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Industry Against Culture, or How the Desired Market for the Future Can Be Challenged by Consumer Trends

De La Riva Group took the existing brand image for Nissan Mexico and renewed the internal teams understanding of the importance of connecting with consumers in an emotional way, through strategic research and forecasting.

Editor’s Note: Every year, participants in the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report survey vote for the most innovative companies in market research. In Insights That Work, these top companies share the real-life challenges and solutions of their biggest clients.


Challenge

As a company always looking to rule the market and create the best driving experience, Nissan is regularly tracking what is coming next. This is essential to keep its positioning as a “Love Brand”, even more, when the competition is widening beyond cars and mobility, extremely influenced by collaborative economies.

Nissan wants to build a bridge between business and consumer needs, making the internal team understand societal changes and creating a superior bond with their clients and the whole chain of value, thanks to the operation of the most relevant trends.

Solution

Knowing that consumers are not the only source for a niche trend to become massive, we collect information from different relevant sources in order to ensure an integral perspective, that is more solid when predicting the future.

Using trend hunter specialists allowed us to know what the industry is mapping for its own future: technology, sustainability and new revenue streams coming from mobility. However, contrasting those findings with cultural movements – what the experts see and what consumers want – there is a big gap, difficult to sort out with just the current industry solutions.

“To study a trend, without taking into account its resistance is like executing a strategy without thinking about the obstacles that will appear on the road.”

We were not only studying trends, but countertrends that are the best basis for a constant generation of insights, the best tension to activate consumer’s emotions. Such as the lack of adequate public transport, inefficient mobility around cities, absence of civil responsibility or civic rules, that put the car in the center of the problem, as the main enemy to fight.

Outcome

A shift in the way of viewing the market occurred inside the team. The findings enlightened us. We changed our perspective about the industry and adapted our tactics to improve value.

We found three main outcomes: one strategic, one symbolic, one communicational, with implications for the future positioning of Nissan in Mexico. Once the results were put in front of the business board of directors, we shook the companies existing internal strategy. Technological improvements in cars or incremental innovation, is not enough to solve client’s needs, they are asking more from the big companies, looking for allies with institutional influence over governments.

After understanding the distance the consumers are feeling with the automotive industry, actions to get emotionally closer are starting to be developed by Nissan agencies, together with the design of real solutions that positively affect consumer day-to-day life. We managed to change the category focus: from powered engines and adrenaline to sustainability and the softness of a pleasurable ride (ecological, inclusive) helping cars to keep their positioning as the main way of transport.

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