The New Infiniti Logo Is Incredibly Lazy and Barely Noticeable
Any automaker around long enough to break away from “startup” status will likely introduce a new design language and logo, either as mild revisions or a total overhaul. A prominent recent example is Kia, which has instilled striking design language across its lineup along with a new logo that some, unfortunately for its designers, perceive as “KN” and not “KIA.”
However, even a sometimes-misidentified logo is better than consumers not noticing you did anything at all. That appears to be the case for Infiniti. The luxury division of Nissan has debuted a new logo ahead of its upcoming rebranding efforts, but the average buyer will hardly notice.
Infiniti could use a shot in the arm
Infiniti sales have been sinking in recent years — and it doesn’t appear the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impacts on the automotive industry at large are solely to blame.
According to GoodCarBadCar, Infiniti’s market share and overall sales remained strong, excluding the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent fallout, from 2005 to a peak of 149,280 units sold in 2018. However, it’s been a steady decline since. Infiniti sales dropped off about 32,000 units in 2019, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the downward trajectory. Infiniti sold 46,000 models in 2022, a third of what they achieved four years prior.
This could be attributed to a mostly aging lineup at a time in which luxury cars are continually progressing with new tech, features, and even powertrains at a rapid pace.
The compact QX50 wasn’t particularly on the cutting edge when it debuted in 2019 and hasn’t received a major overhaul since. The second-gen QX60 was introduced for the 2022 model year and marked a significant step forward for the model, but the prior generation was so aged when it left the market some buyers could have been turned off from the nameplate. Additionally, the QX80 harkens back to the full-size SUVs of yesteryear and hasn’t been updated significantly in over a decade.
It’s a similar story for Infiniti’s sole remaining sedan, the Q50, which feels antiquated by its modern competitors. That’s expected given its last significant overhaul was its debut year in 2013, followed by a 2016 model year update, primarily tackling performance and steering features.
Infiniti looks to rebrand, but will buyers take notice?
Peek behind the curtains of public relations, and you’ll find that brands often make simplistic updates and try to “sell” them as groundbreaking just to get people talking about the company in question. That could be the case with Infiniti’s new logo — and it’s apparently working as we are writing about their new logo and anticipated changes, and you’re here reading about them.
Anyway, Infiniti’s new logo is hardly a noticeable departure from the prior iteration. In marketing terms, the new logo “places a greater focus on the ‘infinite road’ and horizon line” of the logo with new letter spacing that “visually accentuated the horizon.” In terms of most consumers, the updated logo can be described as, “Oh yeah, I suppose it is a bit different.”
Some future models will also sport a three-dimensional Infiniti emblem, giving the “infinite road” design a look in keeping with its name. However, the 3D logo won’t debut on models for likely several years, so it’s not precisely the excitement the brand wants to build in the present.
Additionally, Infiniti has announced it will incorporate a new architectural style into its dealerships featuring the concept of “Ma.” According to the automaker, this design philosophy “considers the space between things” to “embrace empty space.”
Infiniti is also debuting a “multisensory experience.” This entails a “signature scent” evoking a forest of cypress, cedar, and citrus, Infiniti says, that will be used at brand events. Additionally, a new sound design, dubbed “Moment of Tranquility,” will be showcased at brand events, in promotional materials, and in dealerships, “giving consumers another way to recognize, remember and interact with Infiniti.”
While there is something to be said for a revised logo, attractive dealerships, and scents/sounds that invoke your brand, it remains to be seen if these will have any impact on helping Infiniti to get out of its current sales rut. However, it’s unlikely they will help if buyers aren’t excited about the brand’s products, and as of now, Infiniti’s models clearly aren’t delivering in that regard among consumers.