Idols Learning Marketing Lecture 2nd Session : Realize Your Ideal Future Vision!

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Idols Learning Marketing Lecture 2nd Session : Realize Your Ideal Future Vision!

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The idol industry is volatile and unpredictable. Currently, the need for idols to put their charm points out there by themselves is growing. We invited a management consultant lecturer for this project, challenging idols to learn about management and marketing theory! Here’s what the first lecture was like:

The teacher of this lecture
CuteStrategy (Twitter


How should idols go about self-marketing?

Last time, I introduced the circumstances of modern idols, the necessity of idol self-marketing, and the basics of business and marketing idols should know. This time, I’d like to show go over the necessary future ideal image and challenge set-up for self-marketing with the idols.


From left to right : Yufu Terashima, Saki Mori(UPUPGIRLS (KARI)), Nonoka Ishikawa(PIP), Miyu Sorai(PIP), Maika Hamano(PIP)

To begin with, self-marketing does not merely mean creating your own character. Here I’m referring to self-marketing in terms of coming up with an efficient approach to maximizing your individual charm, using it as a centripetal force to attract many people, and moving closer towards your own vision (your ideal image of the future).


Therefore, it is first necessary to establish your vision for self-marketing. By establishing the ideal image of your vision, you will clearly be able to see the direction in which you need to go.


First, create a clear ideal vision of yourself

So from here, let’s look the following points according to each of your visions and the construction of those visions.


Ms.Mori (UPUPGIRLS (KARI)): “I want to be a go-between for Japan and France! I want French people to get to know the greatness of Japanese culture and in turn I want to tell people in Japan about the greatness of French culture. I’d like to perform in an event like JAPAN EXPO or have my own informative program where I talk about culture.”



In order to establish a vision, one necessary point is prioritizing the “basic ‘Fun!’, ‘Love!’, or ‘Interesting!’ feelings” you have. In Ms.Mori’s case, she saw the honeymoon pictures of her parents and fell in love with the Palace of Versailles at first glance, which sparked her love of France. From a young age it seems she enjoyed reading informational magazines about France at the library. By reflecting this feeling of “Love!” in her vision, we can determine Mori’s own unique vision.

Ms.Terashima: “I want to be able to make the best use of the good points about yurukyara (local mascots) and the good points about idols. I don’t think it’s ideal to treat yurukyara as just back dancers for idols, and have idols appear for a short time at yurukyara events… I want to present those kinds of events in a new way where both fans of yurukyara and my own fans can feel satisfied.”


Yufu Terashima

Ms.Terashima: “I want to be able to make the best use of the good points about yurukyara (local mascots) and the good points about idols. I don’t think it’s ideal to treat yurukyara as just back dancers for idols, and have idols appear for a short time at yurukyara events… I want to present those kinds of events in a new way where both fans of yurukyara and my own fans can feel satisfied.”

Ms.Terashima: “If you take it that the fan base of yurukyara are children and housewives, it would be a slightly different atmosphere from the people that usually visit my concerts. Also yurukyara meet and greet events are usually free it would be difficult to get fans to come to a ticketed event, and because yurukyara also in charge of their city’s PR so it would be difficult to plan. There would be a lot of obstacles, but since yurukyara have their own individual personalities, I think it would definitely be a ton of fun if they collaborated with idols!”

Not just loving yurukyara, she truly understands that yurukyara and idols face some of the same problems (their numbers are steadily increasing, the frenzy for them has died down, etc.), realizing the impending sense of danger there. The way Terashima can calmly and objectively look at the relationship between yurukyara and idols shows the special ability that is part of her personality. By adding her own personality, her vision becomes even more unique.

Ms.Ishikawa (PIP): “I want to be an actress that stars in social awareness productions. I want to raise awareness of current social problems through movies and other works.”


Miyu Ishikawa (PIP)

I believe Ms.Ishikawa’s vision stems from her third point of wanting to “contribute to others and to society”. I have to wonder if this strong feeling of wanting to contribute to someone comes from her strong sense of responsibility as a group leader.

Ms.Hamano (PIP): “From my 20s onward, I want to be the kind of artist that all generations say is cool. Like Vivienne Westwood, I want to connect music and fashion through work as a fashion designer and model, creating my own world through music and fashion, and not only be active artist in Japan, but worldwide.”

