[Main visual] A future that connects us all through sound and music and where no one is left behind. Becoming a brand that creates heart-trembling, “Make Waves” moments


Voice of Yamaha

A future that connects us all through sound and music and where no one is left behind. Becoming a brand that creates heart-trembling, “Make Waves” moments

Executive interview: Hiroko Ohmura, operating officer, executive general manager of Brand Development Unit

Since announcing our first-ever brand promise, “Make Waves” at the NAMM show in 2019, we have been working to reinforce and communicate our brand identity around the globe. As a part of this effort, DE&I is vital in connecting with our customers: both in celebrating and empowering individual potential and ensuring business growth as a more meaningful brand.

We sat down with Hiroko Ohmura, who spearheaded the initiative as the Brand Development Unit manager, to discuss the relationship between DE&I and the Yamaha brand, and to hear her message to Yamaha’s customers around the world.

Why do you think that DE&I is important for the Yamaha brand?

DE&I is woven into the fabric of our business and is a driving force for our work and creativity. Sound and music is universal and belongs to everyone, and as a business with sound and music at its heart, creating a future in which no one is left behind should unquestionably guide our business activities.
It is also indispensable for us to be a business that our customers want to create experiences with. People’s attitudes and values have shifted, and as we grapple as a society with social and environmental issues, Yamaha customers have also changed. We must remain in tune with these changes.
For us to remain a compelling and interesting business, we need to intuit changing needs, and transform in sync with the rhythm and pace of our customers.

To be trusted by customers to be even a small part of creating these experiences, the significance of DE&I is clear.

[Photo] Hiroko Ohmura

What initiatives has Yamaha undertaken in order to build DE&I into its communication and marketing activities?

The importance of multiple perspectives in creativity is great. As a multinational business, we have always valued a collaborative relationship with our members around the world. A silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic is that owing to constant online communication, our global network has become even more tightly woven.

We tap into the rich tapestry of ideas across our global network to better understand the reality of our customers across the world and to be inspired by new ideas and creativity. Our “Way Up” series features young, cutting-edge artists and aims to inspire and motivate others to enhance their skills and performance. We also pay close attention to depicting the diversity of local markets in our adverting. We hope that through these efforts, we are a brand that people feel they can relate to.

We created our “DE&I Communication Handbook” to help us stay true to these initiatives. Through training, we work to make this thinking and principles a core part of our business. We hope that through these initiatives, DE&I continues to be increasingly recognized as a building block of our business.

[Images] DE&I Communication Handbook

Yamaha DE&I Communication Handbook

[Images] "WAY UP" Screen capture

WAY UP is a project that provides a platform for emerging talents, their sound and their music.

Tell me about how, at an organizational level, you ensure and foster diversity within teams at Yamaha.

We cherish what we call ‘empathetic management’ by encouraging initiative, sensibility, and intuition. For instance, dealing with a problem that is abstract and with no clear, definitive answer requires the consideration of diverse ideas and perspectives.

On the other hand, a multitude of opinions may at times lead to difficulty in determining what might be the right way forward. I feel that, under such circumstances, decisiveness guided by intuition is important. In order to nurture this ability, I make every effort to listen to my team, and learn from their different ideas.

I prioritize empathy in my dialogue and communication with Yamaha colleagues. As a brand, we strive to engage closely with our customers and become partners in creating experiences, but this stance is also very important in internal relationships. We believe that management should engage closely with individual colleagues and help them forge distinctive careers at Yamaha.

The new mid-term management plan, “Make Waves 2.0” depicts Yamaha’s vision to contribute to a life of richness of heart for people across the world. Please share your message to Yamaha customers through under this vision.

More than anything else, we genuinely believe that sound and music has wonderful potential to shape our future. Our mission and goal is to create a world in which no one is left behind by tapping into the wonder of sound and music. A world where everyone can identify and nurture their talent, experience a sense of achievement and realize how wonderful it is to be alive. These are the heart-trembling, “Make Waves” moments we hope to enable for our customers.

Our mission and goal is to create a world in which no one is left behind by tapping into the wonder of sound and music.
[Photo] Hiroko Ohmura

Advancements in technology have in one sense also lowered the barrier to creating music. For example, people can now compose music via AI-driven composition tools.

But in the midst of all this, the sensibility to genuinely enjoy and understand music has become even more important. If people lose this emotional instinct, it would be difficult to realize the world that Yamaha aspires to. Thus, we will continue to engender in individuals courage and passion for sound and music – regardless of who they are or where they happen to be. As per our corporate philosophy, we continue to strive to be a business that creates new excitement and cultural inspiration together with people around the world. This is what we mean by a life of richness of heart.

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