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Brand Insights: Yamato

Part 2

Yamato Group, established in Japan in 1919, is a transportation company that has long been cherished by its customers. Some say the reason why it has lasted, is because of Yamato's commitment to innovation, such as introducing courier and cool delivery services that align with evolving customer needs. Today, with around 4,000 logistics bases nationwide, approximately 54,000 vehicles, and a workforce of about 220,000, Yamato plays a pivotal role in the social infrastructure, addressing customer and societal challenges through logistics.

A key figure in Yamato's history is Masao Ogura, the second son of founder Yasuomi Ogura. He daringly commercialized TA-Q-BIN, a venture many predicted would fail. His management philosophy centered on empathizing with customers. Operating under the belief that "service precedes profit," he ingrained in the company the ethos of "Everyone's management," encapsulated in the motto "Yamato is for me." This approach, emphasizing employee inclusion and customer-centric service, proved instrumental in the company's success. A notable example of this philosophy in action is the company's decision to convert drivers, many of whom were precariously employed, into full-time employees, affirming their integral role in Yamato.

The phrase "大和は我なり" embodies the spirit of "all-member management," inspiring each employee to embody the essence of Yamato.

Regarding the Yamato Group logo, it features a distinctive black cat design, earning Yamato Transport the nickname "Kuroneko Yamato." This logo's origin traces back to a partnership formed in 1957 with the American company Allied Van Lyons. Yasuomi Ogura, then president, was inspired by their logo's symbol of "careful handling" and, with permission from James Cummins of the company, adopted a similar design. This mother cat carrying her kitten symbolizes the company's commitment to treating customers' belongings with utmost care.

In 2021, the brand underwent a significant renewal, adopting a new "Kuroneko mark," the first major redesign since 1957. The updated logo retains the essence of the mother cat and her kittens but adopts a more modern, urban look. Changes include the removal of the black outline and a simplification of the legs. This streamlining reflects a broader trend in logo design, accommodating the diverse digital environments where logos are displayed today. Detailed designs often become obscured in digital formats, necessitating simpler, more adaptable logos.

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