Nissan tailors design and function for its female customers.
We already have the facts and figures about how women rule automotive buying decisions. But, who’s really listening? Nissan is up front of a growing number of car companies. So, after hearing ways that Nissan was catering to their female customer base, I decided to try out two of their models this summer—the 2015 Pathfinder 4 X 4 SUV and the 2016 Maxima sedan.
Both were super easy to drive, stylish and accommodating for women, families and everyone else. And the good news is… Nissan is improving all of its models to accommodate their female consumers.
My friend Jen is a perfect customer for the Pathfinder, so I took her on a test drive in Margate, New Jersey. Jen had her first Pathfinder in 1990, followed by four years of Ford Expeditions and more recently, a string of Ford Flex leases.
She noted, “The lines are pretty… it’s quiet. I think it’s feminine [compared to her husband’s BMW M3].”
Jen also loved things like the clean dash design, the quick pickup and braking, and the trip reset button on the hooded dash. But most of all, this self-described lounge driver thought the seat and its many adjustments was the best.
A future Nissan customer? You may be, too.
After driving both models, I connected with Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations, about how Nissan was appealing to women.
He said that, “for female consumers, some of the top purchase considerations are safety, convenience/ability to meet their families’ needs, versatility, and style. As we redesigned Nissan Rogue and Murano, we took these factors into consideration.”
Women put safety first, so it’s a priority for Nissan, too
Whether it’s how the vehicle handles in less than desirable weather or how easily the driver can check out her surroundings, female drivers want to be assured that their car will perform. In Nissan’s research, approximately 87 percent of female Rogue buyers said they must have or would like to have Blind Spot Warning, and 81 percent said they must have or would like to have Around View Monitor.
The all-new Murano has “an extra set of eyes” with its four cameras (front, rear, one on each side) and three radar sensors (one in front and one on each side). The “eyes” provide input to a range of available safety technologies that include Blind Spot Warning, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Rethinking convenience by putting more things in reach
The Nissan Rogue is a user- friendly family car. For example, the sliding second row pulls up to the a forward position to give closer access to kids in the back seat. Nissan also lowered Rogue’s power rear lift gate, making it easier for shorter people to reach the power close button.
In the Murano, Nissan lowered step-in height and widened the door opening, making it easier to get in/out of the vehicle and to secure infants and toddlers in their car seats. Nissan also paid attention to women buyers by lowering the height of the instrument panel; shortening the “seat-to-screen” distance, making the screen larger and streamling the audio and navigation switches.
Kids, gear and groceries: flexible space offers lots of options
The Divide-N-Hide cargo system in the Nissan Rogue lets drivers choose from 18 adjustable variations between the cargo and occupant areas (two-row models). For instance, folding down the second row seats creates a flat cargo area, while lowering the rear floorboard makes for a deeper cargo well for carrying taller or bulkier items. Rogue also has an optional third row for additional passengers.
Women love to look good. Who knew?
“Research shows that 72 percent of women say, “style reflects everything that I buy,” says Diaz. “With the all-new Nissan Murano, we gave women what they’re looking for—signature style”.
Nissan introduced three key design elements—the V-Motion front end, signature lighting and the ‘floating’ roofline. The interior carries on that design with a social lounge ambiance and unique lighting/
To get the message out, Nissan looks to events, ads and social media
“As we develop our ad campaigns, we make sure to feature female characters that are empowered and confident,” offers Diaz.
The company focuses on consumer activities that inspire women to be empowered and confident. For example, Nissan was the exclusive automotive sponsor of the BET Awards in June 2015, a series of events that are primarily attended by women. Nissan also sponsored the Women Driving Excellence event at the Chicago Auto Show, where more than 200 attendees came through the Nissan stand, snapped photos and posted them on their social media channels.
Diaz noted, “More than 550 tweets posted by this social savvy group of women not only showcased Nissan’s products but also launched conversations about the brand and our vehicles.”
Where the rubber meets the road: creating a better shopping experience
“As we tailor our marketing activities to individual audiences, we aim for the same goal across the board: drive consumers to our dealerships,” offers Fred Diaz, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations. “Recent research shows that female customers (GenY shoppers, in particular) value a pressure-free shopping experience.”
With that in mind, Nissan is creating a feeling of openness in their showrooms with a mix of high bar tables, lounge seating and coffee tables. Some of their dealerships have kids areas outfitted with iPads to help keep them occupied as parents shop or service their car.
Nissan is one of many companies that recognize the need to cater to the women’s market. As other auto manufactures implement these ideas too, a shift in the industry will be felt. Recognition is the first step to change, right?