080: Creating a Unique Brand in Japan By Going Against the Grain w/ Angel Guevara

podcast Dec 11, 2020
 Hey Japanpreneurs, on this episode of the Small Business Japan podcast we talk with Angel Guevara about Creating a unique brand in Japan by Going Against the Grain, the idea of starting an anti-company, creativity in Japan and so much more.  

Angel Guevara is a creative dedicated to improving society through branding, marketing, storytelling, and personal development. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he is the founder of HYPERMILK – a creative agency that helps brands successfully localize in Japan through empathy, strategy, and design. Angel also runs an internet community and website called NIGHTCRAWLERS, with a goal of becoming the ultimate business guide in Japan by providing weekly webinars with influential professionals, insightful blog posts, and a powerful network of entrepreneurs and creatives. Angel currently resides in the urban jungle of Tokyo, Japan. 

Japan is the country of contradictions.  

Advertising in Japan and creating a unique brand in Japan: Do what everyone is doing, take notes...and then do the complete opposite.  

He aims to spread his content in organic ways as opposed to just using SEO strategies.  

His priority is to work with people who are already familiar with his media style, instead of trying to convert atheists into believers.  

Creative control is always number one on a project, even at the expense of money.  

Many large Japanese companies don’t really know their customer. If these Japanese companies really know their customers why are foreign companies winning?  

They focus too much on the company name and not enough emotion into the individual products.  

Gen Z really values an aspect of realness that other generations don’t always bring.  

You have to be in a positive mental place before you go out there and help other people with your business.  

“So rather than seeing my audience as numbers, I see them as 3-dimensional human beings with problems and dreams and hopes.”  

He is drawn towards individuality and the belief that one person can make a difference, and this was not the situation growing up in Venezuela, and then a similar situation in Japan were community comes first. That group mentality though is what made his country collapse though, and he had a lot of resentment towards communism and group mentality.  

But when he came to Japan he realized that although people were working in groups, they were working for the betterment of society. After some self-work, he was eventually able to work in groups and help lift other people up within them.  

The concept of the Anti-Company – the idea centers around collectivism. It’s basically freelancers who get together and work on a project together, but are still allowed to keep more of their individuality. It’s more of a village mentality that gets lost in a company.  

Generalists vs. Specialists – keys to future proofing your business. 

“Culture is basically peer-pressure from dead people...we need to look within to transcend those things...and outgrow the negative aspects of a culture” 

We need to bring more of the controversial topics into the light. Shake things up. 

Don’t be afraid to go all in on you with your business. Don’t be vanilla!  



CEO and Founder of HYPERMILK 

Leader of NIGHTCRAWLERS: The Ultimate Business Guide in Japan. 


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