Automotive Blog

Hyundai's new approach could be a game changer

Crystal Maze

Do you remember those cringe-worthy gameshows? The ones where the winner would stand in a plastic tube and thousands of tiny bright pieces of paper were fired at them while they have to try and catch a single, winning, golden scrap amongst hundreds of its silver counterparts? Well this is what it can feel like being a consumer in the year 2015.

We have built our society around choice. Choice allows us personal expression, autotomy, and independenc e- it’s the whole basis for which we’ve built our society. But none of that seems to matter when I’m walking through Selfridges, being sprayed with perfume every 30 seconds. 

And now it’s everywhere. Thanks to personalised advertising and the genius who created internet cookies, if you show an interest in something online, you can bet that companies will be paying for that product to pop up on every device you own for the next three months of your life. Much like the gameshow contender, consumers end up with hundreds of choices being thrown at them as companies cross their fingers and hope it’s their brand that gets picked.

Things have to change - and they are.

Hyundai Rockar is managing to snap up customers on an impulse, having no previous experience of the brand and many with no intention of buying a new car. Based in a shopping centre, with a relatively simple product range to view, customers are taken away from overstimulating showrooms and welcomed by staff who are hired solely to offer advice and guidance without the burden of a sales commission.

The result -  Hyundai’s single store in Bluewater shopping centre has managed to push out over 650 new car sales to customers in 2015, and their second Rockar store opened earlier this month.

So how are they making their customers make such an impulse purchase?

The answer’s simple - they’re not. Customers aren’t bombarded with over-personalised marketing campaigns, subliminal messaging and pushy salesmen. They’re left to decide what’s right for them, on their own terms and in their own time. The store provides that rare thing in retail - a relaxed, stress-free environment. There is no pressure on the customers, and no pressure on the staff - leaving the store is as simple as walking 5 metres into the WHSmiths next door.

But the very thing that makes Rockar so effective could also be its downfall. Currently, the store is able to be so successful because it stands alone - it doesn’t have to compete for a customer’s attention. But what happens when five other brands open pop-up stores in the same centre? Is this new concept truly appealing to new customers, or is it just appealing because it’s so new?

These are all questions that I’m sure Hyundai will find out all too soon.  Much like any new successful concept, the second player is never very far behind. When their competitors catch up, will this design prove to be as revolutionary to the new car buying experience as we all hope, or turn out to be just another gameshow plastic tube that hasn’t been turned on yet?

Written by Lucy Langdon

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