How to innovate in the automotive category? Bring in the real estate boys

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A consumer’s value expectations for many categories has radically changed. Performance excellence is price of entry and cost affordability puts you (maybe) in the consideration set. Then you need to factor in design excellence, a compelling cause marketing program, etc. In other words, the expectations on Brands are high and thus the need for creativity is even higher. The importance of true marketing (not product) innovation is necessary. This is exactly what Nissan did to sell more cars in Dubai.


Nissan realized that they needed to look outside of their category to bring in value to their potential consumers. It all started with simple insight – expats arriving in the Gulf region have two big stresses to deal with before starting their new life there: finding a home and buying a car. So Nissan in Dubai connected these two needs and launched the HouseHunter Test-Drive app – a clever service that matched the user’s home, budget, neighborhood, and family size with the right Nissan model and then provided the option of being picked up by the Nissan model to go for a ride to view the home.

What I love about this idea is that they looked to create a win-win with another Brand. The idea was half media buy, half co-branding program. By finding the real estate site that most expats went to and found a way of making the search experience for pleasurable and valuable, Nissan totally blocked out other Brands from a vital behaviour to important new customers. Absolutely genius. Check out the video.

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