BASECREATIVE

Nakamichi

Renewing the image of a renowned Japanese audiovisual brand

Nakamichi is one of the world’s leading home audiovisual companies, and long enjoyed a strong reputation for high-end audio and innovative design. After business reorganisation this iconic brand is now licensed out for use by a number of licensees around the world, and is seeking to strengthen its image globally and give end consumers a clearer perception of the meaning and quality of the brand. Base Creative undertook the task of assessing Nakamichi’s market positioning and repositioning the brand to meet the needs of today’s fast-changing marketplace.

78

years of brand success extended into the future

3

licensees interviewed to obtain insights

5

brand owner representatives interviewed

What we did

Base Creative was commissioned to undertake a complete brand refreshment, including strategy, positioning, visual identity and marketing communications. The objective was to give Nakamichi a renewed “contemporary classic” brand personality, maintaining the classic brand values associated with the Nakamichi name but adjusting the brand to fit current market realities.

Brand Strategy

Brand Identity

Packaging Design

Brand Activation

Research

Our extensive research focused on the changes in the audiovisual marketplace in recent years. The transition from physical to digital media, and the increasing use of mobile devices to access music and video, has seen the traditional market for high-end AV equipment shrink dramatically. This has affected Nakamichi, traditionally viewed as a high-end lifestyle brand. We found that there is still a market for quality components at the right price, but they must be geared to the new realities of the market, with an emphasis on mobile entertainment. We interviewed key stakeholders including the brand owners and selected licensees to determine how the brand is perceived and identify possible directions for its development. We also conducted a Brand Workshop focusing on the brand’s visual image, and studied competing brands, both licensed and non-licensed.

Brand Strategy

Base Creative’s market research found that the Nakamichi name was still held in high esteem among older consumers. The brand owner sought a positioning for the brand which would sustain this treasured reputation for excellence and present a consistent brand image across all markets, while meeting the needs of today’s consumers. Guided by our market insights, Base Creative’s brand positioning work aimed at shifting target segments of Nakamichi from high-end to mid-high end. Accordingly we articulated the new brand positioning, “live up your moments”, setting a new direction and attracting younger, sophisticated consumers.

Brand Identity

With the brand identity already in use by multiple licensees, we made subtle changes to live up to Nakamichi’s past, yet give it a contemporary spin. We were inspired by Nakamichi’s own logo, and as a result the grid system is now a repeated graphic pattern made up of the Nakamichi ‘N’ symbol, creating a stylish motif. This was applied to packaging and other key design elements, giving the rejuvenated brand a contemporary and sophisticated design aesthetic which would differentiate it from other brands and appeal to a younger, sophisticated urban audience. A brand book was developed capturing all the key elements of the brand DNA and visual style, including colour palette and font usage reflecting the brand personality, which the owners and licensees could use to introduce the brand.

Packaging Design

Brand Activation

With the new positioning defined and visual identity updated, the refreshed brand was ready to be rolled out to licensees. Using the guidelines in the brand book, licensees could further develop their own marketing collaterals and feature the products on their websites. All stakeholders involved have reacted very positively to the brand’s redesign and anticipate the brand regaining its high profile in the consumer electronics market.

Summary

Nakamichi

78

years of brand success extended into the future

3

licensees interviewed to obtain insights

5

brand owner representatives interviewed

Brand Strategy

Brand Identity

Packaging Design

Brand Activation

Analytics

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