How Can You Learn from Netflix: Enter the Anime in Crafting an Effective Brand?

Oh boy, the wonders of Anime.

From watching classic anime on TV as a kid to manga sketches, it’s no doubt about the effects of Anime in my life. The energetic, positive vibe that creates a barrier of opportunities and connections makes the whole word meaningful. Opportunities because I used it to decide where I want to become and where I belong today.

I got hooked when I watched Enter the Anime Netflix because it tackles “What is Anime?” and how it influences me to be part of their culture that my parents didn’t teach me about?

Anime derives the word from the English term, “animation” which it describes a hand-drawn and computer animation that originated from Japan.

And oftentimes, Anime becomes an adaptation of Japanese comics which is widely popular to the target audience that ranges from adults to teens.

girls buying canned goods in the grocery store

So how does Anime relate to a memorable brand?

But before we get into that, you should know what a brand means and the 3 B’s which is widely known in the business, marketing, and creative industry.

Brand, Branding, and Brand Identity: What’s the Difference?

Most of the time, Brand, Branding, and Brand Identity were wrongfully used on different occasions in any area of the field. By understanding the structure of the 3 B’s and how they function, you can define what type of process you need to work on.

Gif credits to GIPHY


It is an identity, trademark, or symbol an organization represents in public. It can be a form of product or service where humans avail in a marketplace where it is easily recognizable and worth remembering than a normal product.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. — Seth Godin”

Image credits: Blind Agency

Brand Identity

Brand identity is the visual elements you used to make an effective brand. It is your communication where humans can interact and create an emotional impact on who you are as a whole. Brand identity can be print or digital materials such as business cards, letterheads, banners, etc.


It’s a process of the system where you set a plan or strategy on how you want to position your goods in the market to create visible awareness of your niche. Through research, conceptualizing, and planning, you build a good foundation on what an organization would be to the audience based on their tone, messaging, and emotional perception.

So what does a brand have to do in Anime in the first place?

If you watch Netflix: Enter the Anime, it talks about how these communities made an impact on human lives based on experience, interests, and values not only in Japan but the rest of the world. So here are some lessons you can learn on how to craft an effective brand:

Lesson 1: Defining messaging and tone that connects emotional attachment

Angel Beats

Have you been crying over and over without slicing an onion?

Well, I do, before (Haha, not funny.)

If you watch Angel Beats before, you might relate the how-to tutorial tips without cutting an onion. Seriously, the series is full of different genres but the focus of the genre is all about drama and talks about the human afterlife. You see the whole journey of the characters and where they end up, it is just similar when you’re watching K-pop drama.

Another thing is in the series documentary, Toshiki Hirano, an anime director of the Baki series, talks about how he gets involved in anime and what can we learned from it. In Baki the Grappler series, the show connects to the hardcore action of Baki, the main character, and how he is good in different hand-to-hand combats and fighting techniques. What’s more compelling is the emphasis on expression and how every boxing fighter can relate to him.

A successful brand becomes an emotional value to the user when they find it they relate to their challenges and stick to them. Identify what message are you conveying to the audience. In an organization, your message reflects your mission on how you provide quality to your customers through your brand.

Fix what tone are you portraying as a narrator. Are you passive-aggressive? Are you provocative? Does your message give energy to customers as a brand? How does my audience react to my message before they engage with my brand? Does it produce an impact on the audience’s feelings?

When you position the correct messaging and tone, you create a personality towards your brand and it connects to the business or organization’s core values.

Parading yellow Pikachu mascots in the hallway

Picture yourself about the situation. What does it feel when you see a performing mascots of Pikachu in the event? Kawaii!

Lesson 2: Your brand is all about culture and diversity

Humans love to hang around in an environment where they belong. Sharing wild ideas and insights makes them closer and talks about them for most, they discuss it the whole day!

Take Otaku subculture. They are awesome people who showcase their love in the Anime genre by handling events of promoting a new series of shows to watch, their merchandise, freebies, games, and event cosplaying. Their culture creates a sense of excitement, opportunities, and connections that is unique even other huge companies can benefit from promoting their services as well.

Anime Events in Tokyo: Winter 2019–2020 | OTAKU IN TOKYO (

A diverse community breaks barriers. Whether what age, gender, race, language, or ethnic group you are, if you can relate to and love Anime, then you still can get along as one.

