Message from Kayoko Takeuchi,
3rd CEO of HEIAN SHINDO
Welcome to HEIAN SHINDO, this is 3rd CEO, Kayoko Takeuchi. I joined my family business, HEIAN SHINDO in 2010. By that time, the existing products are all matured enough with high occupancy in the market, however these products were not attractive enough to me. “Why?” while I was confronting this question, we met our new partner, Creative Duo, TENT. Collaborating with them led me to reach one answer; the new product called “DRAW A LINE”. The project with TENT reminded us what can be an obstacle of managing the long established company and at the same time, we started to realize an unexpected possibility of room for growth within our products.
I would like to introduce a story of how we develop our new product, “DRAW A LINE”.
The long-established tension rod manufacturer in Japan,
Grow and Decline
HEIAN SHINDO was established in 1952, majorly aiming at producing unique daily goods such as tension rod. Since then, the company has raised the corporate vision as “Ingenuity for the better life”, and sophisticated products have been developed along with customer needs in past 50 years.
The original idea of the tension rod is developed by my grandfather, Tatsuji Sasai. The idea was expanded from the curtain poll in US. It was perceived as the unique product and had only one type. After 1980s, tension rod grew as the hitting product which dramatically increased recognition from customers in Japan. Nowadays, there are types of 15cm to 3m to choose from, tension rod has become a daily product to support our life. Even though HEIAN SHINDO was the first company to open the market, it is already difficult to differentiate our product from competitors.
The time I joined my family business, HEIAN SHINDO was exactly when we, as a company, faced this as an issue.
The reality that even I didn't want to use our products
When I started as CEO, the development of the product was limited to minor changes; focusing on lowering cost as much as we can while keeping the quality of product. It has been more than 50 years since the first tension rod was released, and our product has already been classified as daily goods in the market. A little improvement on our product couldn’t make a big difference from competitors at all. At that point, it was obvious to everyone that neither improvements nor developments can be done on this product anymore.
“Original product was better.” Sales representatives said. I still cannot forget those words today. But his words reflected the fundamental problem that even I was not attracted by any existing products from our company.
Meeting with Creative Duo TENT
“Want to release hitting products again, but how?” We started seeking for solution to this and met Creative Duo, TENT. When we started to work together, we didn’t understand what could be the solution. “We want to work with you to create new brand and products from zero basis.” I vaguely offered, “Please don’t hesitate to give us any ideas even if the ideas could actually be realized or not, I would like to see as many ideas which you think is the best.” By responding to our request, TENT gave us so many broad ideas of furniture to electric appliances.
Flexible Design based on the long-established company's technology
Our company outsources the production. So we thought we can plan anything we want. Off course we still believe in this. But when I saw the ideas from TENT, they were far different from the existing products and required new materials and techniques. Honestly I became nervous with the new materials and techniques and there was a moment that I thought this project couldn’t be done by our company. We, HEIAN SHINDO and TENT, discussed this: “What can we do for both of us?” after carefully looking for a breakthrough solution, the direction was decided. Then final product is redefining the original tension rod as a new product, concept of “New lifestyle starting with a simple line”.
New lifestyle starting with a simple line
Just like drawing a line on the white paper, the new concept is drawing a simple line in the room, attaching light and table on it for usage at bed room, or attaching hooks on it for hanging hat at entrance.
Every customer can customize their own spaces freely. This easy concept creates new positive voice from both our employees and customers; they come up with new ideas of accessories with DRAW A LINE.
DRAW A LINE is also our new start line. It’s our pleasure to create varieties of new life with users.
HEIAN SHINDO KOGYO CO., LTD, founded in Osaka in 1952, is the long-established leading HEIAN Rod developer in Japan. The main business is to develop the function-oriented & price-sensitive storage items. On the other hand, HEIAN SHINDO also have developed "DRAW A LINE" series for the stylish interior decoration and "LABRICO" series for DIY, both based on HEIAN Rod technology.
TENT is a creative duo formed by Masayuki Haruta and Ryosaku Aoki in 2011. “Pleasing the eyes and the more you use, the more you love.” is the basic theme and based on this concept, TENT provides a variety of product designs from tableware, home electronics to interior goods. TENT offers superb designs from concept formation to holistic total product creation and the work covers web, application UI, producing event/exhibition booth design and much more.