Infiniti Brand Refresh Looks, Sounds, Smells Like the Future

Beneath deep white concrete eaves, you peer through floor-to-ceiling windows into the seemingly floating building before you gleaming with ambient light.

Inside, screens and slats take the place of walls while traces of cypress, cedar and yuzu citrus linger in the air. The deep resonance of a taiko drum blends with a wind chime and an indistinct vocal hum in a tranquil deluge of sound.

It could be a spa, greenhouse or a creative director’s wooded retreat… if it wasn’t for all the vehicles parked throughout.

That entire experience—graced with a streamlined, three-dimensional, illuminated logo—contains all the elements of what luxury automotive nameplate Infiniti now considers its brand. The change announced this week is just the fourth iteration of automaker Nissan’s Infiniti marque since its debut in 1989, but comes after a steep dropoff in sales since the last brand refresh in 2016.

With Infiniti looking to distinguish itself from electrified U.S. brands and legacy import competitors, the company has realized that its Japanese heritage and design have become luxury features all their own. The refresh marks a cultural shift back to both the brand’s marketing roots and toward a more bespoke, modern method of attracting and retaining luxury vehicle buyers.

“Infiniti started as this brand that was all about customer-centric customer service, and it was ahead of its time,” Shelley Pratt, Infiniti’s director of marketing communications and media, told Adweek. “The advertising back then was like rocks, trees, people: It was all about the experience. So we’re just bringing it back: This is who we’ve always been, and we’re making sure that we’re we’re leaning into who we were but still planning for our future.”

Rediscovering the road

After Infiniti last tinkered with its logo in 2016, U.S. buyers rewarded it by purchasing 153,415 vehicles in 2017—an all-time record for the company. However, as interest in its popular Q50 sedan—and sedans in general—waned and the pandemic wrought havoc on both consumer demand and the supply chain, Infiniti’s U.S. sales dropped steadily to just 46,619 vehicles in 2022.

That led to serious reconsideration of Infiniti’s brand and what it attempted to convey. Infiniti’s logo, as first introduced in 1989, was meant to resemble an “infinite road” stretching to a distant point on the horizon. Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s svp of global design, first saw the logo on a clay model of the 1989 Q45 sedan.

“I was struck by its simplicity and the comprehensive message depicted by its graphic design. It’s rare for a logo to capture an abstract and poetic concept like an infinite road,” he said.

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