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Rethinking the dealership experience

Strategic customer-led design leads to the development of an exceptional retail experience for both new and existing customers.

The Challenge

Nissan has always been a brand that focuses on quality, innovation, excitement, and efficiency for all audiences. Somewhere along the way, they recognized the need to create a dealership experience that meets the needs of customer and transformed their current mundane dealerships globally. In a world that is saturated with many different automotive brands to choose from, Nissan realized that they lacked a strong sense of brand within their dealership experience. There was a need to create a space that allowed the opportunity to celebrate “Why Nissan?” versus competition. Rather than the expected dealership experience, which can feel like a warehouse for cars, the brand wished to create an immersive brand experience that brings Nissan’s mission to innovate and excite to life for each customer.

Rethinking the Experience

Interbrand, a long-time partner of Nissan that oversees their brand strategy, was enlisted to evolve their dealership experience on a global scale to better reflect the brand’s identity, culture, and the category in general. Through global research, the key insight was uncovered that informed the customer-led design: each key customer segment wanted to use the dealership to shop for cars the way they wanted to, not in an orchestrated way that the dealer presented to them. This, along with the lack of brand storytelling to demonstrate why Nissan over the competition, gave Interbrand a clear direction for the creation of a new prototype that would create excitement and display innovation that would make Nissan the clear choice.

The Results

The result is a simple, yet iconic and unified, space that matches the innovative feel of the brand. The goal was to have each customer experience what they wanted, while keeping the same high level of service, delight, and comfort that was expected from Nissan. The design also provides transparency throughout the experience – the entire space and journey is visible. Open, simple, and inviting, the guest can choose which part of the journey they wish to partake in.

Additionally, the unique shared lounge area now serves as a single point of hospitality, providing a sleek, open, and luxurious space that gives all customers, whether they are a new car buyer or a service customer, the same level of experience and interaction with the Nissan brand.


The new prototype has been rolled out to all dealerships throughout the globe. The resulting design allows for storytelling to be central to the experience through a digitally enabled experience, resulting in an increase of 30% to unit sales.

The new customer-centric global dealership prototype has seen a 30% increase in unit sales
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