Shiseido's Cultural Assets
The longstanding culture that Shiseido has inherited and cultivated is an important asset in the Company's endeavors to foster originality, and the important process of transmitting that cultural information gives concrete shape to our corporate philosophy of "inspiring a life of beauty and culture." At the same time, these cultural assets also have tremendous potential to enhance the attitudes and creativity of our employees.
Shiseido's history dates back to 1872 with the establishment of Japan's first private Western-style pharmacy in Ginza, Tokyo. Later, the Company shifted its focus to the cosmetics business, and as lifestyles and values in Japan evolved with the times, we continued to provide new beauty while closely tracking cultural developments and women's lifestyles in each era. These initiatives included the sale of high-quality cosmetics incorporating leading Western technologies and trends as well as pioneering ideas. In this way, the Company's sustained growth has been supported by the cultural assets that we have cultivated over more than 140 years—our approach to the art of manufacturing, our innovative ideas, and our aesthetic sense. These distinctive Shiseido strengths will enable us to "Be a Global Winner with Our Heritage." Moving forward, we will pass these assets down to the employees who will create beauty in the years ahead, thereby generating new value.
Leveraging Cultural Assets as the Source of Innovation
At the Shiseido Corporate Museum, we collect and preserve the Company's cultural assets, such as products that we have created since our founding as well as advertising and other materials. In addition, we conduct verification and research to ensure that these cultural assets can be effectively utilized in the years ahead. In 2018, we launched new initiatives to create the future of Shiseido. Specifically, we conducted research to determine the "Shiseido strengths" that need to be passed down in the current operating environment, which is characterized by globalization and diversity. Based on the results of those inquiries, we identified the ESSENCE OF SHISEIDO—the essential assets that are the source of our competitive edge in global activities. We formulated a future chronological table, called "Questions for the Future," as a tool to pass down the ESSENCE OF SHISEIDO. This table is on display at the Shiseido Ginza Building. Shiseido has faced challenges at each stage of its growth, and the Company has approached those challenges as questions. We created this table as an answer to questions regarding the ways that Shiseido has resolved problems over the course of its history and the value that we have provided through our products and services. With consideration for the Company's history, this tool will be used to help us generate concepts for the creation of value in the future. We will strive to foster innovative thinking and ideas among employees and to generate innovative results.
ESSENCE OF SHISEIDO
We researched the "Shiseido strengths" that have continued since the Company's establishment, and to extend those strengths into the future, we have identified three elements that comprise the "ESSENCE OF SHISEIDO". These are the unchanging characteristics of Shiseido's people.
Three Elements of the "ESSENCE OF SHISEIDO"
Examples of Specific Cultural Activities
1. Linking Shiseido's Cultural Assets to Future Value
The Global Innovation Center (GIC), which is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018, will play a central role in the Company's R&D activities. The GIC, which will handle the role of basic research as well as research in new categories, will aim to create new value through the integration of diverse knowledge and people. The first and second floors will include an open public area for communication with visitors.
We will establish a museum on the second floor. Shiseido has been a creative leader for many years, and by presenting displays of successive generations of products and offering opportunities to experience science interactively, the museum will communicate Shiseido's commitment to the art of manufacturing and the Company's aesthetic sense.
At the same time, researchers will communicate directly with consumers through workshops and other activities, and we are currently considering how these activities could be utilized to foster further inspiration.
2. Shiseido OMOTENASHI – Reaching around the World
Shiseido's brands in the high-price range, which are recording strong growth under the Prestige First strategy, are sold principally through counseling by our beauty consultants. We have approximately 20,000 beauty consultants worldwide. As professionals, they work to master skills and knowledge regarding beauty, and they also study the approach to OMOTENASHI that is an important part of Japanese culture. While earnestly advising individual consumers, the beauty consultants work closely with them and endeavor to ensure that each one of them finds the experience to be enriching. Through their interactions at stores, the beauty consultants explain the value of brands directly to consumers and play an indispensable role in further enhancing the presence of our brands.
3. Creating and Communicating "New Beauty"
Shiseido employs more than 40 hair and makeup artists. This is a large number of artists for a cosmetics company, but these valuable employees play an active role in the vanguard of beauty and fashion as they work to support the creation and communication of beauty. For example, in addition to styling hair and makeup for advertising and commercials, they also provide hair and makeup support for fashion shows, such as those in Paris and New York as well as the Tokyo Collection fashion show. Our hair & makeup artists also research market trends, consumer preferences, and consumer cosmetics behavior, and they actively provide feedback inside and outside the Company. Shiseido draws on the activities of these professionals to support the development of makeup and other products, as well as to contribute to the creation of new beauty that is aligned with the times and responsive to market needs.