2017 was a momentous year for Rakuten. In the midst of celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding, the company launched a bold strategy to unify its brands around the world. Today, Rakuten took the next step in this strategy with the announcement of an eye-catching new brand logo that literally underlines its ambition to take on society’s next great challenges, while paying homage to its founding principles and Japanese heritage.
Since its founding, Rakuten has strived to take on new challenges and redefine expectations. In 1997, at a time when it was said that “people won’t shop on the internet,” Rakuten opened the Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall. Today, the company’s e-commerce businesses in Japan generate annual gross merchandise sales of JPY 3.4 trillion (FY2017), placing it as a global leader in online commerce. It was the first to introduce an online loyalty points program, Rakuten Super Points, where users can earn and spend points across multiple group services and beyond. Since 2002, it has issued over 1 trillion points. In 2005, Rakuten entered the credit card business and began issuing its own credit cards, and in 2017, became the No. 1 credit card in Japan by gross transaction volume.
2018 signals a new start for Rakuten, with the company taking up new challenges in mobile communications, logistics and e-commerce, and the new logo represents the group’s continued commitment to redefining expectations.
The design of the new brand logo incorporates the Japanese character for “one”, or “ichi”, which symbolizes this new start and Rakuten’s ambitions to take on new challenges, encompassing the following four themes:
- “A New Start” – Rakuten is at the start line of a new stage of new challenges.
- “Unity” – Group companies and partners big and small will be unified as one team to tackle the tasks.
- “Be the Best” – Among corporate organizations, Rakuten will be the best at contributing to the happiness of our users, partners, communities and people all over the world.
- “Only One” – Rakuten will be the only company that will enhance the unique characteristics of its partners as it empowers them, extend the spirit of Omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) to users by providing happiness in diverse aspects of life, and build an eco-system that will make all this possible.
The new and sharper logo design represents Rakuten’s ability to move with speed, to stay ahead of the times and to be innovative in the face of rapid change, for both internal and external stakeholders.
As part of building the foundation for this new start, over the last year Rakuten has launched a number of new branding global initiatives. On July 1, 2017, the company become the global partner of FC Barcelona, which went on to have one of the most successful campaigns in football history, losing only one La Liga match en route to winning both La Liga and Copa Del Rey, the two most coveted trophies in Spanish football. Later in that same summer, Rakuten became the first-ever jersey badge partner of the Golden State Warriors, who went on to win the 2018 NBA championship, giving the team three of the league’s last four championships. In October 2017, Rakuten also launched a global media and marketing partnership with the NBA. All of these partnerships have generated collaborations across multiple Rakuten Group companies, reaching millions of users in Japan and around the world.
In aligning with some of the world’s most successful sports franchises, not only has Rakuten’s global visibility soared, but so has the understanding of Rakuten’s values of teamwork and empowering communities, which the company shares with both clubs. These values are also reflected in Rakuten’s new logo and serve as a compass for everything Rakuten does.