How about Japanese ‘Anime’ for your Profile Photo?

 

My 'anime'

My headshot photo

Your avatar – headshot photo, image, or illustration – is usually the first impression of your personal brand on the web. Being strategic about the avatar you use is crucial especially if you are engaging in social media and other Web 2.0 technology for your business. If you use a photo, is it professionally shot and projecting the right image? If you use a cartoon, does it still build your credibility? If you use a logo, is it too impersonal?  Thinking more strategically about your avatar can make the difference between building and enhancing your brand or making the wrong first impression.

A Japanese company called MYPIC JAPAN has a creative way to add personality to profiles through the use of Japanese ‘anime’. Their customized illustrations drawn from actual photos are being used on Twitter and Facebook profiles, business cards, resumes, and websites. I had a chance to briefly interview the CEO of MYPIC JAPAN, Mr. Akito Kawasoe.

1. Tell us about MYPIC JAPAN.  What was your inspiration behind creating your company?

Akito Kawasoe

Our firm, One Net Inc. was established by my respectful founder who actually changed my life. MYPIC did not exist at that time.  But a few years later, many SNS services such as Mixi, or blogs had become popular, and I also rode on the social media waves. However, I noticed every profile picture on them was boring, and I came up with the new idea of starting MYPIC.

マイピクは会社設立からの企画ではありません。また幣社が出来たのは、全くの縁によって恩人に作ってもらった会社です。マイピクができたのは、丁度、ミクシィのようなSNSサービスやブログがはやりだし、それを自分でも使っていて、それらのプロフィール写真がいいのがないなと思ったからです。

2. Is MYPIC popular outside of Japan?  If so, why do you think so? If not, what is your plan to market MYPIC in other countries?

Even in a domestic market in Japan, MYPIC does not have a big name yet, I think. However, MYPIC has constantly received orders everyday as a result of our marketing effort to sell our product. We are getting orders through using our website, affiliates and advertising to people overseas. In my opinion, a service like MYPIC does not necessarily have to be famous. The important thing is that MYPIC  can be found easily by the people who really want the service. Of course, it’s better if it could be famous rather than nameless.

日本国内でまだマイピクは有名ではありませんが、販売のための工夫によりコンスタントに注文を得ています。外国へも、ホームページ、アフィリエイト、広告等により注文を得ます。マイピクのようなサービスは、有名になる必要はありません。必要とする人がいるときに目にとまればいいと考えています。もちろん有名になれば、それに越したことはありません。

3. Why is illustration a useful way to market / brand yourself?

Showing illustrations is an easier way to tell your story and your target audience can instantly remembered it rather than using only words. No brands can be meaningful without being retained in people’s mind.

言葉で説明するより、イラストは伝わりやすし、一発で記憶に残ります。記憶に残らなければ、どんなブランドも意味がありません。

 

4. What is your future vision for MYPIC JAPAN?

My vision is that people all over the world will be happy to use our Japanese illustrations.

世界中の人々に、日本のイラストを使ってもらって喜んでもらうことです。

 

Check out  MYPIC JAPAN to see their very affordable packages starting as low as $58.00 for Facebook fans.

 

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About the author

Peter Sterlacci Peter Sterlacci is known as “Japan’s personal branding pioneer.” In a country where fitting-in is the norm, Peter’s mission is to pioneer a ‘cultural shift’ by helping Japanese to stand out in a global environment. An avid cyclist, he combines cycling imagery with personal branding strategy to empower his clients to shift gears and sprint to career success. Follow Peter on Google+