RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING

SEOUL, Jan. 8, 2024 — For luxury auto brands, there’s so much more than selling great cars. When Genesis is in the picture, the intricacy deepens. 


Chul Min Lee, Genesis Brand Experience Officer, shares the story of Genesis branding and highlights the distinctive nature of its marketing tactics. 


How would you assess the recognition of Genesis as a luxury brand? 


When Genesis took its first step as an independent brand [in 2015], it had two criteria to evaluate its success as a luxury brand. The first is whether Genesis comes to mind when customers list luxury brands. If our customers consider Genesis among the many respected luxury automotive brands that enjoy a deep history upwards of 100 years, we thought it would be a solid sign of good brand direction. The second indication of success is if the media categorizes Genesis in the company of these historic luxury brands. We hold the media’s perspective in high esteem because it is at the forefront of industry trends and market changes. Year after year, the volume of such comparisons with the world’s luxury automotive brands has increased. Additionally, it’s important to note that Genesis considers sophistication and satisfaction to be the value of true luxury, rather than simply a number on a price tag. We believe the essence of luxury lies in individual experiences and emotional connections. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_2

 

How do you approach different perceptions in Korea and abroad, namely the United States? 


As a global luxury brand, we strive to provide a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, to all customers around the world. However, there are still some differences in perceptions between Korea and other regions, including the United States, which is why we also customize our approach to each market, depending on the timing of entry and specific market position. The scale of the results varies, but North America is a particular strength where sales and market share are increasing each year. For instance, Genesis has been ranked as the No. 1 brand by J.D. Power’s Tech Experience Index (TXI) for the past three years and was awarded the No.1 premium brand by the same organization’s Initial Quality Survey (IQS) in 2022. MotorTrend has also bestowed our flagship G90 model with the honor of 2023 Car of the Year. Overall, Genesis’ modern interpretation of Korean values and characteristics plays a crucial role in our global success. Differentiating Genesis from other luxury automotive brands, this is a unique foundation that has been met with positivity in the global market.

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_3

 

What strategy has Genesis employed to compete against other luxury auto brands with much longer histories? 
 

Genesis’ success is based on remaining true to our DNA of being Audacious, Progressive, and Distinctly Korean, and each element is continuously refined as the brand evolves. With design as the greatest force driving the brand, Genesis has sought global expansion by designing not only products but also distinctive customer experiences. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_4

 

What’s the strategy for Europe, where most other luxury auto brands are based? 
 

Our European presence is still fresh, having only entered the market in 2021, but we have seen steady recognition for product competitiveness in a region native to most other luxury automotive brands. Genesis aims to further strengthen our brand in Europe by taking the lead in electrification, and with an expanded EV lineup in the works for the next few years, there is great excitement among consumers for these upcoming models. Genesis’ engagement with the European market is also bolstered by our title sponsorship of the Scottish Open, Europe’s prestigious golf tournament, as well as the ongoing expansion of brand experience locations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_5

 

Speaking of golf, how did golf marketing become a major focus for the brand? 
 

The game of golf’s intrinsic elements of mutual respect, dignity and innovation are very much in line with the values of Genesis. As a result, we’ve been very interested in golf from the beginning, as we believe it is the most effective way for us to tell our brand story. A key distinction of Genesis’ golf partnerships is our focus on courtesy toward both players and caddies, coupled with active and sincere communication with fans through our emphasis on Genesis hospitality. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_6

 

Genesis is also well known for its collaboration with Tiger Woods. How did this relationship come about? 
 

Our Tiger Woods partnership began with our sponsorship of the Genesis Invitational, formerly known as Genesis Open, which is hosted by Tiger Woods. We’ve worked with Woods’ TGR Foundation for seven years now. The tournament was upgraded to the Genesis Invitational in 2020, and Tiger Woods now personally invites players to compete.

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_7

 

Genesis has also provided luxury transport for numerous high-profile events and celebrities. What are some of these highlights? 
 

In addition to partnerships with film festivals like the Academy Awards and the Busan International Film Festival, we also provide transportation to events that are part of Genesis’ commitment to expanding customer experiences. Genesis has supplied vehicles for world-class musicians such as Yunchan Lim, Sunwook Kim and Seong-Jin Cho to travel to major performances in comfort. Along with extending a fleet of vehicles for large events, we support smaller occasions that bring “a sense of Genesis” to our target audience, allowing our prospective customers experience Genesis in the process. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_8

 

A key distinction for Genesis is its brand experience spaces like Genesis House New York and Genesis Studio Hanam. What can customers expect to find when they visit? 
 

We now have various types of brand-exclusive experience spaces that reflect the brand philosophy and identity of Genesis, such as Genesis Studio, Genesis Lounge and Genesis House. With around 70 locations around the world, including the United States, China and Europe, customers can explore a variety of cultural experiences through hands-on activities, vehicle display and purchase, as well as food and beverages. Korean spaces in Hanam, Anseong, Suji, and Gangnam have seen nearly 730,000 visitors per year as of 2022, and Genesis House New York consistently receives more than 5,000 visitors monthly. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_9

 

How are Genesis brand experience spaces different from traditional car showrooms? 
 

Our spaces are not limited to the traditional role of a car showroom, serving as a branded multi-cultural space with a lifestyle component. The cultural experience opportunities are in line with Genesis' concept of “experiential consumption,” going beyond a mere journey of purchase to designing an experience. Genesis House New York, which opened in November 2021 in Manhattan, is the first of the brand's multi-cultural locations. It is an "oasis of culture in the city" that not only showcases vehicles but also includes a Korean restaurant, terrace garden and library where customers can relax and be culturally inspired. The Genesis Lounge at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, opened in January 2023, is a private haven that fully embodies Genesis' unique brand philosophy. Here, owners of the G90 Long Wheel Base can immerse themselves in the sensory experience that Genesis has to offer with a variety of gourmet food and music in spaces such as the bar, dining room and sound room. Each brand experience space is focused on providing a rich experience that encapsulates Genesis’ identity. 

240108_RESHAPING THE ART OF LUXURY AUTO BRANDING_10

 

What’s the ultimate branding goal of Genesis? 


Rather than focusing on short-term customer satisfaction, Genesis is committed to a long-term approach aimed at enhancing the lives of our “Son-Nim” [a Korean term for esteemed guests] based on our core beliefs. By offering the utmost attention and care, Genesis strives to make customers feel safe and comfortable in every experience with our products, spaces and services.