Ms.Sorai (PIP): “By collaborating (as an idol) with Chiba Lotte(Japanese professional baseball team), I want to mutually raise our name recognition and popularity! By appearing on sports programs and in informational magazines, I think it would be great if my fans paid attention to my favorite team, Chiba Lotte, and for Chiba Lotte’s fans to become fans of me as well.

Maika Hamano (left), Miyu Sorai (center), and Nonoka Ishikawa (right) from PIP

PIP’s producer Satoshi Hamano and three members; Maika Hamano (left), Miyu Sorai (center), and Nonoka Ishikawa (right)

Ms.Hamano and Ms.Sorai were also able to incorporate things that they like or enjoy into their vision. I especially think Hamano touches on a fourth point, which is that of a “role model”. A desire to create her own world comes from feeling that she wants to be the person like her role model, and that desire makes her vision stronger.


Establishing a specific goal

Now that their vision has taken shape, the next step is to set a goal. Here, a goal means an arrival point with a specific number or time limit in which they have to advance towards their vision. In order for each of them to realize their ideal image, we had them establish what they needed to do in detail in order to achieve it and their final target.

Ms.Mori: “By the time I’m 30, I want to team up with a major television station in France and appear on a program introducing Japan. I wouldn’t want to just appear on location, and would like to work with staff and be involved from the production and planning programs!”

In order to become a go-between for Japan and France, we were able to create a specific goal for a producing and appearing on a program there. Since it’s not necessary just to narrow it down to one goal, we added being active not only one television, but in magazines and on the internet as another goal.

Ms.Terashima: “I’d like to hold a concert in an environment where both yurukyara fans and idol fans can enjoy themselves within one year from now.”

Ms.Terashima said she wanted to do it as quickly as possible, in under a year! By settling specifically on “an environment where both yurukyara fans and idol fans can enjoy themselves”, she seems much more likely to get closer to actualizing her dream.

Ms.Ishikawa: “In 10 years I not only want to perform as an actress, but I want to create a work that casts a light on social problems. I think it would be wonderful if became a work that played nationwide.”

Ms.Ishikawa is thinking of how she wants to raise awareness for social problems through film. Including the name of the award she’d like to receive or something to that effect would possibly make it even more concrete.

See, when setting up a goal, another important part of self-marketing is establishing an intermediate goal. For example, when making a goal of holding a concert at Budokan with 10,000 people by 2020, by making an intermediate goal of holding an outdoor concert with 3,000 people by 2018, you can realistically measure whether or not you are likely to achieve your main goal.

Ms.Hamano: “Within two years I want to be a fashion magazine model. It would be a great opening for finding fans who appreciate my fashion and understand my personality.”

Ms.Sorai: “To begin with, before the end of 2016, I want to interview a player from Chiba Lotte. Because ultimately I want to do a collaboration project that doesn’t yet exist…”

Thus, by determining the stages leading up that goal by deciding on an intermediate goal to achieve it, we connect the steps of the process and the motivation to persevere in order to steadily achieve that goal.

Learn problem-solving methods

At the end of the second lecture, we learned about problem-solving methods in order to achieve these goals. (The first problem here, referring to the gap between the goal and your current status.)


1. Logical problem-solving thought (Analytical thinking)
This is a way to organize the problem by dissecting it, isolating what went wrong, and using that to make improvements. Here we often use a technique in order to classify and divide things (MECE) in order to keep from making the same mistake. Like dividing fans by age into high school students, university students, and adults as one example. If most of your fans are adults, you can see how it might be difficult to get people to come if your concerts are during the evenings on weekdays.

2. Design thinking (Integrative thinking)
By putting different ideas out there, you can come up with innovative solutions that do not yet exist. Although it’s a method that has already been established, ideas such as putting handshake tickets in CDs, or actions that go against current common sense, in that sense can become problem-solving strategies that are close to design thinking methods.

On that note, the next installment in this series will be the last. In the third lecture, we’ll talk about effective approaches towards reaching your visions and goals, and in order to do that, have these students (idols) consider their own personal charm points. In addition, we’ll tell you what kind of changes the idols that took this course experienced in regards to their sense of awareness!

*The last installment will be published on August 22nd

Related links
Yufu Terashima official site :
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) official site :
PIP official site :

The teacher of this lecture CuteStrategy
Photo by Yasuhiro Okada
Translated by Jamie Koide

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Risa Miyano

A student at Waseda University. I'm a big fan of J-Idol.

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