Our Brand Story
Our Brand Evolution
In Japanese, Rakuten stands for “optimism.” This philosophy lies
at the core of our brand. When Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani started Rakuten Ichiba in 1997, no one believed that people would shop online. But Mickey and his five colleagues believed differently. We have since grown to offer services across finance, sports and entertainment and more. We’ve partnered with businesses around the world that share the same values as us. Now, we’re bringing these diverse elements together in one ecosystem, united under the Rakuten umbrella.
We’ve always been committed to empowering people and society. Our Rakuten Ichiba marketplace and wider ecosystem open up opportunities and give individuals, communities and businesses a way to realize their dreams.
Photo: Rakuten empowers local merchants by supporting them to expand their business online.
For us, entrepreneurship is a mindset. It’s believing in your own potential to create a better future. It’s about taking on new challenges, setting ambitious goals and using knowledge, creativity and passion to achieve them as a team.
We believe in innovation as a driver of global change. We evolve and innovate without fear of failure. We’re not afraid to experiment and go beyond traditional boundaries – that’s how we started, and how we mean to go on.
Our ecosystem unites a global community and brings real change to the people and businesses it touches. We open our doors to partner with industry, academic institutions and government, in pursuit of a better future.
The story of our logo
When we launched our revolutionary marketplace, we wanted a logo to symbolise new
beginnings, and a new entrepreneurial generation for Japan.
The first Rakuten logo took inspiration from Japanese calligraphy and imagery.
Growing the brand in Japan
From 1999, we incorporated the corporate identity into a simplified, more modern logo.
Masterbrand for a growing group
As we added new services to the group, we created a corporate logo which simplified our name to Rakuten. The “circle R” symbol was created this year to act as a foundation for building our brand, today and in the future.
Building a global community
To mirror our growing global community, we created a new version of the logo – written in the Roman alphabet – to accompany the iconic Japanese logo. We accelerated the diversification of our global portfolio from this year on.
Unique, yet unified
This year, we’re bringing our 70+ businesses into the Rakuten ecosystem and unifying them. The logo has narrower spaces to “signify unity, and we are creating colourful variations to the “circle R” as our businesses continue to diversify. The new color scheme symbolizes our optimistic, bright outlook on the world. This is a platform for a diverse, and growing, community.
The future of Rakuten
See how we’re bringing our diverse businesses together in
one ecosystem, and uniting them under one brand.