'There is an incredible correlation between brand value and a company’s market share.'

Nissan has tied up with ICC to sponsor key tournaments to build brand recall in the Indian subcontinent. Roel De Vries, Global Head - Marketing & Brand Strategy, speaks to Sumantra B Barooah.

Sumantra B Barooah By Sumantra B Barooah calendar 07 Nov 2015 Views icon4324 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Nissan has recently joined hands with the  International Cricket Council to sponsor key tournaments over the next eight years to build brand recall in the Indian subcontinent. Roel De Vries, Global Head - Marketing & Brand Strategy, speaks to Sumantra B Barooah.

What are the key benefits that Nissan expects from this association?
Firstly, if you want to be a successful brand, you need to be part of people’s lives. The type of watch you wear, the type of running shoes you wear, the car you drive is a very big part of who you are. So for us, it is important that Nissan be a part of people’s lives, and here, there’s no better way than with cricket.

We are a young brand in India, and we have ambitions to grow. You don’t grow in a market like India easily. Yes, of course, we introduce our vehicles, we build new factories, open new dealerships. So we are putting in all the groundwork for making quality infrastructure. But in the end, you need to be meaningful to the people of India. So in such a big country, sponsorship is a very useful way to do that. So how this will help us is that it will let people see us, understand what we are all about as a brand, which, only by means of our cars is very difficult.

Can you share any experience with us from your association with UEFA that resulted in expected benefits?
If you see, the Nissan brand’s ranking has gone up significantly. We just grew into being the 49th most valuable brand in the world according to Interbrand. If you go to certain markets, like Europe, we are pretty big. Even in Mexico, we are even bigger. This is because people want to be part of brands which are part of their lives. It is sometimes hard to explain, but that’s what we do as marketing people – to figure out how to connect.

When you see such a sharp rise in brand recall due to such associations, do the sales volumes reflect the changes?
There is an incredible correlation between brand value and a company’s market share. Yes, we have seen a lot of growth in Europe and Mexico due to these partnerships. But you see, brand building is a long-term game. If you introduce a new car, you could have a very quick benefit. But to build a brand, you need a lot of time. This is an eight-year partnership. So if we announce a partnership today, we can’t expect the benefits to come tomorrow. This is a long-term investment in India.

This interview has been published in the November 1, 2015, 'Automotive Logistics Special, of Autocar Professional.

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