Japanese gas appliance manufacturer Rinnai was founded a hundred years ago. It currently has revenues of 3 billion USD and more than 10,000 employees. Exports to Asia, Oceania, and North America account for almost half (46%) its overall sales.
The company had delegated too much responsibility to its regions, resulting in a diverse, disjointed image and lack of consistency and unity as an organization.
As well as unifying and clarifying its brand, we saw the centennial as an opportunity for Rinnai to focus its vision. Though there was no problem with its traditional brand strengths (quality and technology), consumer surveys and employee workshops revealed that the company required a warmer, more comfortable, and more emotional image. We created a new brand promise “Creating a healthier way of living,” instigated social media platform “Rinnai me,” and reinvented Rinnai’s visual and verbal identity to a company less associated with appliances and more with embracing people’s lifestyles as an integral part of their homes and working spaces.
Internally, the buy-in has been universal. Rinnai established new marketing, business strategy, and development units that boosted employee understanding and revealed a connection with their brand that had risen to 89% — a huge advance in these difficult times. Sales for 2020 improved notably, with a record high operating income (up 18% year-on-year), including 35% increase in sales of clothes dryers, very much a lifestyle purchase. (Other contributing consumer patterns are of course acknowledged.) Rinnai won the Japan Childcare Support Award in July 2020, and Minister Of The Environment Award in March 2021.