Branding & Marketing with Paul Speed of Kyoto Brewing Company

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“Build it and they will come” has been a common perspective in starting a business, but is it enough? Even if you think and know you have a great product/service, do customers know you exist and what your message is? In today’s segment, I had the pleasure of speaking to co-founder and CEO, Paul Speed of Kyoto Brewing Company (KBC). During this break, we looked into the importance of branding and marketing.


According to Paul, “branding is about associating your core values to your product/service”. Branding differentiates your company from others and develops a presence in the market. With Kyoto being a brand in itself, KBC already had an advantage with a recognised brand to work with. There is a fine balance between hijacking and enhancing an already established brand, but if you share common values, both brands benefit from this association. One such association for KBC is the value of quality craftsmanship.

What are your core values?
What are your company’s core values?
What can you do to associate your core values to your product/service?

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One of the major challenges that KBC has been facing is how they market their message to the world. Marketing is not just selling. Their process has been to ensure that their company values are reflected in their brand and marketed in bite-size pieces so that people are able to understand what they genuinely stand for.

It is important that they go back to their core values and see if their message is being effectively communicated in everything that they do. If what you do does not reflect your core values, then it is a warning sign that your branding approach is misdirected. It is about sharing the brand so that people are familiar with the company’s story and want to connect through their products/services.

What are ways you communicate your company’s message to the world?
What are the signs that you have effectively communicated your message to your customer segments?
What is the story behind your company that demonstrates what your company stands for?


kbc beer 2Things to Consider
 Don’t just think about product itself.
 Customers want to know the story behind the product and everything associated with what goes into making that product.
 How do you want customers to interact with your company?

A big thank you goes to Paul Speed and Kyoto Brewing Company for his time and sharing his experiences with us. For more information about Kyoto Brewing Company, please check out the links.

Thank you for joining us on Kansai Business Break and we look forward to connecting with you again during our next segment.

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