Ever wondered why the Japanese iconic Sanrio character, Hello Kitty, seems to be all over the place? She is the face of the United Nations tourism and has been appointed as one of the ambassadors to promote the city of Osaka during the upcoming 2025 Expo. She has collaborated with different brands throughout the years that you’ll find her in almost everything — apparel, footwear, beauty products, food, etc.
Though it may seem that Hello Kitty’s enthusiasm in collaborating with different brands is just plain marketing stunt, apparently, it isn’t so. According to Twitter user @kaeritaianokoro, Hello Kitty collaborates with other brands in order to help these businesses expand their market and not to earn more bucks for the feline character—as allegedly stated by the Sanrio president and founder, Shintaro Tsuji, himself.
— ゕゖ (@kaeritaianokoro) July 1, 2018
(From Sanrio’s President at their General Meeting for Stockholders:
‘If there are any products you love but feel are in danger of being discontinued because of low sales, tell me. If it does a collaboration with one of Sanrio’s characters, that product’s sales will increase. I made this company so that everyone in the world could get along.’
I was really touched. That must be why Hello Kitty does collaborations with all kinds of things.)
If this statement is indeed true, then this lovable cat is doing a very good job in helping other businesses over the years. But regardless whether it is true or not, it seemed that one of Sanrio’s principles has been to help others. In a newsletter dated August 2015, Tsuji wrote in his column, Special Message from the Strawberry King, that he built Sanrio based from what he came to realize after experiencing the horrors of war: Nothing good comes from war. It’s really important that whatever happens, countries, races, and people should have good relationships and help each other out.
Tsuji’s desire to help people and encourage others to do same was translated to the concept of “small gifts, big smiles” (which became the brand’s official tagline). He started to produce small and inexpensive gifts, hoping that it will bring people together and lead them to communicate with each other.
And that’s how Hello Kitty and friends came to be.
So it’s no wonder that Hello Kitty continues to collaborate with other businesses until today. After all, “no matter what happens between people, it’s important to be friends and help each other out.”
Way to go, Hello Kitty!
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