[dropcap]N[/dropcap]issan has leapt 62 places in the 2015 ‘Brand Africa 100’ – a leading pan-African initiative to research, rank and recognise the continent’s top brands.
Nissan’s move, from 88th to 26th place, saw the Japanese car maker become the third most admired auto brand in Africa and one of the most improved brands overall.
The recognition in Africa follows last month’s Interbrand ‘Best Global Brand Study’, in which the world’s leading brand consultancy identified Nissan as one of the most valuable brands for 2015 and the fastest-rising automotive brand in the world.
Roel de Vries, Nissan corporate vice president and global head of Marketing and Brand Strategy said: “The ‘Brand Africa 100’ survey is the second time in two months Nissan has been recognised independently as a valuable and rapidly improving brand.
“Together with the Interbrand study, in which Nissan has risen in five short years from 90th place to 49th, our performance in Africa shows we’re playing in the right spaces and engaging with consumers while always remaining authentic.”
Nissan’s global brand promise is to bring innovation and excitement to consumers. A key element of its brand strategy is to engage with millennials by partnering with some of the world’s top sports and sporting competitions including the UEFA Champions League, ICC cricket and 2016 Rio Olympics.
This same commitment to innovation extends to Nissan’s growing African product range, including in sub-Saharan markets which Nissan regards as key to achieving its long-term ambition on the continent.
The sub-Saharan region comprises 22 of Africa’s 54 countries, accounting for 77% of total GDP and containing 77% of Africa’s population according to the World Bank.
Nissan is targeting sustained growth here by bringing the best products from its global portfolio, expanding the size, reach and quality of its retail network and industrial footprint.
It is also focused on increasing the strength and appeal of its brand by adapting to the expectations of today’s African customers, who increasingly are demanding brands that reflect their own ambitions and values.
De Vries adds, “An important benefit of establishing a strong brand here is the key role it can play in helping Africa to solve socio-economic challenges by creating jobs and developing skills, for example at our manufacturing plant in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Nissan has a vision to become one of the most respected brands in Africa. The ‘Brand Africa 100’ study demonstrates we are increasingly connecting with our customers and building confidence and trust in the quality of our products and services.”