As an entrepreneur, I always try to keep up to date with general business happenings, even of companies and industries nothing to do with me.
One thing in particular that I enjoy is following successful companies in order to see what I can learn from them, be it their general business practices, a terrific marketing campaign, great product design etc.!
There are so many innovative companies out there, that if I can learn just one or two things to use for my own business, then it’s worth my time.
And today I want to talk about one company in particular – Kia Motors.
Twenty years ago Kia was considered nothing more than a below average South Korean car manufacturer with just a few, fairly mediocre models available.
But fast forward to 2015 and KIA has achieved phenomenal success in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
So how did they achieve this?
After all we need to analyse the how and why to be able to learn anything that we can use ourselves.
Well, Kia’s success has undoubtedly been a combination of a number of factors – after all you can’t build a company worth over £9 billion with sales of over £28 billion with a few good ideas – but purely from a customer’s perspective, these are the main factors which I believe has made Kia into the company it is today:
1. Peace of Mind – 7 Year Warranty.
This for me is the no.1 selling point for Kia!
Everybody loves a long warranty and when you can offer 7 years rather than the norm of 2-3 that your competitors offer, then you really differentiate yourself and it’s a huge selling point.
The takeaway here for eBay sellers is obvious – emphasise the reliability and quality of your products.
Not a single day passes without me receiving at least one email from someone who says they can’t compete with the lowest priced sellers on eBay and my answer is always the same – “you don’t have to!!”
Nobody wants to buy cheap if the item isn’t going to work so rather than compete on price alone and cut corners to bring your costs down, instead concentrate on providing a reliable and quality product that you can stand behind proudly.
A few years ago when tablets really started to take off on eBay, I had a 60 Day Blueprint customer who came to me worried that the Chinese sellers were going to destroy his market by undercutting him. And just as predicted they did all start flooding eBay with prices 20-30% cheaper than what he was offering.
And what was our response?
Well, we increased prices!
Yes, you read that right. Rather than lower prices to compete I instead advised him to offer a 2 year UK warranty and increase prices to maintain his margins, and the result was a steady increase in sales.
A very similar scenario to Kia, where they offered an above norm warranty to illustrate to customers the quality of their products.
2. Great Design
Everyone loves a well-designed product and small companies can achieve big things if they get that crucial design element right. There is no better example than Apple, who are able to have huge 200%+ mark-ups on their products, in large part because of their excellent design.
And the same goes for Kia – they hired a great head designer and created great looking products that the masses would love.
So always remember that, for every product, design is important. After all “a picture says a thousand words” and there is no better way to stand out in a crowded market place like eBay than by creating beautiful products.
3. Going the Extra Mile & Offering Free Gifts
Again, offering free gifts is something I have talked about a number of times in the past:
And Kia got their offers exactly right – free map updates for the 7-year warranty and free roadside assistance for the 1st year – these are both very high-value offers in customers’ minds and they work as a terrific extra selling point.
A lot of the time I would much rather offer a free gift to go alongside a product, rather than reduce the price.
And if you can get it right and offer something that your customers will really value, like Kia have done with their map packs and roadside assistance, then you’ll automatically put yourself ahead of the competition.
In my opinion, these were the 3 main reason behind Kia’s rapid growth in the UK.
Of course it goes without saying that the actual underlying product has to be good too! No amount of great design, marketing and extra warranties will allow you to succeed in the long-term if you’re selling crap!
And obviously that hasn’t been a problem for Kia, with numerous What Car awards and excellent user reviews – Kia has firmly established itself as a good car brand and not some cheap, unreliable piece of plastic on 4 wheels!
That brings me to my last point that we can learn from this – the importance of building a brand!
Some of you may sigh when reading this, thinking “Okay Andrew, we get it!!” but I’m afraid I will probably never stop extolling the benefits of building a real brand when creating an online business.
It’s pretty much the main factor behind my entire Easy Auction Business course and it’s what will allow you to build a real business and really become successful selling on eBay!
It may seem basic and a bit too simple, but trust me when I tell you – this approach works!
And Kia are a perfect example of that.
Now you may be wondering what the relevance of a multi-billion dollar company like Kia has to a small one-man band selling on eBay…
Well naturally these huge companies attract some of the brightest and best minds in business, and who better to learn from? Plus it really doesn’t matter if they’re selling millions of times what you are, the business principles remain the same so be smart, learn from other industries and companies and apply what you’ve learnt to your own business.
Have a productive and successful week ahead!
All the best,