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Case Study: Bushu Kotsu Brand Refresh

Brand Identity Re-design and naming optimization recommendation 

The Goal

Bushu Kotsu, a traditional Japanese company providing essential services to a customer base largely made up of elderly clients and families with young children or those with disabilities, sought to elevate and simplify its brand visuals and naming.

The aim was to make it more cost-effective to apply branding to the vehicle fleet without the need for painting, to reassure existing customers about the continuity and improvements in the service they trust, to attract new customers and expand the business, and to inspire pride in all employees.

A significant change in the company ownership triggered the need for this brand refresh, which would also serve as a unifying force for internal partners.

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Narrative and Messaging
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Naming Optimization


The change in ownership and the need to unify the company under a fresh and modern identity spurred Bushu Kotsu into action. The task was to balance the rebranding while preserving the company's conservative values and ensuring that the new design would resonate with their customer base.


Old Bushu Kotsu Visual Identity

*Previous Bushu Kotsu visual identity and website show above


The Gap

Although Bushu Kotsu had a well-established presence in the market, their outdated logo and brand identity failed to resonate with the younger audience. Additionally, the older and more traditional customers found the brand messaging unclear and hard to relate to.

The challenge was to develop a new brand identity that could appeal to a younger demographic while remaining respectful of the traditional and conservative preferences of their older customers and the overall Japanese corporate culture. Moreover, the design solutions proposed needed to be easily understandable not only by their diverse customer base but also by the various client corporations that use their services.

The process of achieving this goal was broken down into several phases:

  1. Brand Audit: Analyze the current brand performance and identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
  2. Research: Understand the target audience, analyze market trends, and research competitors.
  3. Strategy Development: Develop an updated brand positioning and establish new brand messaging.
  4. Visual Identity Redesign: Present up to 5 unique logo design concepts, with a focus on creating a logo that was not only memorable but also representative of the brand.
  5. Internal Alignment: Conduct internal presentations and workshops to ensure team members understood and aligned with the new brand direction.
  6. External Communication: Develop and execute a communication plan for the brand redesign.
  7. Implementation: Update the website, marketing materials, and social media profiles with the new brand identity.

In addition, a company-wide conference event was held to underscore the importance of a strong brand.


BushuKotsu - AltBox VRT Blue_t

The Gamble

With four logo options on the table, the biggest risk was the inclusion of English in the logo. The previous brand had been purely Japanese-centric, with the name written in Kanji. This significant departure was a calculated risk, taken to modernize and simplify the brand.



The Gain

While it is still early to quantify the impact of the rebrand, preliminary insights have been promising. The new website, featuring the new logo design and brand identity color "sky blue," is modern, friendly, and positions the company as trustworthy and quality-focused.

The internal team has rallied around the fresh look, taking pride in it when approaching potential clients. The bus customers feel that Bushu Kotsu is a friendly service bus. The new brand identity has not just modernized Bushu Kotsu, but also made it a source of pride for its team and a symbol of trust and quality for its customers.

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