Here’s the thing. Hyundai did an amazing job in America with its long game of winning minds and market share. The low price point, 10-year warranty is the stuff of which Harvard Business School cases are made. I say long term, because that’s how you build a car brand – over time. It’s a considered purchase, an expensive purchase. Hyundai did it the right way and consumer perceptions of quality and value were growing more and more positive.
Then came Genesis. The car designs were amazing. The ads, off-the-charts well-conceived. But the brand strategy was lacking. America wasn’t ready for a luxury brand from Hyundai. Just wasn’t. (And don’t go all focus group defensive on me.)
When Peter Arnell did a branding assignment to make Samsung more a mainstream electronics brand 30+ years ago, it felt wrong. But it worked. The timing was right. The proofs were baked. Today Samsung rocks.
Genesis might have worked had it not been a Hyundai brand. Or if introduced 10 years down the road. But Alas, Poor Yorik, it was not.