Talk to just about any successful Japanese businessperson, and they’ll tell you how important gratitude is. No matter how good a product it makes, a company can’t succeed without the support of its employees and customers.
But very few companies are as committed to saying thank you as Takeda Seika, a confectioner based in the town of Inuyama in Aichi Prefecture. Takeda’s big seller is Tamago Boro, bite-sized biscuits shaped like little eggs (tamago in Japanese). Visit the factory where they’re made, and in addition to the sound of the production line machinery, you’ll hear arigato, or “thank you,” played on a constant loop from loudspeakers.
Roughly 15 years ago, Takeda’s then-president decided he wanted the company’s candy to be serenaded by the expression of thanks, as a reminder that it’s the staff’s hard work and their customer base’s continued purchases that keep the company going. So the company recorded a chorus of 50 children saying arigato and started playing it in the factory, a policy the current management has kept in place.
It’s not like the speakers are set up at only a single designated point on the production line. Arigato can be heard in the mixing, cooking, inspection, and packaging areas, as well as in the warehouse where the finished products are stored before shipping. The looped audio has the children saying arigato approximately once every two seconds, and when multiplied out by the 50 children involved, means that Tamago Boro are told “thank you” about 1,500 times a minute.
Because of that, Takeda bills its sweets as “Candy that’s heard ‘thank you’ one million times,” though since it would actually only take about 12 hours to reach that number, it’s likely that the real number is higher than that. Whether this actually makes it taste any better is hard to prove, but the company has been in business since 1952, so it must be doing something right, and if you’d like to give Takeda one more thing to be thankful about, its candy can be ordered online here.
Related: Takeda Seika
Source: Yahoo! News Japan/Nitele News 24 via Otakomu
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