Z Branded Chairs, Soy Dishes And Lego – Nissan’s Merch Is Clever and Fun

  Colin Windell


 18 Feb, 2022

If you thought Nissan was just about motor vehicles, you would be wrong.

There is a dedicated team within the organisation specialising in conceptualising and bringing to market a full range of non-automotive products – including a chair featuring the classic ‘Z’ logo.

Tasked with seeking out licensing opportunities, the team works alongside partners to bring new products that repackage classic Nissan design features.

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,” says 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 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 – as in the soy sauce dish.

The dish works with the colour of soy sauce, a favourite 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 colouring 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.”

With the release of the Lego GT-R NISMO came the first Japanese car collaboration in the history of the Danish toy maker.

“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.

Most Nissan apparel designs have, until recently, featured images of Nissan cars themselves. However, given the popularity of the Swimmy Design Lab illustrations, the licensing team gave them permission to represent the brand in new and creative ways.

“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.”

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