Leading High Performing Remote Teams
How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?
In this course, you’ll learn how compelling blogs, videos, podcasts, and other media can reach customers and drive sales. You’ll also learn steps for creating an effective content marketing plan, and some important ways to measure its impact and success.
Content marketing is a essential digital marketing strategy for companies looking to provide relevant and useful information to support your community and attract new customers.
Get started on your content marketing journey today.
Sustainable Innovation in Times of Disruption: Choices for a Better Society
There are opportunities for progress all around us. The key is to innovate on these opportunities sustainably.
To help identify most effective path forward, you'll need to gain a global perspective to these challenges in an open discussion. How can Japan and the world take action to create a more sustainable, innovative world? Where do you fit in?
It's time to find out.
Social Media & Digital Communications: Impact on Global Public Opinion
Social and digital media have dominated the communications industry for decades. But it's no secret that social media has the power to sway public opinion, and the way in which many companies use these platforms could be seen as manipulative.
What do companies need to be aware of when utilizing social and digital media? How can these mediums be used to better communicate strategically with the world?
Discover what top media and communications experts have to say.
CAGE Distance Framework
Want to expand overseas? The CAGE distance framework can help ensure you're constructing a solid global strategy in four areas: cultural, administrative, economic, and geographic. Learn how to leverage useful differences between countries, identify potential obstacles, and achieve global business success.
There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.
Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company
Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.
Strategy: Understanding the External Environment
To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!
Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business
Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.
Marketing: Reaching Your Target
Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.
Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis
Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.
What drives you to be good at your job?
Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.
Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!
Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi
The key ingredient to success? Passion.
Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.
Customer satisfaction begins with a firm grasp of customer needs. When Bajji Inc. CEO Noritaka Kobayashi sat down with his design team, he already had a customer need in mind: the need to get rid of stress and anxiety every once in a while.
Kobayashi isn’t a therapist, but he could plainly see the need for therapeutic services. And he wasn’t the only one. Pre-pandemic, Deloitte found that 43% of millennials reported feeling anxious all or most of the time. Shortly after the pandemic arrived, Qualtrics reported that 75% of all people already felt more socially isolated, 67% experienced more stress, and 57% felt more anxious.
This global problem demanded a globally accessible solution . . . like an app.
The result? Feelyou: the only social media network that connects people through emotions. Here are the four core design principles Kobayashi and his team used to develop it.
Step 1: Begin with design thinking.
Design thinking is a strategy that integrates user need, technological possibility, and business potential. It goes beyond business thinking because it seeks to understand the why of user needs.
During the discovery phase, Kobayashi’s team learned that loneliness often contributes to depression and anxiety. This indicated their app should help others feel better by reducing that loneliness—in other words, by connecting them with others.
Further discovery research guided other features, too: they learned that venting or journaling can relieve anxiety, that supporting others can be therapeutic, and that talking with others who have shared experiences can improve mood.
The goal of their app, then, was to connect people through emotions. The solution was a writing-based platform where users could receive encouragement and empathy.
This goal guided every decision thereafter.
“Instagram is successful because it created international communication via photos. When you open Instagram, you see beautiful photos and understand you should be posting beautiful photos,” Kobayashi says. “I’m looking to facilitate international communication via emotions, so when a user opens Feelyou, the icon expressing the emotion comes first. Users understand they can post their honest feelings and be understood.”
Kobayashi also says that putting the emotion first in posts helps users feel comfortable being vulnerable. That, and the option to post anonymously.
Feelyou also connects people with in-app communities. These communities allow users to view posts around a single theme, from pets to music, or understand what kind of response a user might want, such as advice or support.
Last, but not least, the option to translate with the click of a button makes posts in all languages accessible to every user.
Understanding customer needs is the first step to deciding (and then designing) proper function. And once you’ve nailed function, you’re well on your way to customer satisfaction.
Step 2: Don’t overcomplicate things.
Simplicity theory shows us that easy-to-use design increases growth, sales, and recommendations.
This makes sense. If users can’t figure out the form of your app well enough to access the functionality, you basically have no app at all. So once Kobayashi’s team finished Feelyou’s core features, they focused on making those features as intuitive as possible.
The biggest challenge was deciding the core feelings users would base their posts around.
