, knew Mr. Kokubo through work, and when we heard he started his own company, we asked him to suggest some things to us, which was the beginning of everything.

What he suggested to us was the overall branding of the parking project, but it was difficult to proceed at that time and we had to suspend it. Meanwhile, our biggest issue was how we can promote our products, so we asked him to help us with that.

Originally, our business including IT and parking was “to-B”, which is “to businesses”, but our selling of bone conduction headphones had come about from the parking project, and we stepped into the “to-C” (or “to Consumer”) world. We had to do it from scratch, so we asked you to give us suggestions about PR.

Takahashi of Hitoshizuku (hereinafter, Takahashi) :
Did your impression of Hitoshizuku change after actually working together?

Mr. Horie:
First, we had an image that we would offer more big-scale, strategic work, such as branding, but we came to know that you also do smaller work – such as making materials related to public relations for products. We didn’t expect that part in the beginning, that is your much flexible work, suggesting wide range of things whether it’s small or big.

In promoting products, none of us inside had a viewpoint on dividing the term into early, mid and late phases. It made us realize that we tended to have a shorter view in the situation at that time, and that it’s important to set a goal and see what steps towards it we need and how we put them into specific measures.

Takahashi:
Through your work with us, is there anything you feel that has had a positive effect on your company?

Mr. Horie:
We tend to get stuck on the ideas that we come up with, so I think we’ve gotten wider ideas for PR thanks to those that have come from your connections.

Also, it means a lot that we’ve proceeded with speed. It’s really great that you are able to start a project within one or two weeks, whereas it would have taken up to a half a year if had we only been working by ourselves.

One more thing, our mission is to increase our sales, so I think it doesn’t always fit your goals – such as solving social issues or working for the societal good. But as a result, our actions do solve issues, and our sales reflect that. Hitoshizuku never forgets that point, and makes us realize the social nature of our work, philosophy and our products, to which we feel very grateful for you.

We want to promote a fun cycling life and also reach our products to people who have difficulties hearing

Takahashi:
Do you have any requests for us?

Mr. Horie:
Well, what we expect is that we’d like to know some sample strategies of product PR, if possible. Of course, I know there isn’t one right answer but it will be helpful if you share some examples that we can refer to – how you advertised a product or how you shared information in the past, and I think sometimes following those examples will work.

Takahashi:
We tend to respect partner’s opinion too much, and sometimes it is difficult to give a definitive advice.

Mr. Horie:
Of course, we should learn about it by ourselves, but I think it’s better for us and ultimately proves beneficial in the end if you forcefully give your opinions. We do many things without certainty, and although we assess things with exact figures, quite a large part of our assessments tends to be based on our feelings and perceptions. With that in mind, I think it’s better to have many opinions.

Takahashi:
You said selling products results in solving an issue in the end, but do you have any vision on the society that you want to create with your products in the future?

Mr. Horie:
I think our bicycle parking project is contributing to reducing the number of abandoned or illegally parked bicycles and succeeding as a business to some extent as well. In addition to that, what we want to address is promoting a better, more enjoyable cycling life. I believe our top products – Xplova’s cycle computer and cycle trainer, Nissui SportsEPA’s supplements, and the bone-conduction headphones – can contribute to a better cycling life. But they’re still not known well to people, so we need to promote them more and keep introducing new interesting items.

Also, it’s a completely different direction from cycling life, but the bone-conduction headphone is valuable for elderly people whose hearing ability has decreased. We’d like to develop those products that make elderly people’s life more comfortable and enjoyable, too.

 
Photograph : Chisato Hikita /
Editing : Takako Chiba

RECENT WORKS

NameHitoshizuku Inc.
Address3–33 Kitanakadori Naka-ku Yokohama-shi Kanagawa 231–0003 JAPAN
Phone81 45 550 4141
E-mailinfo@hitoshizuku.co.jp
PresidentHiroshi Kokubo
EstablishedMarch 2016
Capital3,000,000yen
BusinessAdvertising & Public Relations Agency
Planning & Produciton of Social Good Projects
LawyerJunna Tei / Yokohama First Law Office
Tax AdvisorSatoru Motokoide / Uniques Money Advisory
Labor and Social Security Attorney
Office Work Innovation