Tadashi Yanai (柳井 正 Yanai Tadashi , born February 7, 1949) is founder and president of Fast Retailing, of which Uniqlo (ユニクロ, "unique clothing") is subsidiary. He is routinely ranked as one of richest men in Japan, and in 2009 he was ranked 76th richest man in world according to Forbes, making him richest man in Japan with estimated net worth of $6.0 billion USD.
Yanai attended Ube High School and later Waseda University, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Politics. In 1984, he opened his first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima. In the April 2009 issue of Monocle magazine, Yanai said, "I might look successful but I've made many mistakes. People take their failures too seriously. You have to be positive and believe you will find success next time."
Yanai won the International Retailer of Year award for 2010 from the National Retail Federation in US. He was only the fourth Japanese national to win it, and the first since Masatoshi Ito (the owner and honorary chairman of the Ito-Yokado retailing group) in 1998. He was also chosen as best company president in a survey of Japanese corporate executives by Sanno Institute of Management in 2008 and 2009.
6 February 2008
CNN's Talk Asia Interviews Uniqlo's Tadashi Yanai
Recently CNN's Talk Asia interviewed the founder and mastermind behind Uniqlo's phenomenal growth, Mr. Tadashi Yanai. The insightful interview comes in 3 parts; the first part forcusing on the no brand brand, the second part talks about working for Uniqlo and the final part discusses American consumers. Click here to see Tadashi Yanai share his thoughts on where the brand came from, what it stands for, and where it is headed.
I have been keeping a watchful eye on their development since I landed in Japan in 2002. What i am most interested in and find most impressive are the advertising and marketing efforts they use to initially, rebrand themselves to up their street-cred and desirability, and to maintain this image.
Take their Uniqlo Jump campaign last year for example. Instead of using models they enlisted the help of their 650+ staffs worldwide in Japan, UK, US, China and South Korea, for their ads shown on user-generated sites such as flickr, youtube, hatena blog and even google maps. The ads in my opinion are wonderful as they make me feel good and happy, they are full of vitality and energy and shows Uniqlo to be a fun and stylish brand. Most importantly, their clothes and their stores shine out in them.
To those i know and don't know, take care always and i'll see you guys later. Comments welcome.