Kia Motors’ global brand rises

Kia Motors’ global brand rises

kia logoKia has seen the value of its global brand rise by 12% over the past year on the back of quality advancements and continued sales success.

According to Interbrand’s list of the 100 ‘Best Global Brands’, Kia has climbed five places to become the 69th most valuable brand in the world.

Interbrand estimates the value of the Kia brand grew from US$5.7 billion in 2015 to US$6.3 billion in 2016, even as uncertainty continues to plague economies and financial markets around the world.

The latest figure represents a 603% increase since 2006, the year in which Kia Motors declared design-driven management as a key strategy behind the company’s future growth under the guidance of German automotive design guru Peter Schreyer.

Since 2012, Kia’s global brand campaign, A Different Beat, has enabled the company to emphasise the vibrant, reliable and distinctive nature of its cars.

These efforts have been supported by a focus on driving the quality of Kia products to higher levels, culminating this year in Kia’s first place ranking in the USA’s JD Power 2016 Initial Quality Study (IQS). Ranked ahead of all other manufacturers, the IQS achievement marks the first time in 27 years a non-premium brand has taken the top spot in the automotive industry’s benchmark evaluation of new vehicle quality.

Kia’s rise was driven by class-leading performances from the Sportage compact SUV and Soul urban crossover. Kia was also named by JD Power as the third highest ranking brand among all non-premium manufacturers in its automotive performance, execution and layout (APEAL) awards for new vehicle satisfaction in the USA.

Kia’s excellence in design continued to be recognised in 2016 with the all new Sportage and Optima sedan both receiving influential ‘Red Dot’ and ‘iF’ design awards, while other new products and technologies have further enhanced the brand’s image.

To accompany the ongoing growth in the company’s product lineup, official partnerships with the world’s most high-profile sporting events have provided additional momentum to the growth of the Kia brand. Sponsorship arrangements with FIFA, UEFA, NBA, LPGA and the Australian Open tennis championship have provided the company with a wealth of opportunities to engage with young-at-heart target customers across the globe.

General manager of Kia Motors New Zealand Todd McDonald says the growth in the value of the Kia brand is not surprising and he believes it will continue to make gains.

“Kia has made significant investments in all parts of its business, not just in design and quality, and this is really starting to resonate with our customers,” he says.

Interbrand global director of brand valuation Mike Rocha says Kia’s growth in brand value in recent years can be seen as a direct result of consumers’ strengthening attachment to the designs and features of Kia’s product lineup and engagement with worldwide communications activities centred on developing the brand’s image.

“Kia’s brand performance in the European market in particular has been driven by a strong SUV lineup, as well as engaging experiential customer communications programmes, on and off-line.”

He adds that this significant and sustained growth is a result of company-wide efforts to strengthen the brand and cultivate a more emotional attachment to Kia and its products among consumers.

Interbrand’s 17th annual Best Global Brands report identifies the 100 most valuable global brands, analysing the many ways in which the strength of a brand benefits organisations – from delivering on customer expectations to driving greater economic value.

Interbrand’s methodology was the first ISO-certified brand valuation method. The ranking is based on a combination of attributes, each contributing to a brand’s cumulative value such as financial performance of branded products and services, the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice, and the strength of the brand in commanding a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

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