Executive Branding in Japan

In today’s competitive business world, having executives who can effectively communicate as leaders is a key element of corporate PR. Success can improve corporate reputation, motivate employees, and attract top talent.

Historically, Japan has had some extraordinary outspoken leaders. The founders of Panasonic, Honda, and Sony were each seen as visionaries who inspired many and made huge contributions to industry through their leadership. In the present day it is harder to see these kinds of firebrand leaders, but this can be an opportunity for innovative companies to utilize.

Executive branding involves showcasing the skills, expertise, and leadership style that establishes your company’s leadership as influencers. Here are five key strategies to help your company succeed at effective executive branding.

1. Define Personal Brand

To succeed at executive branding, you must first define each executive’s personal brand. What are strengths, values, and passions that your executives have? What sets them apart from others? What unique expertise and perspective do they bring to the table? Craft a clear and authentic personal brand statement that encapsulates who they are as an executive and what they bring to the company and the industry at large.

2. Establish Thought Leadership

A crucial aspect of executive branding is establishing thought leadership in your industry. Share knowledge and insights through various channels such as mass media interviews, writing articles and producing video content for social media, speaking at conferences, and hosting seminars. Create relevant and valuable content that positions your executive as an authority with unique insights. Consistently engage with target audiences and participate in industry discussions to enhance credibility and visibility.

3. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a very powerful tool for executive branding. Establish a strong online presence by strategically using platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Regularly share content that showcases expertise and engages your core audience. Also don’t hesitate to interact with other influential professionals. Utilize social media to showcase thought leadership and build a reputation that benefits both the company and the executives themselves.

4. Cultivate Media Relationships

Building and nurturing meaningful media relations through establishing relationships with key journalists is essential for executive branding. Being outspoken, having fresh ideas, and a unique perspective can inspire reporters to write articles featuring your executive’s insights. Use media interviews as a strategic way to share new information with the public in a meaningful way. Speaking at industry events and conferences can also receive media interest. Actively seek out opportunities to contribute to the news cycle of your industry and establish your executives as spokespeople.

5. Maintain Authenticity and Consistency

Authenticity and consistency are vital for successful executive branding. Be consistent in messaging, values, and communication style across all platforms. Maintain a professional image that aligns with each executive’s personal brand and values. Authenticity will resonate with the audience and build trust, helping your leaders establish a strong executive brand that is both credible and relatable.

Succeeding at executive branding requires thoughtful planning, clear persuasive communications, and consistent effort. By defining personal brand, establishing thought leadership, leveraging social media, cultivating media relationships, and maintaining authenticity, you can create a powerful executive brand.

Ultimately, executive branding is not about self-promotion. By showcasing expertise, adding value to industry conversations, and cultivating a strong identity as a leader, executives can effectively serve as spokespeople who support their company’s communication objectives.

Influential leaders in Japan sometimes need to take an extra step beyond others to establish their presence. This costs money. Some examples include establishing symposiums, placing thought piece advertorials in key media outlets, writing books, and being featured on major Japanese TV shows.

Regardless of the scale of the outreach, Parthenon Japan has a track record of experience in helping executives establish a strong brand that delivers positive outcomes.

About the Author

Parker J. Allen established Parthenon Japan in 2018 with the goal of bridging the communication gap between business, government, and society, based on extensive experience as a government relations & PR consultant for global firms in Japan.