Hyundai - Marketing and Consumer Communication
Since the 90s Hyundai has made significant efforts to re-brand itself as a reliable automotive manufacturer. In recent years, the company has targeted women in advertisements in order to positively engage that demographic. Furthermore, Hyundai has sought to ease the purchasing processes for digital buyers, effectively improving consumer communication, and has used experiential marketing to connect to its consumer base. While there is no comprehensive analysis of Hyundai's brand evolution, I will elaborate on these notable endeavors that have contributed to its current appeal. In order to get a full picture, some of the sources used are older than two years old, but still contain relevant and latest info of its kind.
Revitalizing a brand
In the 20th century Hyundai had the off-putting reputation of being a low-quality brand and, in the words of former Chief Marketing Adviser Cho Won-Hong, was "one of the minor players" in the U.S. This realization led to a more than generous offer at the turn of the century: a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty was introduced to the market. With such a bold marketing strategy Hyundai effectively revitalized its brand and abandoned the previous negative connotations surrounding it.
Consumer communication and experiential marketing
Seeing the tedious nature of purchasing a new vehicle, Hyundai has made significant improvements to its own processes to ease the experience for its customers. Mainly, the company has offered to deliver its vehicles to potential buyers for test-driving. On the digital end, Hyundai has streamlined the internet user's purchasing experience by making prices as transparent as possible and giving buyers the option to fill out paperwork online. As well, the brand continues to mark its presence by pushing its Tier 1 digital adverts.
Furthermore, Hyundai has employed experiential marketing tactics which, according to brand experience lead Susannah Jacques, allows consumers to "interact with the brand." For example, a partnership between Hyundai and the Stand Up to Cancer campaign saw the use of a Contactless Car that took donations via smart-devices. The car manufacturer also released content during the 2018 Superbowl and has plans to do so for the NFL games hosted in London in October.
Advertisement campaigns from recent years have shown Hyundai's commitment to reaching the female audience. The 2016 Superbowl saw the introduction of a Hyundai ad campaign with the slogan "We Make Things Better", which was launched with TV spots starring reputable actors. In one such TV spot, two women driving an Elantra avoid a collision with actor Ryan Reynolds when the vehicle activates its automatic brake and pedestrian detection systems.
The following year Joe Public launched the #CretaLightTheWay campaign for Hyundai. Cleverly, a launch date falling on International Women's Day was chosen, and the female-empowering ad managed to hit trending status on social media. Additionally, in 2018, the Hyundai Ioniq was bestowed the Women's World Car of the Year Supreme Award. This is a significant achievement for Hyundai's efforts to appeal to female customers, especially given that the award is the only one to be granted by an all-female jury.
Kathleen Burke reports that, in general, women prefer "Asian-manufactured nameplates like Toyota and Hyundai" due to their reputations for reliability. Thus, engagement with a female base has proven to be fruitful for Hyundai.
As one can see, Hyundai has adapted to the modern era and successfully reinvigorated its brand. Through a turn of the century deal to customers, the Hyundai brand was given a second wind. Recent advertisement campaigns have put women at the forefront of their image, consequently improving their reputation among women. Finally, prioritizing customer convenience, website usability, and experiential marketing have further improved consumer communication.