The Toyota way

Know your Client

It’s very impor­tant to know very well your clients. Only with the knowl­edge of their his­to­ry, their phi­los­o­phy, mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy and goals you can build for them a strong, dis­tinc­tive and cap­ti­vat­ing visu­al prod­uct — an adver­tis­ing cam­paign, cor­po­rate iden­ti­ty or just a logo. The sto­ry below is a good exam­ple of this.

Back in 2009 I had to cre­ate a POS brand­ing and bill­board  cam­paign for TM AUTO — Toy­ota sales Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Bul­gar­ia. The occa­sion was the open­ing of a new Toyota/TM Auto show­room in Sofia.

Before start­ing the cre­ative brain­storm­ing I want­ed to know more about Toy­ota, the his­to­ry and phi­los­o­phy of one of the world’s great­est companies.

I read the book “The Toy­ota Way: 14 Man­age­ment Prin­ci­ples from the World’s Great­est Man­u­fac­tur­er” by Jef­frey Lik­er. Dur­ing my research­es I became famil­iar with Toy­ota green phi­los­o­phy. Those read­ings were very insight­ful and they helped me cre­ate a strong visu­al cam­paign  — an amal­gam of the man­age­ment and green prin­ci­ples of Toyota.

I cre­at­ed a short sen­tence for each of the Toy­ota man­age­ment prin­ci­ples and then I asso­ci­at­ed an ani­mal to every principle.

For exam­ple:
1. Grow lead­ers – Lions.
2. Base your man­age­ment deci­sions on a long-term phi­los­o­phy — the short sen­tence was “Think in per­spec­tive” and the ani­mal — An owl.
3. Make deci­sions slow­ly… imple­ment deci­sions rapid­ly — I made two sep­a­rate sen­tences for this prin­ci­ple and attached an Ele­phant and a Chee­tah and so on.

In the adver­tis­ing agency we pur­chased very good pho­tos of the select­ed ani­mals and I cre­at­ed the bill­boards. The bill­board adver­tise­ment part of the cam­paign was divid­ed in two parts — a cryp­tic one and a reveal­ing one. For the cryp­tic part a sep­a­rate bill­board has been cre­at­ed for each principle/animal (fif­teen bill­boards). Here are some of them:

 tm1 tm2 tm3

For the reveal­ing part there were four new sets of com­bined bill­boards with more infor­ma­tion about the upcom­ing event:


The new show­room had two main large halls and I decid­ed to brand them in two dif­fer­ent ways. One of them has been brand­ed with white silk-like ban­ners with the short Toy­ota prin­ci­ples writ­ten on them:


Visu­al­i­sa­tion of the West hall branding

 This was the “West” hall — the “offi­cial” one with a white grand piano in the mid­dle. This was the main hall for the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny. The music played here dur­ing the evening was jazz and classic.

 The oth­er hall, called “East” has been brand­ed with col­or­ful “ani­mal” ban­ners and has been dec­o­rat­ed as a tra­di­tion­al Japan­ese gar­den. The music played here was Japan­ese as well.



Visu­al­i­sa­tion of the East hall branding

The cor­ri­dor between the two halls was a sym­bol­ic bridge between “East” and “West”. Unfor­tu­nate­ly I don’t pos­sess the pho­tos of the real event, but I think the idea is clear.


Know­ing well our clients is a must if we want to cre­ate some­thing new and remark­able for them.

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