Kotozukuri: how Nissan made 'brand journalism' a reality

Low Lai Chow

Now that Japan is no longer the postwar economic miracle it once was, the country needs to cut itself loose from its comfort zone of monozukuri, the art of manufacturing things, and embrace kotozukuri, the art of storytelling.

That's the opinion of Simon Sproule, corporate VP of global marketing communications for Nissan Motor Company, and these aren't hollow words meant as general advice. In 2011 Nissan has taken the concept of kotozukuri to heart. In particular, it has set up the Nissan Global Media Center, a team of professional journalists and content creators based on the tenth floor of its Yokohama headquarters.

"This has attracted quite a lot of attention here in Japan and starting to attract attention globally," said Sproule, speaking at the recent ThinkTank Live conference in Singapore, organised by The Holmes Report. "What we effectively have done is create our own Bloomberg or Reuters or AP News Bureau, and we've created it in-house."