“Human emotions and feelings are very diverse, and they can be very difficult to identify,” says Kobayashi. “Seven emotions can’t express every feeling, but that’s okay. The core emotions are more like an emotional scale from bad to good.”
The seven emotions on the scale are terrible, sad, anxious, okay, calm, happy, and amazing. For the most part that scale has worked well, though some would like a little more complexity.
“We’ve received a lot of comments and requests for tired, angry, annoyed, exhausted, and disgusted,” says Kobayashi. “If we add an angry icon, it would probably be really red. If users open up the timeline and it’s just red, red, red, it might feel less welcoming. Right now, instead of that, we added the ‘I am angry’ community to test what happens.”
While it’s tempting to argue that the customer is always right, seven options is usually the upper limit for a reason. Eight choices or more usually leaves users with choice paralysis that causes them to abandon the choice entirely.
From there, mirroring the near-standard design of keeping buttons at the bottom of the page was a no-brainer. While the overall form of Feelyou is familiar, it channels human behavior in a new way.
Step 3: Consider user feelings at every step.
Because users are more likely to remember negative experiences than positive ones, it’s important to spend time making sure the user experience is as positive as possible. This is especially true for a social media app, which runs the risk of increasing mental distress. Knowing this, Kobayashi and his team designed Feelyou to counteract the problem.
Preventing competition between users was the first step.
“On existing social media, everyone is always worrying about their number of likes, friends, etc. This is why we never show the number of interactions users receive,” says Kobayashi.
Additionally, the “Like” feature that has become a staple on just about every social media app was reworked into an expression of empathy called a “Feelyou.” Innovating this feature away from a show of agreement prevents competition.
Without a competitive timeline, users are incentivized to be authentic in their posts instead of performative. The focus remains on connecting to one another. Furthermore, they wanted everyone’s posts to feel equal on the main timeline. This means you have to click on a post to see if it’s been Feelyoued.
The number of comments on a post, however, is visible from the timeline.
“We want to show users’ efforts to make the world better so they can feel good about it. Like, ‘Oh, I was honest about my feelings one hundred times in the past three months,’ or ‘I helped thirty people feel understood.’”
User profiles also display “impact,” a measurement designed to portray the positive effect their interactions have had on the community. Science shows this is a good strategy. When we reach out to help someone, not only does the recipient feel good, but the helper feels good, too.
This kind of empathetic design is one of the most powerful ways to guarantee a positive experience for users.
Step 4: Show commitment to user values.
People increasingly only support companies that they feel connect with their values, so it’s vital that companies make their social impact priorities clear.
Feelyou didn’t miss a beat here, either.
As users post, Feelyou, and comment on the posts of others, their impact points grow. For every five impact points, they receive a tree icon in their “village.”
This charming feature is more than symbolic. A portion of every premium user’s monthly subscription fee is donated to partner organizations—currently, tree-planting organizations. At only three months old, this budding feature on Feelyou shows audience awareness, which will certainly bring dividends and customer loyalty moving forward.
Reap the benefits.
Based on user feedback, the Feelyou design efforts are paying off.
“I think the best part is the safe space [Feelyou] creates,” says Chasey Chipiuk, a Canadian user. “Anyone can post, and nine times out of ten they’ll get a response . . . People are very open about their problems here.”
This is obvious just from looking at the timeline. People vent about their exes, sick family members, COVID-19, and school. But the app isn’t just about sharing frustrations. Users also celebrate the happy things in life: friends, weekend plans, pets, partners, and celebrations.
More importantly, every single post is “Feelyoued” by another user who can relate. Some, particularly in the “I need advice or support” community, even receive long, compassionate comments. Usually more than one.
For Kobayashi, that’s kind of the point.
“We all feel anxiety, right? And when we can’t talk to our parents, partners, etc., we need a reaction from someone who doesn’t know us. I want Feelyou to be the place to get that instant, positive social therapy.”
The app currently has a rating of 4.6 in both the Google Play and Apple App stores. Kobayashi’s projections indicate that if all goes well, they’ll have about 20 million users within the next three years. Even if the percentage of premium users is only 1%, that’s a massive amount of revenue.
As we move deeper into the era of COVID-19—and even post-COVID-19—there are sure to be more emotion-driven solutions for mental wellbeing. For them to be successful in revenue and impact, creators will need to understand customer needs and use strategic design to meet them.