TOKYO - Nissan Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura was a special guest at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday as Interbrand held a press conference to mark the publication of its latest report ranking the world's best brands.
Nissan made solid progress in the consultant's 2012 ranking, moving up to 73rd place worldwide with the value of brand measured at just under $5 billion. Nissan was also among the fastest growing companies, with its brand value up 30% compared to last year, and is now rated ninth among Asian companies.
South Korea's Samsung is the top-rated Asian brand, with Coca Cola the overall global leader. Interbrand scores Toyota as the top-ranked automaker globally.
I caught up with Nakamura-san shortly after he rang a ceremonial bell at the exchange for an update on Nissan's progress. Here's what he had to say:
Q1. Why is Nissan doing better on Interbrand's ranking of global brands this year?
Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura: Well, as you know, last year was the start of Nissan Power 88 and enhancing brand power is one of the pillars of Power 88.
We have made a big change of organization when global Marcom was established. We're doing a much more global campaign and have a much more consistent message.
This is very encouraging for everybody in the company particularly those pushing the brand. That's not only the brand team; it's the efforts of the whole Nissan team that made this change.
Q2. Do these kind of brand rankings matter?
Nakamura: This is a measurement. The real impact will be measured by market share and profitability, and ultimately, the brand has to be connected to our financial results. That for us is very important.
Before then, we need to know where we are progressing or not progressing. It's a very good measure of our activities.
Q3. Despite improvement, Nissan still trails some rivals in the automotive sector. How can the company narrow the gap?
Nakamura: We have made strong progress in the last year, but keeping this progress - increasing 30% of brand value - if you can do this, you can achieve a very high level or ranking.
That is our target. It's not easy, but therefore we will always put in the effort to make a strong run.
Deputy Editor, Nissan Global Media Center
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