Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles, Kia Motors Corporation is the world’s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer, and produces more than 1.4 million vehicles annually at 14 manufacturing and assembly operations worldwide. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of more than 3,000 distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. The corporation has more than 40,000 employees and annual revenues of more than US $17 billion.
Kia Motors, based in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s fifth-largest vehicle manufacturer, producing technically-advanced vehicles that are highly rated for passenger safety, including many models identified as leaders in their class on the JD Powers Index. These same models are available in Jordan but cost the local buyer significantly more because of taxes and fees.
Vehicle sales have slowed in Jordan in reaction to increasing government fees and taxes. Jordan mandates a value-added tax (VAT) of 93% to 104% for gasoline-powered vehicles, a VAT of 25% on electric vehicles despite an earlier exemption, and continues to increase the VAT on hybrid cars, which will reach 45% in 2021. As a result, auto sales in Jordan declined by 41% in 2018 and by 4% in 2019 year to date.
Kia has worked hard to entice Jordanian consumers to buy in the face of considerable marketplace challenges. Kia Jordan has gone so far as to reduce its gross profit on some car models, yet the tax situation remains a major barrier to sales.
Kia hoped to create excitement and drive sales in Jordan with a new campaign featuring low down payments and special installment terms. Executives decided to add something special to sweeten the deal: a high-end gift with purchase that would get people talking. Kia Jordan wanted the gift to connect deeply with its brands, strengthening the customer relationship and loyalty long after the auto sale.
Kia decided to partner with Samsung, well known in the region for its appealing and popular consumer phones. Its new promotion would offer a free, high-quality mobile device with the purchase of certain Kia models. The partnership presented a compelling opportunity to deliver branded phones aligned with the Kia car models, because both partners offer a tiered product structure that includes different models for different age groups and lifestyles. When a customer buys a car, Kia hands the customer one of five new Samsung devices customized to match the model purchased: Picanto, Optima, Niro, Rio, Sportage, and Cerato.
Kia selected the Samsung devices to give away based on the customer profile for each car model. For instance, Niro and Rio buyers are typically younger, and therefore received the Galaxy Gear watch and Samsung A50 phone or Level U headphones and A30 phone, respectively. Buyers of more expensive cars received higher-end Samsung devices. Sportage buyers, typically young managers interested in taking top-quality photos, received the high-end S10 phone that’s recognized for its advanced camera.
Using the Knox Configure customization tool from Samsung, Kia was able to add sophisticated, differentiated branding to the devices. The team cost-effectively customized the device boot-up and shut-down animation to reflect the specific Kia model purchased.
To run the program, Kia employees first created six device profiles in the Knox console. Then, using the Knox Configure auto-enrollment feature, they assigned each device to a profile using the device’s unique identification number.
When the customer opens the box and connects the device to the network, they see a special logo animation for the car that showcases the Kia model they just purchased.
The branded experience was designed to give customers one more reason to feel good about their purchase and also encourage viral marketing efforts for Kia in Jordan.
Working with Samsung, we were able to offer gifts that were personalized for buyer profiles without spending a lot of money and effort. This unique promotion helped us sell more cars and build brand loyalty among our customers.
Customers were excited about the Samsung device incentive, and Kia executives deemed the campaign one of the most successful yet. Kia surpassed its campaign sales goal, thanks to a winning partnership with Samsung and its solutions. The company achieved overall new car sales growth of 46% compared to the same period the previous year, despite local market pressures.
Along with a growth in total car sales, Kia Sportage sales were particularly successful, surging more than 165% compared to typical monthly sales. Kia attributes the increase to the matching gift of the popular Samsung Galaxy S10.
The campaign also improved brand awareness for Kia, with a 20% growth in leads since campaign launch. The Samsung device offer was promoted on Kia Jordan’s website and social media accounts, and in online, print, radio, and television advertising.
Kia Jordan loved the creative touch and the ability to give new customers a valuable gift that would remind them of their new Kia every time they turn on or shut down their devices—a powerful tool for long- term customer brand loyalty. In turn, Kia customers reported high satisfaction with the mobile phone gifts.
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