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3 powerful OEM branding strategies, according to Japan's EM Devices

By Sneha Choudhary
-    Mar 21, 2024
Credit : GMI Post

For many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), cost efficiency and quick sales cycles are often prioritized over strategies to strengthen the business and build a robust brand identity that will help distinguish themselves in a vast field of competitors.

EMD CEO and President Chihiro Yamamoto

Japan-based EM Devices Corp. (EMD) has managed to carve out a significant presence in the automotive heartland of the United States through strategic branding. Today, EMD has the second-largest share in the automotive relay market in the U.S. and is aiming higher.

In an interview with GMI POST, EMD CEO and President Chihiro Yamamoto shares three reasons the brand has become a sought-after supplier.


1. Customer intimacy ensures strong brand recall


In business, the saying ‘out of sight out of mind’ rings true. Recognizing the importance of staying close to its customers, EMD made a bold move to start operations in Michigan, the car capital of America. It wanted to engage directly with clients and their development teams when designing products.

“When you are closer to your customers, you are closer to their needs,” Yamamoto said.

“Owing to our move to Michigan, we now communicate more intimately with our customers. Our business size has increased by more than 50% in one of our largest customers. We ensure that our engineers meet customers regularly to stay on top of their requirements,” he added.


2. Creating future value fosters brand loyalty


As technology evolves, new advancements breed new competition. EMD recognizes this challenge. To stay relevant and prevent its customer base from switching brands, the company actively anticipates future customer needs to sustain their loyalty.

“As CEO, my mission is to ensure that EMD is always up to date with industry trends. Part of it is to actively imagine the future needs of our customers so that we are always available to serve them,” Yamamoto stressed.

This forward-thinking approach is evident in EMD’s preparation for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. While they may be considered a “late entrant” in the EVN space, as Yamamoto describes it, they are fully prepared to adapt their relays for this new market.

This ensures that their existing automotive clients, who are transitioning to EV production, won't need to find new partners, fostering continued brand loyalty.


3. A clear brand philosophy establishes a unique identity


Every successful brand has a core philosophy, a way of doing business that sets them apart. For EMD, this philosophy is rooted in the Japanese concept of monozukuri, which translates roughly to “doing the right thing.”

According to Yamamoto, doing the right thing means using their expertise to improve people’s lives.

“Our brand is about ensuring that the specialized knowledge and expertise we have gained over the years is used to improve the lives of people around us. We ensure the highest standards of quality and safety and strive to do right by all those who use products integrated with our relays,” he explained.

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