Title: Consideration of the technological brands and price premium strategies for SPM in Japan

Authors: Hiro Mitsuyama; Masaki Iijima; Yukio Uchimoto

Addresses: Fukui Prefectural University, 4-1-1 Kenjyojima Matsuoka, Eiheiji Fukui 910-1195, Japan ' Aichi-Gakuin University, 12 Iwasakicho Nisshinshi, Aichi 470-0195, Japan ' Fukui Byora Co., Ltd., 1-7 Yamajyuraku, Awara City, Fukui 919-0898, Japan

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how to improve business competitiveness for Japanese subcontract parts manufacture (SPM, parts manufacturers subcontract lending figure) through the rise of corporate brand image and the improvement of employees' motivation. In order to get rid of the image of 'dirty', 'dangerous' and 'strict', the presently studied company made its main office building look like a resort hotel and built a high tech plant. In accordance with this, this case shows how improvements in working conditions and working environment stimulate employees and creates loyalty and passion toward the company. Here, many SPM companies that own high level skills used the concept of visualisation (mieruka), succeeded in gaining a greater presence in the market through the attraction of media. By doing so, employees saw their sense of loyalty and will to participate in Kaizen activities increase. In this paper, through the modern experiment of Hawthorn, we try to discuss the importance of company-specific brand and verify how this affects employees' motivation as well as quality improvement.

Keywords: core technology; technological brands; visualisation; mieruka; price premium; workplace improvement; work environment; confidence; employee motivation; employee loyalty; proactive action; Kaizen activities; Japan; subcontracting; parts manufacturing; brand image; corporate brand; corporate image; working conditions; quality improvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2013.056773

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2013 Vol.14 No.4, pp.356 - 367

Published online: 28 Nov 2013 *

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