Enrich your brand experience with Okko-kun

In today’s retail environment we are overwhelmed by numerous choices. Whether we go shopping in our neighbor store or browse shops online, we are drowning under endless amounts of brands and labels. At the very same time, we are being bombarded by various advertisements that try to convince us to buy something. 

It is obvious that all these stimuli both confuse and exhaust us. Too many choices and too much information can even overwhelm us to the point where we end up choosing nothing at all.

So what can you do to make your brand stand out? How can you enrich your brand with a story that people can relate to? 

This is where our Okko-kun steps in.

Okko-kun is a character that helps advertisers to capture consumers’ attention and attach new meanings to their brands. Okko-kun broadens and deepens the possibilities with which advertisers and brands can communicate with their customers. Okko-kun works in both online and offline environments, and it can be attached to various brands.

So, to sum up, by engaging in collaboration with Okko-kun:

1.    You can increase attention and interest towards your brand
2.    You can make your brand more desirable
3.    You can tell new kinds of stories about your brand, and attach new meanings to it
4.    You can reach new markets and target groups.

If you want to hear more, get in touch with us, and let's discuss more!

What are successful brands made of?

It is a well-known fact that great advertisers and brands succeed by building intimate emotional connection with their customers. Apple, Nike, Red Bull and Starbucks are just few examples of “emotional branding”. These brands bring excitement, surprise and joy in customers’ life. 

Emotional branding differentiates brands from their competitors and helps to establish a lasting connection in the minds and hearts of consumers. An emotional dimension also gives a strong backbone in a fight against price-oriented rivals.

However, most brands can only dream of creating an emotional bond with consumers. Despite brands investing heavily in their visibility across all the possible platforms and channels, consumers easily ignore their effort or the emotional impact remains very weak.

Why is it so difficult to create emotional connection with consumers?

The problem is that most of the brands are approaching consumers with a “rational approach”: emphasizing price, technical quality or some other concrete features of the product. In this way brands might touch consumers on a cognitive level but fail to build emotional link. 

In order to create emotional connection a brand must have a personal story. This story should communicate “who” the brand is, where it comes from, what kinds of values and meanings it carries, and what it stands for. A personal story touches consumers’ emotions and is able to evoke feelings such as love and attachment. Furthermore, a story is what people remember and what they like to share. 

A story is the foundation of brand, and storytelling is strategy for success. We in Kotana Inc. want to help brands to create memorable stories. If you want to hear more, get in touch with us! 

Stickers: storytelling and serious business

In a rush? Three key points from the post below:

  1. Market for stickers is huge - in 2015, stickers generated over $270 million in revenue for LINE

  2. Communication is becoming

  3. LINE is extremely good at blending online and offline content

Here at Kotana we love stickers, and especially the kind of stickers that are used in communication. One of the most successful companies promoting stickers is LINE, and the brief video below by WSJ neatly summarizes what LINE is all about.

So basically LINE enables its users to do lots of things with the app: play games, text and call, apply for jobs, and so forth. But let's focus on the stickers for now.

Stickers are great, because they can diversify communication. Sometimes it is easier to say something with an image than with words, although some people have criticised stickers for 'dumbing down' our communication. But we think they're making our communication richer and more fun!

For consumers, then, stickers are a nice addition to the communication toolkit, but what about companies and designers? LINE has made it possible for individuals and organisations to create and sell their own stickers in the marketplace, and so far the revenues have been pretty remarkable. While numbers reported by Forbes are quite significant for individuals, from a company perspective stickers can be used to deepen customer relations as well as create new stories (sorry, this one's only in Finnish). And that's what stickers are all about: creating stories and engaging people with them.

With LINE's recent IPO the company is expecting to get a better foothold in the Western markets, but as it is now there is still plenty of room for first-movers to create new means with which to interact with their fans and customers. 

It's time to learn a new language: emoji!

Admit it, if you haven't used them yourself at least you must have heard about them. Or seen someone else use them. Emojis

Initially they were seen as a funny and casual way to communicate emotions in the digital space, but as Wired writes, we might be actually witnessing something completely different. Namely, the birth of a new language.

One further example comes from Finland, the first country in the world to release their own country-specific emojis

Emoji 'Happiness' - illustrating how to embed national flavour to an emoji

Emoji 'Happiness' - illustrating how to embed national flavour to an emoji

The emoji above illustrates - humorously - what happiness can mean for Finns: beating Sweden in ice hockey. Whether this actually happens or not is debatable, but it shows how emojis are becoming more and more refined and advanced. Thus, it is fair to say this visual language is evolving: just like spoken languages have evolved over the years.

To conclude, the visual is not here to trump the spoken language, but instead we can use it to convey emotions and thoughts in environments where written language might cause misunderstandings.

Moreover, if you or your company was an emoji, how would it look like? What would it convey?

Hey there!

Thanks for stopping by! We're still in the process of crafting this site, but nonetheless we're super thrilled about Kotana and what we're planning to do under this brand. As it is now, we're working with interesting partners especially within the context of Japan as well as creating our own digital content (more on this soon!). 

If you want to know more about us and/or Kotana, please get in touch with us. Happy to tell you more!