Ship of Theseus for Branding



Do you know a creature called Hydra? Even if being cut in pieces (three, for example), it completely re-produces the three fragments to become three Hydras. I thought we wouldn’t need to be afraid of injury and disease anymore if acquiring the super ability, because we could survive by removing damaged parts, but I soon noticed a problem: that would leave another whole body affected by injury or disease. At the same time, a question also came up: Which would be me?


Ship of Theseus

This is totally an excuse, but I was very young at that time. From ignorance and arrogance peculiar to teenagers, I thought there had been no one ever having such a profound philosophical question. However, it was just a few months later that I happened to know “Ship of Theseus” and completely understood I was NOT a genius. It took long to get to the point. Today’s topic is the Ship of Theseus for branding.

No worries. Our restoration service leaves as many original parts as possible.


The Core of a Brand

There are many definitions for branding, and one of the well-known is “It’s a guarantee provided from a company to customers.” That’s not quite wrong, but I strongly recommend to put this definition aside for now, because it basically applies to super brands, like Apple, Disney, Toyota, etc. For us, ordinary companies, it’s still early. We should focus more on who we are: a ground on which we can say “It’s still the ship of Theseus!” As for our brand, I believe it’d be a place. Even if all the current staff leaves, even if all the current products are discontinued, I believe the core of our brand can be left in furniture as long as it is made here of wood cut from the local forest.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.