Kia Motors America is launching a completely redesigned digital experience via a new agency partner, Elephant.
The redesign is the result of more than 18 months of customer research and consumer testing on the site’s functionality, design and usability. The site was recently unveiled in the United States and India and will eventually be rolled out globally.
The new digital experience aims to redefine the relationship between consumer and automotive manufacturer and provide the best online experience, says Michael Cole, chief operating officer and executive vice president, Kia Motors America. Customers are provided with solutions based on their individual needs and ones that instantly and intuitively support their shopping decisions, he adds.
The “Buying Made Easy” process brings tools for new car buyers into a simple, step-by-step format. It helps consumers to build their ideal vehicle and then match it to an actual model on the lot at their local dealership.
The humanity of the brand also comes to life in small details like showing how an SUV fits three surfboards in the back instead of listing the cubic feet, the company says. Or in the non-linear “Build & Price,” where customers can just pick the features by digging though different trims.
“Kia was up for questioning the conventional wisdom about what a manufacturer experience had to be,” says Kevin Kearney, executive creative director of Elephant, in a release. “As a creative agency, that’s the kind of challenge we love.”
The agency looked around the category and saw brands focusing on trims and specs, or trying to “innovate” by chasing trends like bots and VR, he says.
“We knew that wasn’t the way forward for the brand,” he says. “Our behavioral research showed us how emotional and personal buying a car can be so we focused on creating an experience that brings a refreshing dose of humanity to the process in every moment.”
Kia still offers “Kian” the AI-chatbot designed by CarLabs, on Facebook Messenger.