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Ep.35 – Breakthrough Branding and Leadership Strategies with Marketing VP at Nissan, Allyson Witherspoon

•Female Frontier Award Winner, Breaking Brand Barriers as a Leading Marketing Maverick and Pushing Her Brand To The Next Level•

Fresh off the launch of the exhilarating new TV spot featuring Brie Larson and the new Nissan Sentra, Allyson shares her breakthrough branding and leadership strategies. She is humble, insightful, and incredibly open about her rollercoaster journey moving from New York, Amsterdam, Japan, and back to Nashville. As a result, she is comfortable outside her comfort zone even when the stakes couldn’t be any higher!

With a celebrated and fascinating career trajectory, Allyson has always been one to watch since she was named an Automotive News “40 Under 40” industry executive in 2014.

As a courageous and impactful leader in the automotive industry, Allyson feels a responsibility to be a role model and to help other women. She says, “You don’t aspire to be something you don’t see”. Therefore, we are so lucky to have Allyson as an inspiration as she leads the marketing, communications, and customer journey for the Nissan Motor Corporation brand as well as its entire dealer network.

Buckle up, because this is a fast and furious interview packed with adventure!

Allyson Witherspoon, VP, Marketing at Nissan Motor Corporation

Here’s a preview of the lessons you will learn from this podcast:

Campaign Strategies

[05:08] – Allyson shares her strategy behind launching the new 2020 Nissan Sentra. Then she explains how using a “Twitter first View” helped build momentum and jumpstart a national product launch campaign.

Marketing Challenges

[08:50] – We’ll learn from the critical marketing challenges Allyson and her team are focusing on at Nissan. Including doing away with the old product “launch and leave” approach.

The Future of the Customer Journey

[12:03] – Kathy and Allyson discuss the future of the automotive customer journey. Including ways in which old marketing tactics are being replaced with personalized, thoughtful, and respectful conversations. Also how big data mining follows the digital trails consumers are leaving.

The Business Side of Marketing

[20:58] – From her view in the C-Suite, she explains how Nissan is changing the culture and aspirations of the automotive industry. Allyson is able to contribute by driving sustainable, profitable business at scale. As a result of using a one-team mentality, she has helped eliminate corporate battles that get in the way of cross-functional support and faster product development.

New Advertising Tactics

[26:13] – Kathy & Allyson discuss brands outside the Automotive Industry. Plus, Allyson shares how Nissan is using marketing strategies to reach Gen Z and millennial-minded audiences.

Career Advice

[32:28] – Allyson shares her personal brand and courageous leadership philosophy. In addition, she shares the importance of taking on the messy stuff and tackling fear. She even gives tips on how to develop your private board of directors.

Award-Winning Leadership

[36:29] – How Allyson’s recent Female Frontier Award for Breaking Brand Barriers is pushing the Nissan brand to the next level. And we get a unique look at how “training at altitude” gets you in shape for the rigors of global leadership.


[45:00] – Allyson shares some of the knowledge she gained from being a senior-level executive in a man’s world. Plus, how mentoring has helped her become a successful businesswoman. And a couple of Allyson’s daily habits that help to contribute to her success.

Thank you for listening!

Plus, listen to a special episode with Allyson as she shares how Nissan transitioned during COVID-19 and is shaping marketing history.

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