BASECREATIVE

Tsuchiya-Kaban

Repositioning a Japanese handcrafted leather brand of exceptional quality for the Hong Kong market

With refined quality and distinctive styling, Tsuchiya infuses the meticulous Japanese spirit into its craftsmanship, creating beautifully handcrafted leather products with a minimalistic appeal. In Japan, Tsuchiya is a leading player in the bag market, boasting over 50 years of history with measurable success. Some limited editions have in fact sold in record time of less than 10 seconds online. Looking to expand into the international market, Tsuchiya sought Base Creative’s expertise in creating a comprehensive brand refreshment strategy that would redefine Tsuchiya bags as ‘living art,’ bags that age as beautifully as you, with you.

27%

Website traffic on Tsuchiya has seen a 27.22% increase within the Hong Kong region

92.5K

Tsuchiya totals 92,500 average website views per month globally

300K

Over 300,000 Follows on Tsuchiya Hong Kong’s Facebook page

What we did

We used the core elements of Tsuchiya’s local brand and created a new, localized strategy that resonates with the Hong Kong market, using insights gathered from our research to better meet the needs and expectations of local consumers. Tasks performed as part of this project included defining customer groups and profiles, brand DNA, brand vision, key selling points, brand differentiation and a creating a unique positioning statement. We also developed a recognizable visual style, word palette, writing style and tone of voice to create a distinguished brand. Lastly, we conducted website optimization, refining the way that people search on the website and reorganising how the categorization is structured.

Research and Insights

Combined Brand Strategy and Business Strategy

Brand Design

Brand Activation

Analytics

Research and Insights

We undertook extensive research into the local retail market for leather bags and accessories in order to understand the local consumer segment and how their needs may overlap with the elements of Tsuchiya’s brand. In our consumer market analysis, we used a mix of digital tools – including social listening, search trend analysis, and social media audience analysis – as well as traditional research – including in person interviews and surveys - to create complete consumer profiles, define unique buying tribes, map out the consumer purchase journey, and understand our consumer’s needs, goals, and obstacles. Our primary methodology consisted of defining and examining other consumers that shared the same purchase and living habits as those of Tsuchiya’s. Then using that, we were able to create a three dimensional snapshot of our target consumer for the most accurate consumer profile. A key insight from our research informed us that when purchasing a product similar to Tsuchiya, our target consumers placed the most emphasis on four areas - a 30% emphasis on craftsmanship, 20% on a presentable image, 20% on lifestyle integration, and 10% on durability and ease. Furthermore, we also conducted a company audit for Tsuchiya, where we seeking to understand Tsuchiya’s internal vision of its positioning and brand.

Strategy

Marrying our insights from Hong Kong’s consumer market, the expectations of Tsuchiya’s key stakeholders, as well as our knowledge of contemporary branding trends, we were then able to craft a refined, locally adapted brand identity for Tsuchiya.  

We first narrowed Tsuchiya’s offerings to four primary content pillars – Timeless Quality, Meticulous Design, Considered Functionality, and Simple Integration. Then from these, we created the all-encompassing positioning of “leather for life - looking finer with time, as you do.” Tsuchiya’s products are redefined as a product beyond a bag, but an essential that enhances you, records your experiences, and accompanies you through life. This further distilled into a crafted consumer-facing brand story, visual style, as well as a distinctive tone of voice.  

We then turned our attention to localizing our brand strategy. We had uncovered from our insights that in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, there is a huge consumer market for males, while Tsuchiya’s brand itself is unisex and marketed heavily towards females. For example, Tsuchiya’s tote bag is well accepted in Japan as a unisex product, but consumer education needed to be conducted in Hong Kong and China for social acceptance, as the consumers there still viewed this as female bag. Highlighting on this opportunity, our new strategy bridged the gap with a focus on male marketing – with both direct and content marketing - for these markets. In China, there is also a greater focus on visible, conspicuous branded products, while Tsuchiya’s products are more subtly branded. This again directed us to focus on a more niche segment, positioning Tsuchiya’s brand as a choice for consumers with discerning taste, those that desire refined, low-profile quality. 

Since Tsuchiya’s local activation, Tsuchiya’s new brand refreshment proved to be a recognizable success, with over 300,000 follows on Tsuchiya Hong Kong’s Facebook page, and a 27.22% increase in website traffic from Hong Kong alone. 

Brand Design

Once we have defined the brand identity, we created a grid for key design elements, which we then extended into a series of minimalistic, elegant visuals that communicated Tsuchiya’s global image while also being suitably adapted to local tastes. Throughout Tsuchiya’s range of touch points from its website to its digital and print advertisements, our design guidelines ensured that the look and feel remained consistent all around, capturing our consumers’ attention by expressing Tsuchiya’s key offering of refined quality in the visuals alone.

Brand Activation

Since the launch of Tsuchiya’s brand in the Hong Kong market, we have thoroughly monitored each touch point, uniting the brand visually and textually to create a timeless, refined brand identity that suits the tastes of Hong Kong’s contemporary market.

Summary

Tsuchiya-Kaban - Repositioning a Japanese handcrafted leather brand of exceptional quality for the Hong Kong market.

27%

Website traffic on Tsuchiya has seen a 27.22% increase within the Hong Kong region

92.5K

Tsuchiya totals 92,500 average website views per month globally

300K

Over 300,000 Follows on Tsuchiya Hong Kong’s Facebook page

Research and Insights

Combined Brand Strategy and Business Strategy

Brand Design

Brand Activation

Analytics

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