A Case Study in Influence: Hyundai
Everyone wants to be the best. If you aren't the best, then chances are you're looking to see who is and trying to emulate them. Put simply, influencers attract imitators. Lately, Hyundai has proved to be a leader in the auto industry. While sales of competitors have slowed to a crawl, Hyundai has been cruising in the fast lane and gobbling up market share along the way. Other automakers are taking notice, and copying Hyundai's strategies. A decade ago, Hyundai introduced its eye-popping America's Best Warranty, providing 10-yr, 100,000-mile powertrain protection. Rivals scrambled to follow suit, upgrading their own warranty offerings. More recently, Hyundai unveiled its Assurance program to give car buyers security in light of economic instability. Within months, GM released its Total Confidence plan, and Ford responded with the Ford Advantage. Despite a terrible market, Hyundai's influence has thrived. How has the Korean automaker been able to pioneer innovation within the American market? Three Reasons for Hyundai's Influence
1) Building Trust
Hyundai entered the U.S. market with a splash in 1986, selling more than 126,000 cars. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the splash was followed by a thud as buyers were greeted with a host of quality defects. The abysmal quality of its cars made the South Korean automaker the laughingstock of the industry. "How do you double the value of a Hyundai?" asked one joke, "Fill the gas tank." Reeling from quality concerns, Hyundai had to reestablish trust with wary consumers. In an attempt to do so, the company settled upon a marketing plan to offer over-the-top security to customers willing to buy Hyundai. Dangling the incentive of America's Best Warranty, Hyundai won back the business of skeptical buyers. However, convincing customers to buy was only half the battle. Could Hyundai satisfy them and earn repeat business? Thankfully for Hyundai, it was able to deliver quality and fix its image. In...
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