Similar to what an organization can be if the whole workforce from top to bottom doesn’t align to its core values and creates miscommunication and affects the core values of your brand. Improving diversity and the culture to the management by reevaluating what KPI inside the organization needs to address. Identify if the goals are meant by the group. If not, look at what challenges they are facing and address them. Do external and internal stakeholders coordinate well with the department team? Are there issues facing your colleagues that affect their work on a day-to-day basis? Are the resources lacking or does it need an update immediately that could cause misaligned information towards each department? How do they feel when they go to work and when they go home afterward? How do our customers feel when they engage with us in addressing their concerns?

Oracle’s Employee Testimonial On Instagram Wins by a “Landslide” | Ongig Blog

Reevaluating your KPI and create a strategic plan can strengthen the brand culture and values improves the relationship inside the organization and the diversity of the community can help recognize more humans inside to help you exceed your expectations towards customer satisfaction and work productivity.

Lesson 3: Learning about human experiences

Take this video for example:

Harajuku style is a mix of Japanese street style fashion where they incorporate Kawaii (or cute in English word) which represents death.

Why? Because the subculture is widely known for the dark side. Japan is known to high number increase of suicide rates and depression in the country and expressing it through Harajuku style can be a part of it. People in this subculture can express their emotions as humans and be open by it. They can share experience in different types of themes in fashion and design.

“64% of consumers would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on social or political issue. — Edelman, 2019”

Ad campaign about India and Pakistan’s sharing happiness
10 Creative Marketing Ad Campaigns You Have To Watch — Reno Techs

I remember my mom always yelling at me when I was a kid to buy something in a local store, she utters word of a brand of the product she needs that it looks like it’s a part of our household lives every day and it doesn’t change after all.

In Japan, “peace” sign in gesture often form of V-sign that signifies peace signers is very popular in teenagers and been used by many norms when taking a photo or a form of expression. But it was originated with Gerald Holton of the British Campaign designed as a modern peace sign during the Nazi period.

When your brand is very distinctive to the market, every aspect you make can be a part of human lives. It does not only leave a mark, it becomes another symbol of one’s identity and representation. If your message works well for the audience, make it consistent for them to look at. Sometimes an ad campaign with a compelling design and message works well if executed properly.

Does my design connect to my message? How does the audience react when without creating a negative approach to the brand? Does my typography work on all platforms (In print, digital, or social collaterals)?

You want it to make it memorable and through consistent visuals and language that connects to your purpose, humans can able to translate it to their language and describe who you are as a whole.

nike shoes meme

Lesson 5: Being part of human’s identity

When you ask someone why they love wearing Nike or Adidas, they probably say they get jealous when their friends who took pride in wearing their expensive shoes in school, so they also tend ask their parents to buy the same shoes but in a different color to feel they belong to the group.

Word of the mouth extends its network from loyal customers who have already seen the value of the brand. Because when it sticks into their mind of something weird, quirky, relatable, or genuine, they eventually share it to their close networks and those strangers will get curious until they found out what they are looking for. With the essence of an effective brand, you help your business saves money in paid ad campaigns and of course increase sales revenue.

Why do customers keep coming back to our brand? What brand or service gives them to impact more and what doesn’t? How can fewer products be improved and balanced to the trendy? What benefits we can add to give them value and give us a big return in the future?

Analyzing by creating assumptions and create further questions towards your team and stakeholders can improve the customer journey in the long run.

So when you feel left out because your friends talk about something trendy, you will get an idea how a brand should work out.


When branding a product or service, whether you’re a large corporation or an individual who needs personal branding, you need to determine the factors the essence of it and not just a logo that stands independently as part of your own. The workflow of extensive research, surveys, and analysis to get ahead of the market competition enables you to have an edge over others. You benefit from a careful process because you create customer satisfaction, improve brand loyalty, and increase your business growth.

If you haven’t watch, here’s the trailer of the documentary. Enjoy!

Image header credits: Enter the Anime

Does your business need quality crafted branding in the age of digital transformation? Visit me at




Ralph is a freelance designer based in Caloocan, Philippines working with companies in transforming corporate identities to human brands. 🕳🤸‍♂️🚶‍♀️

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Rafael Payumo

Rafael Payumo

Ralph is a freelance designer based in Caloocan, Philippines working with companies in transforming corporate identities to human brands. 🕳🤸‍♂️🚶‍♀️

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