While visiting Geneva Motor Show last week, I enjoyed a showcase of new cars and marques around the globe. In particular, seeing the Nissan GT-R up close left myself and Momentum Social co-founder The Debonair itching to find out more. Thankfully, a chance phone call with Nissan GT-R Ambassador, John Fuggles, plunged us into the world of Japanese motoring.
Tamura-san, father of the Nissan GT-R
After a promising couple of introductory meetings with John, we were lucky enough to be invited to meet Tamura-san, Chief Product Specialist at Nissan GT-R. So, after leaving the hustle and bustle of the Geneva, we travelled to a much more intimate location; the Pinewood Hotel, deep in heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside. To put it lightly, Tamura-san is the father and creator of the Nissan Skyline and GT-R. Therefore, it was truly a privilege to spend some time gaining exclusive insights into the Japanese marque’s past, present and future, in a highly-intimate setting among some of Nissan GT-R’s most enthusiastic customers.
It didn’t take long for the passionate creator to enthral every person in the room with stories of Nurburgring testing, automotive design and iconic backstories you could never find in a documentary or publication. Tamura-san spoke with the type of conviction and expertise only a creator of the Nissan GT-R could. However, he had a friendly and humorous demeanour that put everyone at ease; a true pinch yourself moment for anyone who knows anything about cars, never mind for the Nissan GT-R enthusiasts surrounding us.
‘You buy into the lifestyle, not the car’
2018 is quickly becoming the year in which lifestyle dominates marketing. Tamura-san in particular was keen to discuss the “car is life” theory; something that a room full of GT-R enthusiasts could definitely understand. However, for us as marketers it was a particularly useful insight, especially when we whisper questions to loyal GT-R customers at the same time. Furthermore, the concept that you don’t just buy a Nissan GT-R; you subscribe to the lifestyle, can be used for any brand.
With that in mind, as marketers, we must accept the concept that directly selling products no longer resonates with customers; particularly on social media. Instead, we must sell the lifestyle surrounding the ownership of a product; creating value based on what the customer is actually interested in. The Nissan GT-R in particular is inspired by the Japanese culture of finding balance in all things; be that the aerodynamics of the car or finding balance, peace and contentment in life.
R32 Skyline or Nissan GTR?
We couldn’t leave without asking Tamura-san the burning question on our mind; would he rather drive the original R32 Skyline he’s owned for 30+ years, or the newest GT-R if he could only drive one for the rest of his life? He answered:
“Do you have a wife, and do you remember your first love? Well, the R32 is my first love, it only reminds me of happy memories and making my dream come true. The Nissan GT-R is an example of the trials and tribulations of all my life’s work up until this point. So, would you take the chance to go back and be with your first love again now, like you’ve never moved on? Or would you keep pushing forward with your wife and what you have achieved so far?”
With the screeching of tyres and ferocity of the GT-R engine in the upcoming future for both Life in Pole Position and Momentum social, be sure to check back soon!