Interbrand
Thinking

Q&A with Asako Hoshino, Executive Vice President of Nissan

expert perspective

Ms Asako Hoshino
Executive Vice President
Nissan Motor Corporation

How will the brand be positioned in future operations?

Nissan defined its purpose as “Driving innovation to enrich people’s lives” and we define that as the meaning of being present in society. For the employees, to embody this purpose is the Brand. Our corporate culture of “do what others don’t dare to do,” which we have cherished since our founding, is the starting point of this purpose. Both engineers and marketers have DNA that shows their strength when they challenge something that other companies will not do. Building on these efforts, we want to create a brand that is clearer, and we want to strengthen the image of our brand, which realizes the richness of people’s lives through innovation, as a characteristic of Nissan.

As you strive for brand growth in this new era, what are viewpoints that need to be changed from the past, and what viewpoints haven’t changed?

We cannot expect growth unless we reconsider the definition of a car manufacturer. It is necessary to have a free way of thinking that expands the concept of a car to include “connectivity”, “energy management” and “non-owned mobility.”

The automobile industry is in a period of great transformation, called CASE, which comes once in 100 years, however, instead of facing all directions, we will invest specifically focusing on electrification technology where Nissan’s strengths can be demonstrated, and are intending to grow the brand along with that strategy.
What cannot be change is the Nissan-ness. Even if the definition of a business changes, the spirit of Nissan such as “Let’s make society better through innovation. Let’s do what others don’t dare to do.” will not change. We will continue to pursue “uniqueness” with pride in our understanding of the importance of creating value from scratch, which we understand better than anyone else.

What do you feel is most important when it comes to further increasing the value of the corporate brand?

The measurement of individual happiness has changed towards the concept of “make one’s contribution to society one’s own happiness.” Companies are queried not only about the pursuit of their own profits but also about their contributions to society and the environment. In order to increase the value of our brand in the future, it will become more and more necessary to have a perspective on how we can create empathy.

Are there any specific actions you plan to take in order to grow your brand?

New activities include the electrification action “Blue Switch” in Japan. This is an activity to deploy electric vehicle – LEAF that “can carry and supply electricity,” free of charge to evacuation centers and medical facilities, to be utilized in the event of a large-scale blackout caused by a local disaster. Currently, we have concluded disaster cooperation agreements with more than 100 local governments and companies, and we intend to expand these agreements and globalize our activities.

We announced that 100% of new cars to be launched in major markets in the early 2030’s would be electrified, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in all our business activities in 2050, and we are seriously moving toward that future.