The first time I looked closely at the logo of the Japanese transport company Yamamoto I found it a good example of a cultural gap of sorts. Perhaps I could say that their branding emphasizes emotional impact over making statements..?

Branding in the West is all about expressing the sould and spirit of the company, and logo-design usually some clever or banal twirling that in one abstract shot will summarize what the company is all about. Obviuosly this is a pretentious delusion that nevertheless has smitten most PR firms, and most of those logos only communicate what they are meant to communicate when billions have been spent on advertising them.

Yamamoto's logo is a simple and unexpected statement about moving something. It does not bend over backwards to "express" the company, it simply speeks to your emotions and gives you an injection of sweet and memorable feelings that you relate to the company. Now that seems to be what branding really is about. It also seems like the Japanese branding stems from a genuinely different way of thinking about the impressions one makes on others.

Is this exemplified by any other Japanese brands?


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