This year, Nissan, the Japanese automaker, continues to accelerate
its financial and brand performance with a Q1 increase in global revenue, a double-digit
profit increase, and strong performances in its two largest markets (China and
As the need to differentiate beyond functional benefits
intensifies, Nissan's leadership continues to push brand building as a major
priority across the organization, clearly identifying the link between a strong
brand and market share
. Its "Innovation and Excitement" positioning is
beginning to shape the company's culture, and recent launches for cars such as
the Maxima, Qashqai, Murano, and Rogue clearly demonstrate how Nissan's brand positioning
is influencing its products. This brand promise, however, has yet to leave its
mark on the 'lower' end of its product portfolio.
Nissan has certainly made progress in unifying
communications globally, and the impression of a brand 'driven to excite' is
starting to take clear form. Nissan's leadership position in electric vehicles
reflects a future-forward view and a focus on meeting emerging customer needs.
With similar bold promises on autonomous cars and joint ventures in fuel cell
technology, Nissan is well positioned to respond to the rapidly changing car
market. Despite recalls and poor perception of quality in the U.S., recent survey
results show improvement in initial quality perceptions. Though Nissan lags
behind its competitors in terms of presence, its sponsorship of the UEFA
Champions League is likely to prove an effective way to
generate more global awareness. As one of this year's top rising brands, it
seems Nissan is clearly putting the pedal to the metal.