"The Evolution of Social Media: Exploring mixi and the Importance of Branding"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 01, 2023

4 min read


"The Evolution of Social Media: Exploring mixi and the Importance of Branding"


In this article, we will delve into the significance of branding, analyzing the case of mixi, a social media platform that emerged in Japan at the end of the Heisei era. Additionally, we will explore the concept of branding for builders, highlighting the importance of positioning, customer benefit, personality, aspiration, and emotion in creating a successful brand. By connecting the common points between mixi and branding, we can gain valuable insights into the evolution of social media and the role of branding in its development.

Mixi: A Reflection on Japan's Social Media Landscape:

At its core, mixi's appeal lay in its unique approach to social media. Users were automatically accepted, and the platform thrived on the foundation of user-generated content. During its early days, mixi operated on an invitation-only basis, allowing for a more exclusive community. This ability to narrow down and cater to specific audiences would later become a highly sought-after feature in social media platforms.

The Rise and Fall of mixi: From Diary Entries to Twitter:

However, mixi faced challenges as users sought a more convenient platform for sharing their thoughts. The perception that maintaining a diary on mixi was too cumbersome led many users to migrate to Twitter, where they could quickly share their experiences and thoughts. Nevertheless, mixi's community feature, known as "mixi communities," remained a standout aspect of the platform. The concept of creating a virtual salon where like-minded individuals could gather and interact was an idea that resonated with many users.

The Japanese Approach to Communication:

One defining characteristic of mixi and Japanese social media platforms, in general, is the presence of "communication stairs." This term represents the hierarchical structure that allows for different levels of communication. It is a uniquely Japanese approach, providing a space where users can freely express themselves, even about seemingly trivial matters. This freedom, coupled with an enjoyable environment, is something that users crave and seek out.

The Connection Between mixi and Branding for Builders:

When examining the connection between mixi and branding for builders, we find common elements that contribute to their success. Both mixi and successful brands employ positioning strategies to clearly define their product or company. They focus on the benefits provided to customers and develop a distinct personality that resonates with their target audience.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. When crafting your brand positioning, use clear and concise language that is easily understood by a broad audience. Aim for simplicity and brevity.
  • 2. Consider how you want your company or product to be described if it were to attend a social event. This will help define the personality you want your brand to embody.
  • 3. In the long term, aim to own a specific word or concept that is synonymous with your product or company. This will create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers.

The Role of Emotion in Branding:

Branding incorporates emotion as it plays a crucial role in making products memorable. By acknowledging the emotional benefits that a product provides, brands can forge a deeper connection with their customers. Emotional benefits go beyond the tangible features and benefits, evoking feelings and creating a lasting impact.

The Evolution of Netflix: A Case Study:

To further illustrate the importance of emotion in branding, we can examine the evolution of Netflix over the years. As Netflix refined its brand, it also evolved its non-member homepage, considering the emotional aspects that resonate with its target audience. This continuous alignment between brand and customer experience is vital for long-term success.


In conclusion, the story of mixi's rise and fall and the principles of branding for builders provide valuable insights into the evolution of social media and the significance of branding. By understanding the importance of clear positioning, customer benefits, personality, emotion, and aspiration, brands can create a lasting impact. Remember to use clear language, define your brand's personality, and aim to own a word or concept that sets you apart. By incorporating these strategies, brands can build a strong foundation and bring their products to life.

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