NASHVILLE -- A former Cadillac executive is now in charge of ensuring that Infinitis marketing messages are strong and consistent as the brand goes global.
Infiniti developed its image and marketing message by selling the brand primarily in the United States for 20 years. Infiniti started selling vehicles outside the United States in the fall of 2006 in Russia.
As distribution heats up across Europe and Asia, Infiniti wants to make sure that its sporty-luxury image doesnt get watered down as it sells vehicles in such places as Slovakia, Lithuania and the United Arab Emirates.
We have to make sure people think of us in the same way in Russia that they do in Illinois, says Jon Brancheau, 47, director of Infiniti marketing communications and media. My mission is to make sure that we have a very consistent image.
The former Cadillac marketing manager moved last summer from Detroit to Nissan North America Inc. in Franklin, Tenn. But Brancheaus duties just expanded. Besides overseeing Infinitis U.S. message, as of April 1 he will also oversee the brands ad message globally after a reorganization of Infiniti operations.
Non-U.S. sales have represented less than 10 percent of Infinitis total global market in recent years. By calendar year 2011, the company hopes to bring the level to 25 percent.
During the Geneva auto show this month, Brancheau met with a committee of counterparts from several European markets to talk about upcoming ad campaigns and longer term marketing plans.
A key issue is translating Infinitis global advertising tag line, Inspired Performance, with the same connotations and imagery in every language.
The United States remains our highest volume market, Brancheau says, explaining why the effort will come from Tennessee. We have the longest history with Infiniti. We have the creative assets and the experience of launching new models. Its a core competency for us.