Kappa Sushi Design & Branding Kappa Sushi Rebranding, 2 by Hakuhodo Tokyo

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Kappa Sushi Rebranding, 2

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Industry Cafe
Media Design & Branding
Market Japan
Agency Hakuhodo Tokyo
Creative Director Junichi Kurata
Art Director Junichi Kurata
Designer Junichi Kurata, Misa Hirai, Kazuya Yamazaki, Dai Tanaka
Producer Shigeki Takahashi
Illustrator Junichi Kurata, Misa Hirai
Released September 2016


One Show 2017
Design Branding: Rebranding Merit

Credits & Description

Agency: Hakuhodo Inc. / Tokyo
Client: Kappa Create Co., Ltd.
Category: Restaurants / Fast Food Outlets
Art Director: Junichi Kurata
Creative Director: Junichi Kurata
Designer: Junichi Kurata / Misa Hirai / Kazuya Yamazaki / Dai Tanaka
Illustrator: Junichi Kurata / Misa Hirai
Production Company: Nush Incorporated / Tokyo
Producer: Shigeki Takahashi
Kappa Sushi’s image was “cheap, not good, old fashioned, and with no specific reason to choose Kappa Sushi over other sushi restaurants.” This negative consumer image stalled the growth of customers, despite the improvement of the sushi quality. In addition, Kappa Sushi remained ranked fourth in the industry for a long time, with no corporate goal, and employee motivation was at bottom low. To beat this negative image and demoralizing corporate culture, we proposed the need to re-brand Kappa Sushi.
Kappa Sushi has 350 restaurants across Japan, with the number one recognition rate (among sushi restaurants) in Japan. We re-branded the oldest flagship store, the Mitaka restaurant. The successful re-branding of the Mitaka restaurant led to the full renewal of all 350 stores across Japan.
Kappa Sushi is a leading sushi-go-round restaurant with 350 stores across Japan and the leading recognition rate in Japan. Until 2010, it was the leading sushi restaurant in the industry. However, it fell to fourth place with the delay in new product development and a strategy to lower prices, which led to the negative brand image. The lighting in the restaurants was dim and gave the feeling of an old sushi factory. This was what made us re-brand the restaurant through design.
We targeted females in their 20’s and people with families. Traditionally in Japan, sushi is served during celebrations. We created colorful and popping sushi patterns that were visually appealing to the customer and made the sushi experience a more enjoyable one. These images were used in the posters, lamps, wallpaper, and uniforms of the employees, which in turn transformed the sushi restaurant into something more modern and fun. The news of the re-branding of Kappa Sushi was featured in many media outlets. After the re-branding, sales went up by 200% and customers increased by 180%, with this figure still remaining steady.