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Editorial blog

Find out about the changes to Pirika UK and Rayoci International

11 Jul 2018

Why was the decision made to rebrand from Kuretake UK to Pirika UK?

While the business had enjoyed great success as a sole distributor for Kuretake, a new brand provides our own personal identity as we evolve the business for the future. Having operated under the Kuretake brand since 1986, we wanted to manage the business independently where we can diversify our Arts and Crafts product range. Our core values of supplying quality products and delivering a high standard of service remains our top priority and is central to our new brand.

What benefits will this bring to your customers?

Being independent allows us to offer a variety of diverse products from different ranges worldwide and meet customer demand, rather than from just one manufacturer. We’re excited about being able to supply our customers with new products that will complement our current product range and add value to their experience with us.

How important is your Japanese heritage?

We are proud of our Japanese heritage, which continues to inspire our selection in the product range we offer and those we are looking to take on-board. Our new brand identity signifies our heritage, which we chose to reflect energy, passion, imagination and creativity, which is strongly associated with the products offered to customers. With extensive industry knowledge and 33 years of experience, it’s important that we continue to support our customers based on the same origins.

What are your most popular products?

As we develop our range over the next few months, supplying a wide variety of new products from paper craft supplies to fine art materials, it will be interesting to see which products are firmly in the ‘most popular’ list. Right now, our most popular product range is the brand new washi-tape stickers from bande. Manufactured in Japan, bande is only in its first few years of operation and is already extremely popular in Japan, winning ‘The Best of Stationery Award’ earlier this year.

How important is social media to you and how effective is it to getting your message across to customers?

Social media is an integral part of how we connect and engage with our customers, both trade and end-user. It’s a great tool for inspiration and analysis as well as a platform for the arts and crafts community. It helps us to express the personality of our business and helps to drive traffic to our website. It also provides a great place to share creative ideas and understand what our customers want and need to bring creativity to life.

Have you seen a rise in people using social media to display artwork made with your products?

There has been a gradual rise, especially in the past five years. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are the strongest for reaching our customers and perfect to gain visual inspiration. Each offers the potential to showcase ideas and generate feedback, which helps us to see the work being produced with our products and what people think of the end results.

Who are your brand ambassadors? Are you looking to recruit brand ambassadors?

As we are a new brand, we want to strengthen our current influencers’ who currently demonstrate on Create and Craft TV and those who post on social media. Looking ahead, we want to develop new relationships and get people talking about us in a positive way to help increase the visibility of our brand. Essentially, people like to buy from people. Today, it’s not a case of equipping our salespeople with marketing collateral, which is why fostering brand ambassadorship is important to us.

What next for Pirika UK?

Over the coming months, our focus is on sourcing and developing new business partnerships. We want to build on what we have already achieved, providing our customers with the very best arts and crafts products. Ultimately, this will allow us to develop and grow for the future and realise the opportunities that lie ahead.

What new products will you be bringing out?

We have recently launched our new award-winning washi-tape stickers from bande. This is a brand new style of washitape which allows you to peel each sticker from a roll and use them individually. They are sophisticated in design and are ideal for paper craft. It’s a product that is very unique and new to the market and is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. As the authorised distributor in the UK, we are excited to see them flourish in the market. This is just the first example of what we are looking to supply to our customers in the future.

Do you see any market challenges on the horizon?

There will always be challenges for any business bringing in new products that are new to the market. It’s important that we clearly understand their product appeal and make sure that we provide the right information so that our new products are understood and accessible to everyone. We need to make sure that any new product definitely fulfils the end-user needs.

How do you think the market will change in the next five years?

With the increase in digital usage, it has become more important than ever to establish strong relationships and take the time to listen to our customers. Moving forward as a new brand, we value the need for collaboration with others to achieve the highest level of service.

Alongside this, in our industry, I see products becoming more purposeful in how they are used and more accessible than ever before. It will certainly be an interesting time in the years to come. www.pirika.co.uk

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