Senior Vice President, Marketing Division
Kia Motors Corporation
How do you see the marketing of brands changing in the next five to 10 years?
The past economic crisis has brought permanent changes to consumers shopping behaviors. There has been a shift from luxury to value. This was a significant opportunity for Kia, as we offer high quality products at an affordable price.
In the future, consumers will continue to search for the best value. They will continue to favor brands that are socially responsible and environmentally conscious. The main change will be the way brands communicate with consumers. We have already moved from a one-way monologue to dialogues. Our consumers need to receive information anytime, anywhere, through numerous channels, on-line or off-line. The main challenge now is to create brand stories and brand content, which will compel our consumers, both old and new.
Indeed, consumers will always be open to new offers, new ideas and new ways of living. The winning brand will be the one that succeeds in attracting the consumer’s attention with a story that stands out.
What points can you share from your experiences that contribute in building a successful brand?
From my past experience at L’Oréal, I learned that cosmetics buyers do not only make a rational decision but an emotional one. Car buyers do the same. Performance, fuel efficiency and high technology features help them make rational decisions. But it is more important and difficult to trigger people’s emotions. For example, design is key in attracting people’s attention. Our design has been improving dramatically over the last three years with numerous design awards from world-renowned institutions. The main challenge now is to establish a positive, long-lasting conversation with our consumers by projecting the values that people will embrace.
We do not simply make cars. We bring happiness to people’s lives.
Claire Chai is Senior Vice President, Marketing Division at Kia Motors Corporation in Seoul, South Korea. Before joining Kia Motors in March 2010, she was Vice President of Lancôme International.