KIA Motors rises to 69th in Interbrand’s 2016 Best Global Brands report
The global value of the KIA Motors brand has grown by 12% over the last year, according to Interbrand’s exclusive list of the 100 ‘Best Global Brands’. According to the 2016 study, released today, KIA has risen five spots to become the 69th most valuable brand in the world. The Korean manufacturer’s estimated brand value grew from US$5.7 billion in 2015 to US$6.3 billion in 2016. This represents a seven-fold (603%) increase since 2006, the year in which the brand declared design-driven management as a key strategy behind the company’s future growth.
“Despite economic uncertainty and stagnation in the automotive market across a number of regions, this welcome rise in KIA’s brand value is a clear reflection of extensive company-wide efforts to ensure consistent and continuous growth in our brand power. This result provides us with further motivation to continue our mission to become the most desirable automotive brand in the eyes of consumers,” said Charles Suh, Senior Vice President of the Corporate Marketing Division, KIA Motors.
Mike Rocha, Global Director of Brand Valuation, Interbrand, said, “KIA’s impressive growth in brand value in recent years can be seen as a direct result of consumers’ strengthening attachment to the highly desirable designs and features of KIA’s product line-up, 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 line-up, as well as engaging experiential customer communications programs, on- and off-line.”
Vibrant, distinctive, reliable – illustrating Kia’s brand attributes
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. 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.
Perhaps the most important achievement over the last 12 months has been KIA’s first-place ranking in the USA’s J.D. Power 2016 Initial Quality Study. Ranked ahead of all other manufacturers, this marks the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has taken the top spot in the automotive industry’s benchmark evaluation of new vehicle quality. KIA’s rise to the top of this year’s ranking was driven by class-leading performances from the Sportage compact crossover and Soul urban crossover. KIA was also named by J.D. 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. Other new products and technologies further enhanced the brand’s image, with the company launching the Niro hybrid utility vehicle and the all-new Cadenza. At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), KIA presented its vision for future autonomous driving technologies, and announced its new ‘DRiVE WISE’ sub-brand, embodying KIA’s philosophy to realise intelligently safe vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
The expansion of the company’s ‘GT’ model line-up – with high-performance turbocharged engines, sports suspensions, and performance-inspired design – has further boosted the desirability and dynamism of the KIA brand.
To accompany the ongoing growth in the company’s product line-up, and increased capabilities of each vehicle, 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 the company’s young-at-heart target customers across the globe.
Interbrand Best Global Brands
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: 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.