A Nissan Z chair that feels just like the real thing? The first Japanese car model to feature in the LEGO® universe? A soy sauce dish bearing the GT-R logo?
All of these and more could be yours thanks to the stellar work and persistence of the Nissan brand and product licensing team.
Tasked with seeking out licensing opportunities from Nissan's long and storied history, the team works alongside our partners to bring you new products that repackage classic Nissan design features.
The aim is to help as many people as possible enjoy Nissan products, and the team is even bringing Nissan excitement to the comfort of the living room.
Just like sitting in the original Z S30
Inspiration for new products can come from all sorts of places. The idea for the Z chair seen below is just one example.
Alongside Nissan, a partner created the chair to coincide with the Z's 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2019.
"These milestones are a great opportunity to revisit our classic design features," said Yoshiyuki Kanamori from the licensing team, "and also a key means of raising interest in the new product."
The chair's legs form the shape of the Z logo, while the fabric used for the upholstery is similar to that used in the Z S30, giving it that genuine feel when you sit in it at home.
The licensing team, particularly members with experience of Nissan heritage vehicles, were heavily involved throughout the design process. They suggested adding a plate reproducing the Z emblem to further enhance the feel of authenticity.
A wealth of knowledge to draw from
The team is always on the lookout for designs that embody Nissan brand identity. To do so, they draw on the expertise of each member.
Some may arrive on the team with a background in licensing, product planning, development or project management, while others bring a working knowledge of Nissan cars and product tech to the table.
The results are a range of products that reimagine the Nissan brand in new and inventive ways.
The dish pictured below works with the color of soy sauce, a favorite condiment in Nissan's native Japan.
When the sauce is poured over the carved indentations of the GT-R logo, the GT section remains black. Meanwhile, the R section turns red, accurately reproducing the coloring of the logo.
"The soy sauce dish is a really fun item," Kanamori said. "We feel that it really conveys the joy of a model like the GT-R."
Creating lasting memories
You don't have to be old enough to drive to enjoy the fun of these kinds of products.
With the release of the LEGO® GT-R NISMO came the first Japanese car collaboration in the history of the Danish toy maker.
Now Nissan fans of all ages can have fun building the high-spec model for themselves.
"In addition to toys, we're now expanding our activities to include smartphone games that can also be enjoyed by younger Nissan fans," Kanamori said.
A brand that everyone can relate to
A key element of bringing the joy of the brand to people is increased accessibility. That's why the licensing team is working on expanding the visibility of the brand among those with little or no familiarity.
The clothing seen below features illustrations by Japanese design firm Swimmy Design Lab.
Most Nissan apparel designs have, until recently, featured images of Nissan cars themselves. However, given the popularity of the unique Swimmy Design Lab illustrations, the licensing team gave them full license to represent the brand in new and creative ways.
On sale in Japan at outdoor fashion outlet, go slow caravan, and children's clothing brand, Breeze, the clothing enjoys a customer base beyond fans of Nissan cars.
"I'd love for new customers to engage with the Nissan brand in a casual way," Kanamori says. "Someone may be drawn to an item of clothing by the design, only then realizing it is a Nissan product."
This is the way Kanamori and the rest of the Licensing team are making the brand useful and enjoyable in people's daily lives, enabling a greater number of people to experience the exciting world of Nissan.