Pour y répondre j’ai pu interviewer exceptionnellement les deux responsables France et Monde de l’automobiliste sud-coréen Kim sur leurs stratégies de partenariats worldwide (Coupe du monde, Euro, NBA ...)Merci encore à Brandon Park (Marketing Coordinator Kia Motors France) et Hong Jae Kim (General Manager of Overseas Promotion Team)
Darkplanneur: What is the Key value of Kia?
Brandon Park: The key value of Kia is « the ambition to surprise and entertain our customer:», which means we always need quality and communication, but people don’t know who we are so we must provide them with the unexpected to reach them. So we
have to find out a solution to surprise the consumer to increase our notoriety. We are a young and dynamic brand so we mainly focus on digital and sports to reach our main target without neglecting the other consumers.
D: Can you explain the meaning of “Power to Surprise”, your brand’s motto?
BP: The deep meaning of this is that we want to surprise people in terms of designs, products, marketing and services. The goals of our marketing operations are to make people experience this power to surprise through the brand and make it theirs through this experience. Power to surprise is an ambition from us for our consumers, to always move forward, to try to never disappoint them!
D: What is the goal of this partnership with the UEFA Euro?
HJK: Football is the most popular and frequently watched sport in Europe so this partnership with the 2012 UEFA Euro 2012 provides us with a mean to broaden our audience in order to target the European market efficiently. Our ambition in
this area is in fact to improve our popularity and notoriety.
D: What is the place of Kia in the Competition’s pool of Partners?
HJK: Kia Motors is one of the official sponsors of this event, like Coca-Cola and Adidas. We are the official car of the tournament in partnership with our mother brand : Hyundaï.
D:According to you, what is Kia’s Secret Weapon?
BP: There is no specific weapon. I mean, of course we have quality products, especially 3 new ones from last year to this year (the new Picanto, Rio and
Soul segments) and moreover, we are offering a 7 year warranty, which really suits the European market. But if I had to name one, then our secret weapon
is the SACRIFICE. Because unlike other brands, we are proud to work for Kia and we sacrifice ourselves to improve our brand values and sales. I do think this is
the most important weapon we have: To sacrifice ourselves and provide our customers with the best products.
D: What drives the selection of sports events?
HJK: We recognize that these are the sports marketing properties, especially those from football and tennis. For Football, we are partners of the UEFA and FIFA. For Tennis, we are the major sponsors of the Australia Open and Rafael Nadal is also our brand ambassador.
D: What is the surprise of this Euro?
HJK: I think we had a lot of marketing program but most important one was the Kia experience with you “French Bloggers”. You know, it’s our first attempt to work with you social influencers and it’s a great feeling having you here for the Semi-finals “Italy vs. Germany”, and seeing how you’re working and changing our marketing assets, the way we work with media.
D: How do you avoid the cannibalization effect with Hyundai?
HJK: Yes, it is a bit complicated because we have to divide our operations into 2 parts, to make the difference clear and operate 2 different marketing programs. Still, there is some kind of synergy: while the 2 brands are competing against each
other, they are also growing together which makes us both growing stronger in terms of business and differences. But to answer your question, I think we are targeting a more urban and young audience.
D: What makes your partnership different?
BP: From my understanding, Hyundai is more focused on mass media activities while we are more focused on local operations (for example like the Kia Cup), making us using local media for our marketing efforts, that is the main
difference between us.
D: What is the added value of the NBA partnership in the USA?
This is a global partnership like for Tennis and Football. Unfortunately, Soccer is less popular in America than in Europe, so we entrust this responsibility to our subsidiaries: Kia Motors America, and our local distributors in the U.S.A which both understand the need to remain surprising, unexpected. That is why the NBA was more suited for a partnership in order to reach this goal, providing us the same effectiveness as Soccer in terms of improving our brands and in the common values between basketball and Kia Motors.
D: If I tell you Kia is the Sportiest automotive brand, what is your answer?
HJK:I don’t think we are the sportiest but assuredly one of the major brands that are using sports marketing as its major marketing tool because, as I mentioned earlier, our brand targets young and dynamic people, so sports marketing fits those kind of people’s expectations. That is why maintaining our strategy is the best way for us to reach young audiences efficiently.
D: And what about the 'rocky' relationships between Brands & Sports?
HJK: I do think it's a question of RESPECT! We have to respect each other..we as brands, we have to understand the Passion through Sports! For instance we as Kia, with our brand platform "Power to Surprise", our aim through Sports will always be to entertain, our customers / fans..we're not going to interfer on the athlete's wishes...we just want them to surprise us with their performances! That's our aim for instance with the KIa Cup we've organised this year: If you don't respect the identity and the values driven through Sports, that are PASSION / COMMITMENT / ...then you're sure to fail and cheat on your mission...we as KIA certainly don't want that! We are first of all PASSIONNATED by Sports.